The Western Cape provincial government says that it has mobilised a R2.17 billion ‘war chest’ to defeat Covid-19 in the province.
Presenting its provincial budget on Tuesday (16 March), the Western Cape government said that this money will be allocated to a number areas, including the preparation for a third Covid-19 wave and the procurement of its own vaccines.
The money will be allocated as follows:
- R325.6 million for the rolling out of up to 5.1 million vaccinations in the Western Cape;
- R75 million to independently procure up to 500,000 single-shot vaccines for the Western Cape;
- R20 million for communicating the benefits of being vaccinated in the Western Cape;
- R832 million to respond to a possible third wave, which will be spent on rapidly expanding testing, providing personal protective equipment, and on ensuring sufficient supply of oxygen and critical care capacity in the Western Cape.
However, the province said that it is facing a number of additional ‘unprecedented’ and ‘uncertain issues’ which will have major cost implications. These include:
- It is uncertain when the province will receive more vaccines from national government;
- It is uncertain how many vaccines we will receive from national government;
- It is uncertain whether the province will receive single-shot or double-shot vaccines;
- It is uncertain which vaccines will be approved by the regulator.
- The location and the magnitude of a possible third wave in the Western Cape.
“So, to ensure that we remain sufficiently agile and flexible, we have ring-fenced a further R800 million in the provincial reserves to support the fight against Covid-19 in the Western Cape.”
It said that this would be utilised for a range of needs including the rollout and procurement of vaccines, as well as to respond to additional costs arising from the fight against Covid-19 in the province.
“We have also allocated an additional R116 million, in this financial year, to fund the cost of the second wave and to jump-start the rollout of vaccinations,” it said.
“We have, in the end, matched a R1.08 billion contribution from national government, with a R1.09 billion contribution from provincial government, to mobilise a R2.17 billion “war chest” to defeat Covid-19 in the Western Cape.”
“In the end, when it comes to the struggle between the virus, and the vaccine, the vaccine will win, because humankind has never been better prepared to defeat a pandemic threatening the future of the world.”