[LISTEN] Gauteng Government: COVID-19 Vaccines Saves Lives

Faizel Patel – 05/09/2021

While concerns have been raised about the growing number of anti-vaxxers within communities who are involved in alleged criminal activities falsifying COVID-19 vaccine passports for the purposes of international travel, the Gauteng Provincial Government says the more people who vaccinate, the quicker we can return to a “normal life”.

The Gauteng Province says South Africa needs to vaccinate 70% of the adult population by mid-December 2021- so that the country can accelerate the implementation of its Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

The province says its economic recovery depends on vaccinating as many people as fast as possible. 

“This is why we need to vaccinate 10 million people by mid-December 2021. With the country expected to enter a fourth wave of the virus in November, we need to get as many people vaccinated in order to minimize its impact.” 

Last week, Gauteng Premier David Makhura while visiting the Saaberie Chishty drive-thru vaccination site in Lenasia said the Coronavirus fake news brigade and anti-vaxxers who are spreading misinformation about the vaccine are on the radar.

“The anti-vaxxers, the guys who are sending fake news, we’ve got fake news under the regulations. There’re a few who’ve been arrested on fake news, sometimes the police don’t publicize. I’ve picked up fake news myself and I forward them to the police and the police were able to track people who were sending out fake news on the vaccine, they track them, arrest them and those people take them to who actually gave them the source of that.”

Makhura had a stern warning for people who may be involved in the criminal activity surrounding the selling of fake COVID-19 negative tests including vaccination certificates or passports to anti-vaxxers who want to travel internationally.

He says there are many anti-vaxxers in religious groups across the country spreading fake news about the Coronavirus vaccine, but religious leaders have done well to educate communities about getting vaccinated.

“There was a period where there were many in the religious sector, different faiths, Christian, Muslim. There were many stories about the vaccine, but in Gauteng we’ve cracked it this way by working with the religious leaders, the leaders of faith. We are doing tremendously outstanding work with the Muslim Association. If you look at the numbers we are turning up there at Houghton, that’s the best performing site by every count.”

Makhura said any criminality around vaccines is something that police are on full alert, adding that the Gauteng government is monitoring social media and other reports on fake news and anti-vaxxers. 

(Twitter: @FaizelPatel143)

Listen to the interview with Gauteng Premier David Makhura 

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