Solidarity Fund CEO Tandi Nzimande. Picture: SUPPLIED
Solidarity Fund CEO Tandi Nzimande. Picture: SUPPLIED

SA, the country hardest hit in Africa by Covid-19, missed a December 15 deadline to make a deposit to secure vaccines to fight the pathogen, and has not arranged a guarantee to make the full payment.

The payment to the Covax programme will be made in coming days, according to Tandi Nzimande, the CEO of the Solidarity Fund, a philanthropic organisation backed by some of SA’s richest people and biggest companies.

The fund undertook to make the R327m deposit, which represents 15% of the R2.2bn that will ultimately have to be paid, after the government failed to do so.

The department of health said on December 4 that the country was on track to sign the agreement and make the first payment by December  15, in line with agreed timelines.

The Solidarity Fund will make the payment as soon as it gets the go ahead from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (Gavi), which is running Covax, Nzimande said by phone on Thursday.

The money, accompanied by a guarantee that the outstanding amount will be paid, would secure enough vaccines to supply 10% of SA’s population of about 60-million people.

That guarantee has yet to be finalised.

“This is work in progress,” the Treasury said in an e-mailed response to questions on December  15. “Details will be made available once work is finalised.”

SA has recorded almost 900,000 Covid-19 cases and 23,661 deaths, while the economy has been devastated by measures to curb its spread.



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