In the 27 years of ANC misrule where they have comprehensively failed to achieve a meaningful improvement to the majority of Black people, the ANC resorts to victimhood and propagates tropes to justify themselves. The rapid development of vaccines for Covid and its unequal distribution was a ready-made crisis for the ANC to exploit in order to deflect attention from their appalling handling of it.
A recurring trope that the ANC pushes is that the West is selfish and does not care for poor downtrodden Africans. It was partly true for the vaccines but, then again, all countries naturally look at their own interests first when faced with an existential threat. One just has to look at the vitriol between the UK and EU over AstraZeneca with constant retaliatory measures implemented by the EU in the early days of their rollouts.
ANC should rather do a bit of introspection than playing the victim yet again.
SA signed up for Covax meant to help 3rd world countries access vaccines except we were tardy paying the bills. Claiming hardship (victimhood again) we first delayed the deposit by about 2 months while we sorted out our failed vanity projects and then forgot about it. On December 4, the Dept of Health stated that the country was on track to sign the agreement and make the first payment by December 15. 11 days later, the deadline came and went with no sign of the money. The DA, who actually pay attention to things and don’t just draw their parliamentary salaries and dress up inappropriately for SONA, immediately asked questions. This exposed Tito Mboweni, Minister of No Finances, who showed his underlying buffoonery when he went on a Twitter rant and concluded with the call to send in the clowns – the EFF – to sort the DA out. Hitler had the Brownshirts and seems as if the ANC has the Redshirts to do the wet work.
Then we never signed up for Pfizer and Moderna because they were too expensive and there were cold chain issues as they had to be stored at such cold temperatures.
The next debacle was the AstraZeneca vaccine of which we received about a million doses. The vaccine was widely tested across the world and age groups, but although SA was part of the test, our leg was utterly, statistically insignificant. But when bad results were reported, we immediately embargoed it, and we were up the creek without a paddle. In a knee jerk reaction SA instead went for the J&J vaccine which had yet to be tested on our variant – go figure. In fact, the initial rollout of the J&J vaccine was the Sisonke trial. Why didn’t they do the same for the AstraZeneca vaccine?
The next thing that the ANC and its fellow travellers complain about is that we should be given the patent rights. Firstly, it is one thing to be given the patent rights, but it’s another to be able to produce it, particularly the mRNA ones. Yes, Aspen Pharmacare does produce the J&J vaccine locally but it receives the bulk ingredients and only packages it. It should be noted that the ANC is selective in its criticism and does not demand any patent rights from its gabbas, Russia and China, not that their vaccines seem to be reliably tested.
That being said, I do believe that the Western vaccine manufacturers should drop their prices significantly as their research costs were handsomely amortised by the first two jabs already.
But what really shows up their diatribes is that they consciously avoid the unpalatable facts. Initially SA’s problem was supply but that was very soon overtaken by the population’s resistance and apathy. It’s now a problem of uptake but the government seems incapable of addressing it. Every day there is a brief report in some newspaper about the numbers infected and dead and there is a government website with nicely presented daily numbers but there are no graphs on trends which serve as discussion points which gets people involved. But worse, the stats on vaccination are incredibly hard to come by.
Now we come to what set me off. Yesterday I heard that only 10,000 people in the Western Cape have had their boosters, so I tested the system today.
30 minutes after leaving home I was back again. Done and dusted. There was absolutely no queue and only one person waiting out their 15 minutes. By 12:00 they had done only 50 today.
Yet it was as recent as Xmas when I heard Squirrel Ramaphosa still pushing the trope about Western selfishness. It is time for the ANC to put up or shut up.