Although 3 357 sites in the public sector were supposed to be operational for Phase 2 of the Covid-19 roll-out, only 130 will be operating by May, 17, according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

Private sector sites will open on May 24,

Opposition parties criticised the DoH as fewer than 400 000 of the 1.25-m targeted healthcare workers had been vaccinated.

During the parliamentary debate on his budget of R62.5-bn, Mkhize acknowledged that the DoH suffers from “chronic underfunding” and the C-19 vaccine roll-out “had not moved to the extent we wanted it to”.

Expenditure was expected to increase by 0.8% per year, from R58.1-bn to R59.4-bn in the 2020/21 and 2023/24 financial years, respectively.

According to Mkhize an estimated 85.9% (R157.7-bn) of the department’s budget over the medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) period would be transferred to provinces through conditional grants. R7.5-bn has been allocated to the NHI unit to strengthen the system and contract service providers.

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