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When you watch the carnage on TV – or even worse – around you, it is easy to be consumed by sadness and the sense that these unlawful and destructive acts define us. They don’t.


South Africa (18 July 2021) – Adrian Gore, the Founder and Chief Executive at Discovery Limited, has written another update about the Mass Vaccination Programme, in the midst of the riots and looting bringing hope amidst a painful week.

Hope Amidst A Painful Week

I have been reaching out over the last few months, updating you on the complex rollout of the Government-led Mass Vaccination Programme and our role in it. Having said this, the context is even more complex now – we are in the middle of a brutal third wave and have just experienced an incredibly painful and unsettling week for the country, given the outbreak of violence and looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

I want to make some comments in this regard, and ultimately restate our commitment to helping fight COVID-19 and to rebuilding the country after the destruction wrought this week.

Despite the impact of the last week on the Mass Vaccination Programme, there is encouraging progress.

The Government-led Mass Vaccination Programme is gaining considerable traction and is largely on track to achieve what it set out to do. Most people over the age of 60 years who have registered for vaccination will be fully vaccinated by August, and the country administered over 170,000 vaccinations per day this week, despite KwaZulu-Natal being almost entirely offline. Although this is 11% lower than the 190,000 vaccinations per day the country was achieving last week, it does demonstrate the capacity of the country to vaccinate at pace and the overall resilience of the programme.

Vaccination sites and key healthcare points have unfortunately been disrupted, with damage to multiple pharmacies and doctors’ practices being reported. Fortunately, none of the hospitals have reported damage; oxygen and medicine deliveries are reaching the hospitals under secure escort, and healthcare workers have bravely continued to offer essential services.

In terms of what lies ahead, we anticipate that over 50% of those registered over the age of 35 will have received their first dose of vaccine by September. This is enabled by a substantial supply of vaccines scheduled for delivery from August onward, which will allow us to vaccinate more than 300,000 people per day from August – and vaccinate the majority of adult South Africans by the end of the year.

The hospitals in Gauteng remain very full, however with the Western Cape region showing increased admissions over the past week. It is easy to forget that we are in the throes of the third wave, given this week’s developments. In this moment, it is more important than ever to accelerate the Mass Vaccination Campaign and to pay heed to the risks of COVID-19 infection. You have my word: we won’t stop giving this our all, in support of the Government-led Programme.

What can you do?

  1. Registration is now open to anyone over the age of 35 years. If you’re over 35 years of age, please register on the government’s Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS)
  2. For Discovery vaccination sites, in addition to mandatory EVDS registration, we require that you please book online through Discovery’s Vaccination Navigator available on the Discovery website. We strongly prefer a scheduled approach for our own vaccination sites to avoid large crowds and queues. Discovery Vaccination sites are open seven days a week, in our best efforts to accelerate the country’s pace of vaccination

The South Africa that represents us

The past week has been truly traumatic to witness and horrific for those living through it directly, as per the stories we have heard from our staff and members.

It goes without saying that the past week’s unrest is symptomatic of real underlying societal problems such as poverty and unemployment, challenges that must be solved. However, when you watch the carnage on TV – or even worse – around you, it is easy to be consumed by sadness and the sense that these unlawful and destructive acts define us.

They don’t.

I urge you to think about the profound anecdotes of bravery, community, and resilience we have seen this week. Take the neighbours in Durban who caught the child thrown desperately by her mother from a burning building, or the residents in Soweto who protected Maponya mall by forming a circle of arms through the night. Not to mention the residents in Diepsloot who launched door-to-door campaigns to recover looted property or the healthcare workers who continue to go above and beyond the call of duty to offer care in the most trying of circumstances. Finally, consider the taxi associations, community leaders and thousands of South Africans who have already signed up for clean-up and rebuilding campaigns. This is the South Africa we subscribe to.

A country where there is an unprecedented collaboration between government and the private sector to roll out a vaccination campaign for its citizens; where the supremacy of the Constitution and the independence of its Judiciary are upheld; and where, when the rule of law is threatened, citizens stand up and declare – “not in my name”.

In this context, Discovery is committed to building and rebuilding the country we believe in.


Sources: Hope Amidst A Painful Week – Adrian Gore!  
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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