President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

The extreme tardiness of our government in obtaining Covid-19 vaccine supplies will result in an extended period of rising infections and more deaths extending well into the third quarter of 2021, a good six months after most of the world will have gained some measure of control over the virus.

The government needs to come clean, admit major policy errors, have proper question-and-answer briefings, and present a cogent plan. Is it intent on closing the economy and social mobility for the whole of 2021? Will it continue to extend the state of disaster month by month, with no explanation as to what is intended to be achieved so that actual outcomes can be compared? Is it cognisant of the fact that this will kill the economy and all jobs in our country?

The present lockdown has precisely what aim, and when will that aim be achieved? It will not stop the spread of the virus but should slow it down, which will hopefully have the effect of reducing the burden on our hospitals and primary carers. But the lockdown also puts in peril the existence of many businesses and causes tragic social and mental pressures. Unless it is achieving precise objectives it almost certainly comes with too high a price tag for our fragile country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa needs to tell us precisely what the plans are and how they will be achieved. Tell us how government is going to manage the tsunami of job losses, tax revenues falling further off an already much-eroded cliff, and the plan to resolve all these issues.

It is not just that we live in a supposed democracy — more than this, for any plan to succeed it needs buy-in from us all, which will be elusive as long as there is no sign of a coherent policy.

Jon Quirk, Hoedspruit

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