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Opposition DA files complaint over missed Covax payment

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Opposition DA files complaint over missed Covax payment

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DA leader John Steenhuisen

18th December 2020

By: Bloomberg

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South Africa’s main opposition party will file a complaint against Finance Minister Tito Mboweni for allegedly misleading the legislature about the country’s payment to sign up to the global Covax program, which is to procure and distribute Covid-19 vaccines.

The Democratic Alliance will submit the complaint to parliament’s ethics committee after Mboweni told lawmakers that the government would make a down payment to Covax by December 15, party leader John Steenhuisen told reporters in Cape Town on Friday.

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“The fact of the matter is that this deposit has not been paid and government has not indicated if it is in negotiation with any other vaccine supplier,” Steenhuisen said.

South Africa, the country hardest hit in Africa by the coronavirus, missed the deadline to make a deposit to secure vaccines and hasn’t arranged a guarantee to make the full payment. The Solidarity Fund, a philanthropic organization backed by some of the country’s richest people and biggest companies, said Thursday it will pay a R327-million deposit in the coming days after the government failed to do so.

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The party has also made a legal request for government to give full disclosure on its plans to store and distribute any Covid-19 vaccines, Steenhuisen said.

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