With the vaccination programme finally in progress, the National Treasury has decided to allocate R9 billion towards it.
Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni confirmed this during his budget speech on Wednesday afternoon.
“Government allocated R1.3 billion in the current year for vaccine purchases. Given uncertainty around final costs, an estimated R9 billion could be drawn on from the contingency reserve and emergency allocations, bringing total potential funding for the vaccination programme to about R19.3 billion,” said the department.
From this amount, the Department of Health will receive R6.5 billion in order to distribute the vaccines.
In addition to this, the Medical Research Council will receive R100 million in order to aid vaccine research.
The National Treasury believes that the vaccine is essential in saving the livelihoods and supporting economic recovery.
The vaccines will be free of charge to those being vaccinated, as funding for the rollout programme has been taken from the national budget.
“Ensuring access to COVID-19 vaccines is government’s immediate priority. As announced by the Minister of Health in January 2021, South Africa’s three-phase vaccine rollout strategy aims to vaccinate 67 percent of the population over 12 months,
"Since the state is procuring vaccines on behalf of both the public and private sectors, some revenue will return to the fiscus when private providers buy vaccines from the state,” reads the document.
Provincial health departments will be allocated R2.4 billion over 12 months in order to administer the vaccines.
Meanwhile, the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) will receive R50 million in order to campaign for the vaccine rollout.