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South Africa discusses with private companies to support financing for Corona vaccines program

 A coalition of major private companies in South Africa announced that it had held talks with the Pretoria government to discuss funding of 12 billion rand (802 million US dollars) to bring in anti-Coronavirus vaccines as part of the government's national program to vaccinate the country's citizens.

Martin Kingston, Chairman of the South African Business Steering Committee, said - in a press statement - that private sector companies discussed with the government plans for assistance to provide financial and logistical support for the program, pointing to holding talks with officials from the Ministry of Health and the Public Treasury to overcome any obstacles related to private sector financing for the program The national vaccine to vaccinate South Africans against Coronavirus (COVID-19).

"South Africa faces an unprecedented challenge to vaccinate its people, so we decided to reconfigure the Business Steering Committee so that it has a prominent role in supporting the national vaccine program under the leadership of the government," he added.

And Bloomberg News reported that the private companies ’attempt to help the South African government comes in the wake of criticism from scholars, trade unions and opposition parties for not concluding direct deals with pharmaceutical companies to obtain the vaccine in 2020.

South Africa had concluded an agreement to supply 1.5 million doses of the "AstraZeneca" anti-corona virus vaccine during January and February 2021, as part of a government plan, the first phase of which aims to vaccinate two-thirds of the country's population by the end of this year. The vaccination campaign is expected to start this month.

It should be noted that South Africa is one of the countries most affected by the (Corona) virus on the continent, as it recorded nearly one and a half million cases and about 45 thousand deaths. Pretoria faces several obstacles to containing the Coronavirus, the most important of which is the high number of illegal immigrants to the country.