johnson & johnson vaccine trial south africa eff Budget Speech 2021 vaccine

Image: AFP/Michael Ciaglo

Budget Speech 2021: R10 billion allocated for SA’s vaccine rollout

South Africa is procuring millions of vaccines but at what cost when we’re already in a tricky financial situation? Here’s what Tito had to say during Budget Speech 2021.

johnson & johnson vaccine trial south africa eff Budget Speech 2021 vaccine

Image: AFP/Michael Ciaglo

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni took to the podium on Wednesday 24 February 2021 to deliver the annual Budget Speech 2021. We knew the topic of vaccines would come to the fore — it is after all the biggest thing occupying the minds of government at the moment with a possible third wave of COVID-19 looming. 

We didn’t just gather for news on the vaccine though, we gathered to find out how government would fund millions of vaccines when it is already struggling to distribute social grants to the needy due to a lack of funds. 


According to Mboweni, more than R10 billion is being allocated for the buying and delivery of vaccines over the next two years. While we’re not 100% sure where the money is coming from, he did say the following.

“We increase the contingency reserve from R5 billion to R12 billion to make provision for the further purchase of vaccines and to cater for other emergencies,” said Mboweni.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Of the R10.3 billion for vaccines, R2.4 billion is allocated to provincial departments of health to administer the COVID-19 vaccine programme. “Government will also put in place a no-fault compensation fund to cover claims in the unlikely event of any
severe vaccine injuries, allocations to which will be announced in due course.”

“Global economic growth is expected to rebound to 5.5% in 2021 before moderating slightly to 4.2% in 2022, buoyed by the expected rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and other additional policy initiatives,” he added.


According to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, 40 000 healthcare workers should have received the vaccine by Wednesday 24 February 2021. Apart from Budget Speech 2021 and finding out how we’re paying for millions of jabs, we also need to know the progress regarding the delivery of vaccines, what can be used immediately and how many healthcare workers are being vaccinated on a daily basis.

On Tuesday, Mkhize said we are on course to complete the first 40 000 by Wednesday. 

“The provinces have committed to the target of 80 000 vaccines completed two weeks from the date of arrival,” he added. 

In other words, by Tuesday 2 March, 80 000 healthcare workers should have been vaccinated.

“The next batch of 80 000 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines will arrive this Saturday, 27 February 2021,” he added.