A call to intensified response against Covid-19 and universal access to the vaccine

The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Free State is calling for intensified response against Covid-19, universal access to the vaccine and looks forward to the SACP Centenary and improved local government in the year 2021

As the party sent out well wishes to its members and communities at large it emphasised a need for an improved livelihood and prosperity in the new year, 2021.

“The SACP reminds everyone that we remain confronted by the Covid-19 pandemic and are effectively in the second, more dangerous infectious wave on the coronavirus pandemic.

“This reality requires everyone to act responsibly and with care for their own lives and the lives of others in order to minimise the catastrophic impact of the virus on life and livelihood,” said the party in a statement.

The party raised a concern at the rate of positive Covid-19 cases that are increasing considerably fast in the Free State province.

“The situation in the country is also generally showing an upsurge on positive cases, and related pressure on health facilities and frontline workers. The country’s cumulative number of Covid-19 cases is over 1,296,806 thus far,” said the Party.

The SACP Free State mentioned that it was disheartening that these statistics are not merely numbers but represent real lives of real people who faced the real threat of Covid-19.

The party further said: “Many people have recovered from the virus, but, sadly, many people also perished. The resultant disruption consequent of these Covid-19 cases on families, their livelihood and the economy are dire. Society cannot act as though it is business as usual.

“To help minimise the spread of the virus, the SACP in the province reiterates the cardinal message from its Central Committee calling on everyone to “take responsibility and follow the COVID-19 preventative measures and recommended hygiene protocols. These include wearing a mask, physical distancing, but with social solidarity, and regularly washing hands with soap for 20 seconds or sanitising with a recommended sanitizer”.

According to SACP Free State Provincial Secretary, Bheke Stofile, the SACP in the Free State feels strongly that the BRICS bloc of nations, which constitute over 40% of the global population, should have coordinated research, resources and efforts in the development of a universally accessible vaccine, informed by the need to “put people before profits”.

He said such efforts would have tamed the current capitalist driven commodification of the production and distribution of vaccines, informed by a profit motive rather than protection of life.

Stofile said the SACP Free State is nonetheless supportive of the need for universal and equitable roll-out of Covid-19 vaccination.

“Whilst it is important to reach herd immunity at a national level, what is urgently required is coordinated global efforts for equitable distribution of the vaccine globally in order to attain herd immunity within all nations of the world. Such an effort requires the declaration of all vaccines as public goods for equitable distribution under the coordination of the World Health Organisation.

“Failure to achieve this will continue to affect global economic activities and intensify skewed development and economic inequality. The SACP in Free State calls on its structures and community to act as reliable agents in transmitting accurate and reliable messages on preventative measures and recommended Covid-19 hygiene protocols.

“This must include a struggle against conspiracy theorists who are actively engaged in the malicious spread of falsehood. Such collaborative efforts must further embrace an anti-corruption posture against the procurement and distribution of the vaccine, and relevant personal protective equipment (PPE) which remain important in disrupting the spread of the virus,” he said.

Meanwhile, the SACP in Free State said the party will continue to consider the best model required local government, given all barriers that continue to make municipalities in the province not to be as functional and responsive as they are supposed to be.

The year 2021 marks the centenary of the SACP since its formation in 1921. The party said it will be joining the Central Committee in rolling out different activities in celebration of the rich history and contribution of the Party to the liberation struggle and working-class struggles in the country.

“Related to this will be the important task of contributing towards the kind of SACP that South Africa’s working class needs for the next 100 years to advance, defend and deepen the national democratic revolution in continuing struggle for socialism. The province’s contribution will also include activities informed by our 2020-2021 Red October campaign targeting Health, Housing, Hunger plus Water (HHH+W), which remain major challenges in our province,” concluded the Party.