Speaking to the nation on Monday evening, Cyril explained that the vaccines are still Mzansi’s best line of defence against the virus. Although they don’t comprehensively stop transmission, the jabs are extremely effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalisation, or even death in those who do get infected with COVID.
As South Africa transitions towards a post-pandemic phase, the State of Disaster is no more. However, our head of state has confirmed that some ‘lighter restrictions’ will remain for at least the next 30 days – as part of a ‘lockdown grace period’ that will officially conclude on Thursday 5 May.\
From there, a number of long-standing measures – such as indoor mask-wearing and targeted social distancing – will be adopted by the National Health Act. Even so, it’s understood that some COVID-prevention strategies could be dropped later down the line *if* more South Africans come forward for their vaccines:
“The vaccine should give us the confidence to live our lives as we did before the pandemic. They give businesses the assurance they can operate in full, without having to worry about more lockdown restrictions.”
“Our greatest responsibility is to ensure we get vaccinated, and we must encourage others to do so. This is our best weapon of reducing future waves of infection, and preventing any other State of Disasters.”
Cyril Ramaphosa, 4 April 2022
- In fact, this was a point Mr. Ramaphosa made clear during our last family meeting in March:
“The further easing of the remaining restrictions will require that we increase the rate of vaccination among South Africans. The vaccine has been shown to significantly reduce severe illness. Our statistics clearly show that people who are not vaccinated stand a higher chance of being hospitalised or dying from COVID-19.”
Cyril Ramaphosa, 22 March 2022
Vaccination rates in South Africa – who’s on top?
Although vaccination rates in South Africa hold up well against other countries on the continent, Mzansi still falls behind many of the leading nations when it comes to getting jabs in arms. Just under 49% of the entire population is immunised against COVID-19, and these numbers need to pick up if SA is to make a complete return to normal.
Our latest vaccination rates by province show that the people of Free State, Western Cape, and Limpopo are leading the way – but those in KZN, Gauteng, and Mpumalanga fall short of the national average.