STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS
The President receiving J&J vaccination shot
SONA address. He began by paying tribute to the people of South Africa for being resilient and courageous during the pandemic that wreaked havoc and devastation, not only in South Africa, but across the globe – and which has brought about a spirit of solidarity across all sectors of society. In his opening remarks the President said, “More than anything else, this crisis has revealed the true character of our remarkable nation. It has revealed a spirit of the people who refused to be defeated. It is this South African spirit that must drive our resolve to build a new and more equal economy and a better, more just society. The year ahead must be a time for change, for progress and rebirth. It must be a year in which we rise. This is no ordinary year and this is no ordinary State of the Nation Address.” Due to the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in as a nation the President said he would focus on the most pressing needs of the people of South Africa and prioritised the following: • The defeat of the coronavirus pandemic. • The acceleration of our economic recovery. • The implementation of economic reforms that will create sustainable jobs and drive inclusive growth. • The eradication of corruption and strengthening of the state. The plan to defeat the Coronavirus pandemic The President indicated that the war against the pandemic will be won
on the vaccination battleground. In the forefront of this battle are the healthcare workers and scientists, who have been working tirelessly to contain the virus, and are now ready to go on the offensive with the vaccine roll-out campaign that will see at least 40 million South Africans being vaccinated in the shortest possible time. To commence this offensive the government has been fully briefed on the state of readiness of the provincial vaccination facilities and is satisfied that all provinces have their vaccination rollout plans in place when the nine million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines arrive in South Africa. Over and above these vaccines from Johnson & Johnson, the government has secured 12 million vaccine doses from the global COVAX facility. The other vaccines that are available to South Africa through the AU’s African Acquisition Task Team facility will complement this. In addition Pfizer has committed 20 million doses that will be delivered at the end of the first quarter. The President has assured the nation that the government is ready to enter this most important and decisive stage of the battle against the virus and advised, “We are greatly encouraged by the active involvement of business, labour, the health industry and medical schemes, in particular in preparing for this mass vaccination drive. We have overcome before and will overcome again and rise.” The President exuded confidence that the coronavirus pandemic will be defeated and exhorted all South Africans to join the battle plan and get vaccinated.
The President indicated that the war against the pandemic will be won on the vaccination battleground. In the forefront of this battle are the healthcare workers and scientists, who have been working tirelessly to contain the virus, and are now ready to go on the offensive with the vaccine roll-out campaign that will see at least 40 million South Africans being vaccinated in the shortest possible time