IN QUOTES | Cyril Ramaphosa says ‘doubting Thomases’ are ignoring SA’s positive side

President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged South Africans to 'look at our capabilities' instead of predicting gloom and doom.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged South Africans to 'look at our capabilities' instead of predicting gloom and doom.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES

President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government is aiming for a smooth rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines through its collaboration with Biovac, a private biopharmaceutical company.

He said “doubting Thomases” were only looking at the negative side of SA’s “balance sheet” and not the positive.

He commended the professionalism of health workers who have begun administering the Covid-19 vaccine and called on critics to focus on the positive.

Ramaphosa was responding on Thursday after MPs spent two days debating his recent state of the nation address.

Here are five important responses:

Government and private sector partnership in rollout 

“Biovac, a partnership between the government and the private sector, is using the storage and distribution infrastructure to assist with the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines to vaccination centres set up across our country.” 

SA is capable, focus on that

“Yesterday when I went to Khayelitsha Hospital, it was like clockwork. The health workers had been well trained, and the same at Steve Biko in Gauteng. Health workers have been trained. They were prepared and ready to administer the vaccines.

“We had been hearing doomsday stories that there’s going to be chaos and collapse. Pause for a moment, South Africans, and look at our capabilities.”

SA to develop its own vaccines

“I have asked the minister of higher education and innovation to put together a team of scientists to begin the process of developing our own vaccines so we can deal with this pandemic and future ones.

“We live in an era where pandemics may become more frequent and we must therefore be resilient in relation to diagnostics and vaccines.”

Matric results 

“This is the most remarkable group of pupils, who were determined to learn and study under the most difficult conditions. They must be commended for their perseverance and steadfast commitment to achieving their ambitions.”

Social grants will help the poor 

“The Covid-19 relief measures are so important. It is that support that is necessary at a social level that has helped our people get through this pandemic. The temporary increases in payments to social grant recipients and the special Covid-19 grant provided significant support to poor households at a critical time.” 


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