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Basic Education Ends Off Vaccine Rollout

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga receiving vaccine dose

Many teachers and workers in the education sector have been lining up for weeks to receive a vaccine jab. Now, the department is finally wrapping it up and teachers have been given a deadline. 

The Department of Basic Education has confirmed that Wednesday is the last day for education staff to be vaccinated. 

"The vaccination programme in the Basic Education sector ends today, Wednesday 14 July 2021, please get vaccinated by close of business today" said the department in a tweet. 

The department's vaccine rollout was initially meant to come to an end on 8 July, but this date was soon extended to 14 July.

At the start of its rollout, the department revealed that it aimed to vaccinate over 580 000 staff in the education sector. 

On 9 July, the department released a statement saying the sector had vaccinated only 437 386 staff in the sector, falling behind the initial target of 582 564. 

The department said this extension is the result of the department receiving a high demand of people in the sector wanting to be vaccinated. 

"The extension will enable the sector to vaccinate more people but also to mop up where some sites experienced technical challenges resulting in delays"

With the recent lootings in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng, some vaccination centres have been shut down temporarily. 

There are fears that this could cause major delays in the country's national vaccine rollout. 

Protests began following the arrest of former president, Jacob Zuma on 8 July. Some protestors in KwaZulu Natal began looting stores, and this spread to other parts of the country. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for the protests and looting to come to an end, as this has caused delays in the vaccine rollout. 

"Our vaccination programme has been severely disrupted just as it is gaining momentum. This will have lasting effects on our ability to consolidate some of the progress we were already witnessing in our economic recovery."

Government has deployed the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to work alongside the police as law enforcement. 

Over 757 people have been arrested over the past five days for looting businesses. 

More arrests are likely to take place if the protests continue, as the President vowed that law enforcement would be on high alert for as long as there is unrest. 

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