Your editorial made the very odd argument that SA’s delayed vaccination strategy can be attributed to wealthier countries intentionally withholding vaccines (“SA needs to aggressively fight vaccine apartheid”, April 7).

That is at odds with the well-documented delays in SA’s acquisition efforts, the fact that the country can easily afford to buy vaccines, that many emerging markets have “out-vaccinated” us, and that our government intimidated the private sector into not pursuing a procurement and rollout drive.

As for SA’s deepening global isolation, we cannot see how the case for allowing South Africans to freely travel the world could be won when the country is so far behind the global vaccination curve (the latest numbers place it tenfold behind the global average).

On the question of vaccine passports, you raise the important question of ethics, but again, SA is in no real position to fight that corner given its vaccination efforts.

When you bundle up the above and describe it as a modern take on apartheid, the effect is to let local politicians, the government and the private medical industry in SA off the hook for the extent to which they have all let the country and its people down.

Frans Cronje
Institute of Race Relations

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