While UASA is in full support of government’s national Covid-19 vaccine roll-out plan as it is the only way to get South African’s lives back on track, taxing still working South Africans more to pay for the vaccine presents a serious problem.
Reports that South Africa will pay double the price for AstraZeneca vaccines acquired via India’s Serum Institute than Europe, the USA or Australia will pay for the same vaccine because they negotiated for the vaccine directly with pharma giant AstraZeneca last year are disconcerting.
As a trade union, we are deeply concerned about the lives of our members and workers in general. Covid-19 has affected people’s lives and our economy immensely and higher taxes will negatively impact the disposable incomes or workers who are already stretched to the limit in order to make ends meet during the pandemic and many of them have lost part or all of their income during the last 10 months.
We again urge the government to make haste with its vaccine negotiations but also to keep in mind the dire financial situation many workers find themselves in due to the pandemic.
With more than a million Covid-19 cases and over 35 000 deaths recorded we call on government for decisive intervention that will benefit South Africans, and not force them deeper into financial trouble because they are forced to pay too much for a vaccine – whether via higher taxes or other means.
We need to re-open the economy and save lives endangered by the pandemic and the resulting loss of jobs, income and hunger.
For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contact Stan Mazhindu at 065 1700 162.