Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen has said that the South African government should resign in shame for its failure to handle the coronavirus pandemic, economic crisis and for compromising the country’s democracy.
In what he called the “true state of the nation”, ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address on Thursday, Steenhuisen said the country is in crisis and called for Ramaphosa to address this on Thursday.
Speaking on Covid-19, Steenhuisen said the only way out of the pandemic is a massive vaccine roll-out.
On the economy, he said the country needed urgent, bold and brave economic reform.
Steenhuisen added that the country was also in a crisis of democracy following recent testimony out of the State capture commission of inquiry, led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
“We can say with certainty that none of these three things are going to happen right away. While we are still waiting for a full, detailed vaccination plan from the president, we do know that we won’t have nearly enough vaccines to prevent the third and possibly the fourth wave of the virus from running throughout the country. This means there is a possible lockdown looming over our already shuttered economy,” Steenhuisen stated.
He warned that another lockdown would result in more job losses and extraordinary human suffering and depravation.
Steenhuisen dismissed reports that rich countries have hoarded the vaccines, as reiterated by Ramaphosa in recent weeks. He said South Africa did not order vaccines between May and July 2020, when other countries were doing so.
“The failure to procure vaccines when they were available to us, and the failure to publish a detailed and transparent roll-out plan are a violation of government’s constitutional obligation,” he added.