Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) Mbuyiseni Ndlozi
Image sourced via Facebook: Mbuyiseni Quintin Ndlozi

Ndlozi fires off questions following Mkhize’s vaccine announcement

While the news of a vaccine drop in SA has come as a relief to some, EFF member Mbuyiseni Ndlozi appears to be a bit apprehensive.


Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) Mbuyiseni Ndlozi
Image sourced via Facebook: Mbuyiseni Quintin Ndlozi

On Thursday 7 January 2021, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize provided a sterling update on South Africa’s vaccine rollout. He said South Africa will be receiving one million doses in January 2021 and 500 000 doses in February from the Serum Institute of India (SII).

The health department has estimated that we have 1.25 million health care workers both from public and private sectors that need to be prioritised.

While it was a pleasure for Mkhize to announce, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) member Mbuyiseni Ndlozi did not seem impressed at all. He then responded to Mkhize’s statement with a list of questions. 


Taking to Twitter shortly after Mkhize’s vaccine announcement, Ndlozi said; “and now the vaccine looting begins. First 1 million doses arrive in January, what date in January?” 

“Are these doses for Private or Public health workers? How much per dose? Does it come with needles [and] syringes? If not, how much has been budgeted for these? Are they locally manufactured?” he went on to say. 

While Mkhize touched on vaccine approval and things such as payment issues being handled directly between government and the manufacturer, he did say he was only recently given the go-ahead to make a public announcement. 

“Today, I am pleased to announce that the Serum Institute of India has given us permission to make a public announcement and start engaging with all relevant stakeholders in preparation for the rollout,” he said. 


According to Mkhize, the SII/ Astra Zeneca vaccine has already been approved by various regulators and is being rolled out in other countries. 


Mkhize added that the acquisition has been done directly by the Department of Health, which ultimately strengthens the credibility of the process as all the negotiations and payment issues are managed directly by government with the manufacturer.

“We urge the public to be patient with us as we continue to engage manufacturers. Our commitment remains to save and protect the lives of our people. We will not neglect our responsibility to protect lives and also fight this pandemic. We, therefore, call on all South Africans, members of the public, political parties, business, labour, NGOs and community leaders and members to work with us as we start this historic process,” he added. 


Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Minister of Health Siviwe Gwarube said there are many more elements to the vaccine process which need to be ironed out as soon as possible and the details of which to be made public.

Gwarube listed five points that need to be addressed as soon as possible; 

  1. Transparency around the cost of the vaccine and whether larger volumes can be procured from the same institution considering India’s access to large numbers, especially considering the delays with the COVAX process;
  2. South Africa’s own sustainable and large scale vaccine acquisition that doesn’t simply give us access to small quantities but larger consignments so we can begin the process of saving lives and livelihoods;
  3. The logistical details on the storage, transportation and distribution of the first million doses of the vaccine;
  4. The identification process of the frontline workers who will be given this vaccine and the platforms that will be used to reach as many as possible in a matter of weeks; and
  5. The integrity of the procurement, prioritization and distribution of the vaccine.