Flash Briefing: vaccine hesitancy mounts in SA; 10K soldiers deployed until mid-Sept.; SA citizens in Afghanistan
Briefing | Flash

Flash Briefing: vaccine hesitancy mounts in SA; 10K soldiers deployed until mid-Sept.; SA citizens in Afghanistan

  • Vaccine hesitancy is most pronounced among White adults in South Africa, which is struggling to keep immunisation centers busy just three months into the rollout of its inoculation program, a survey showed. Only 52% of White adults in the country are willing to get a Covid-19 shot, compared to three-quarters of their Black counterparts, researchers from the Human Sciences Research Council and the University of Johannesburg said in the highlights of a report due to be released on Wednesday. “Side effects and concerns that the vaccine will be ineffective are the most common self-reported explanations” for vaccine hesitancy, and those concerns were particularly pronounced among White adults, the researchers said. South Africa, which lagged behind many of its African and emerging-market peers in rolling out vaccines, is encountering mounting reluctance to take them.
  • Defence force commander-in-chief President Cyril Ramaphosa says 10,000 soldiers will remain on SA’s streets until mid-September, in the wake of recent violent civil unrest. In a letter to National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo, dated August 10, Ramaphosa states that the deployment will come at a cost of just shy of R255m. Ramaphosa had initially deployed 25,000 soldiers from July 12 to August 12. The extended deployment – albeit at less than half the original number of boots on the ground – kicked in from August 13 and will run to September 13. According to the president, the soldiers will work with police “in the prevention and combating of crime and preservation of law and order” across the country.
  • The department of international relations and co-operation says contact has been made with a number of South Africans in Afghanistan, to ensure their safety after Taliban insurgents entered the country’s capital, Kabul, at the weekend. “[The department] has established, via the SA High Commission in Islamabad, Pakistan, that they are in contact with a number of SA nationals based in Afghanistan to ensure their safety and provide the necessary consular assistance.” This is according to departmental spokesperson Clayson Monyela, who said; “The SA government has taken note of the unfolding situation in Afghanistan and is particularly concerned by the plight of thousands of displaced people seeking safety and security amid the deepening crisis in Afghanistan.”

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