Government remains capable of managing COVID-19 pandemic

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Government remains committed and capable of managing the COVID-19 pandemic, executing a ramped up vaccination programme and running the national programmes under the acting Health Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.

This assurance was given by Health Department Director-General, Dr Sandile Buthelezi, after President Cyril Ramaphosa placed Dr Zweli Mkhize on special leave on Tuesday.

The matter relates to the controversial R150 million COVID-19 and National Health Insurance communications service contract scored by Digital Vibes.

Mkhize’s former personal assistant, Naadhira Mitha and Tahera Mather, who worked with him when he was Treasurer-General at the ANC’s Luthuli House, pocketed money from questionable payments. 

“We have noted the President’s decision to place the incumbent Minister of Health on special leave pending the outcome of the Special Investigation Unit’s investigation into the Digital Vibes matter. It goes without saying that these are difficult times we find ourselves in,” Buthelezi said.

However, Buthelezi has reassured South Africans that the department will keep the ball rolling.

Meanwhile, he announced that there are some developments on the vaccination front, which will be communicated in a public webinar this week.

“Our spirits were lifted today when we learnt that we have officially vaccinated over one million senior citizens aged 60 years and above under phase two,” he said on Tuesday.

He has since conveyed his appreciation to the elderly people who have, and continue, to come forward in their numbers to be vaccinated.

“We also thank all those who are responsible for the administration of the rollout for their grit and determination as we continue to ramp up the campaign.”

In addition, he announced that the daily PDF reports have ended and that the department will now publish the statistics on the sacoronavirus website:

“There may be iterations of the product as it develops and we will welcome any feedback to ensure the dashboard is user friendly and provides the information the public needs.”

Buthelezi said the latest list of vaccination sites can be found on

“We will take opportunities to do live demonstrations to assist users to navigate the dashboards. We continue to be of service to you, for the health of our people,” he added. –

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