Premier ALAN WINDE released this statement on Monday February 8
LIKE the rest of South Africa, we are devastated at news that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine rollout has been suspended because of the latest study on its efficacy with respect to the 501Y.V2 strain.
We are fortunate to have world-class scientists in South Africa, and it is important that we listen carefully to their advice on what should now be done. We will await their guidance.
The Western Cape Government will continue to forge ahead with our logistical planning for the phase one vaccine rollout in the meantime. We need to make sure we are 100% ready whatever the decision taken is on this vaccine.
Health minister Nomafrench Mbombo on Monday met with traditional health practitioners from Klipfontein at Lentegeur Hospital to share information on the Covid-19 vaccine. It is important that we engage all stakeholders to ensure a safe roll-out of vaccines when they arrive and they are approved for use.
Until we have widespread vaccine coverage, it remains important that we all do everything we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones from Covid-19, by wearing masks, washing our hands, keeping our distance and avoiding crowded and confined spaces and close contact.
Support for ECD sector
Early childhood development centres play an important role in society, creating safe places for children to learn and develop while allowing their parents the opportunity to go to work.
ECDs are also important job creators, especially for women in our communities. This is why Western Cape Social Development was the only provincial department that continued to provide a full subsidy to ECD facilities programmes throughout the lockdown.
The Department also continued delivering crucial services under the various Disaster Management Act regulations that include, among others:
• Registration and re-registration of ECD facilities and programmes;
• The allowance of ECDs to provide nutrition at funded ECD sites since the beginning of the initial ‘hard’ lockdown (from the first day of lockdown in March 2020);
• Provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to 4,282 ECD facilities and programmes to date.
Dignity and wellbeing together form one of the key areas of focus in the Western Cape's recovery which is why we welcome the national government's Early Childhood Development Employment Stimulus Relief Fund and urge Western Cape ECDs which have been impacted by Covid-19, to apply.
Of the R496-million allocated by the National Treasury, R53-million has been earmarked to support ECD programmes and services in the Western Cape.
ECD operators/owners/managers must apply on behalf of their ECD service, and if successful, would pay the ECD employees. Individual ECD workers cannot apply to the fund themselves.
Successful applicants can only use the funds to subsidise the cost of employment for workers. For more information, and details on how to apply, click on https://www.westerncape.gov.za/gc-news/407/56004 and read the statement issued by Western Cape Social Development minister Sharna Fernandez.