Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa started his speech by confirming the arrival of the first one million doses of the AstraZenica Covid-19 vaccine, calling it a turning point in the fight against the virus.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that alcohol would be back on sale.

Facebook He acknowledged that the speed at which the Covid-19 vaccines have been deloped has never been seen before, showing the monumental effort humanity has taken to fight a common enemy.

Ramaphosa said that the vaccines will be tested to make sure that the vital medicine had not been compromised on the trip from India.

The vaccine will be rolled out following the government's plans, focusing on primary healthcare workers through 200 locations across the country.

Following this phase, the next group would receive the vaccine which include people over the age of 65 and those who are vulnerable. The final phase will roll out the vaccine to the rest of the country.

Ramaphosa explained that the Department of Health has a database of those who qualify for the first phase and will be updated as necessary. He explained that the country will source Covid-19 vaccines from another source.

Apart form the one million doses which have arrived, another 500 thousand will arrive. A further 9 million doses from Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer have promised a further 20 million doses of the vaccine. One billion doses of various Covid-19 vaccines have been secured for the African continent.

In a matter of weeks, the vaccine will be distributed across the continent. South Africa will assist in it's closest neighbours in distributing the vaccine. Ramaphosa thanked MTN for helping to secure Covid-19 vaccines for the African continent.

The end game is to secure enough vaccine doses to reach herd immunity, which means enough people are immune from the virus that it can no longer be transmitted.

This requires 67% of the population be vaccinated against Covid-19. Ramaphosa explained that the vaccine has undergone extensive testing and has been tested for side effects and efficiency. He reassured South Africa that the vaccines that the country will receive have been thoroughly tested.

Ramaphosa added that all people living in South Africa will be vaccinated regardless of legal status.

He made it clear that the no one will be given to anyone against their will or in secret and no one will be prohibited from travelling or be enrolled in schools. He pleaded with people to stop spreading fake news about the vaccine.

Ramaphosa took delight in announcing that South Africa has passed the peak of the second wave as the number of new infections has come down to half of what it was.

The number of hospital admissions has also fallen significantly. Ramaphosa thanked those who were following the lockdown restrictions for containing the spread of the virus and saving lives. Ramaphosa said that the restrictions will remain in place only as long as necessary and the government will work to repair the damage done to businesses and the economy. 

After a number of consultations and the decline in new cases, the government has decided to relax the lockdown restrictions. The curfew would be adjusted to the hours between 11:00 pm and 4:00 am. Religious gatherings would be permitted within certain parameters depending on numbers and venue capacity. 

"The sale of alcohol by licensed premises for on-site consumption – such as restaurants and taverns – will be permitted throughout the week from 10am to 10pm."