South Africa: Vaccine Arrival Testament to ‘Good International Relations’

The chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, Tandi Mahambehlala, says the arrival of the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines from India signifies the success of South Africa’s approach to bilateral and multilateral relations.

“We congratulate the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, through its missions abroad, for their candid vaccine diplomacy. This has been demonstrated through its successful initiation of negotiations, which secured the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines for South Africa,” Mahambehlala said on Tuesday.

Mahambehlala said the arrival of the vaccines is significant and testament to the success of South Africa’s diplomatic relations.

“The importance of diplomacy has once again been proved and is apparent for all to see during this era of the pandemic. The country, under the capable stewardship of President Cyril Ramaphosa, should work hard to enhance bilateral and multilateral relations with countries and multinational pharmaceutical companies that have shown capability in manufacturing vaccines.”

On Monday, President Ramaphosa led a government delegation to welcome the arrival of the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines from the Serum Institute of India. The vaccine has undergone successfully trials at Oxford University, with South Africa’s scientists making valuable contributions.

Mahambehlala extended gratitude to the friendly government of India, calling the country a “true friend in need and a trusted partner in the BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa] formation”.