Statement by Premier Alan Winde at his weekly digicon
“Let’s do this!”
“Kom ons doen dit!”
The people of the Western Cape have had an extremely difficult year. Over 11 600 people have already lost their lives during this pandemic, causing great heartbreak for their family, friends and loved ones.
Tens of thousands more people have also had to suffer the pain of losing their job - suffering the indignity of not having food for themselves and their children.
COVID-19 has indeed taken away so much from us all and we desperately need this challenging time to finally come to an end.
While there is still a long way to go, the good news is that we will soon be one step closer to making this happen.
On 17 May, just 11 days from now, we plan to launch the second phase of the vaccination programme, and thereby officially kick off mass vaccination in the Western Cape.
Starting with all those residents 60 years old and older, we will be able to offer rigorously tested, effective and safe vaccines that will provide excellent protection against severe COVID-19 illness and death.
In order for this programme to be a success, however, we need more than vaccines in fridges. We need shots in arms.
Understandably, some residents are still unsure about whether they should take the vaccine. They don’t know very much about it and the information they do have is mixed, often received through social media and word-of-mouth. This has led to concerns for some.
Firstly, I want to make crystal clear that no person will ever be forced to take a vaccine. This is your choice, and yours only.
Secondly, your questions matter to us. You deserve an answer to them, so that you can make a decision that is in your best interest, with all the facts at your disposal. It is our responsibility, as your government, to give you this information.
Our residents also deserve to have reliable, trusted information about the process they must follow if they do decide to take the vaccine. Having this information is a critical part of building the trust and the enthusiasm that will make the vaccination programme a success in the Western Cape.
We understand this, and that is why our vaccination team has already set up a social mobilisation workstream, as a key pillar of our response.
It is also why we are committed to providing accurate, reliable information on the COVID-19 vaccine and the process that will unfold in the weeks and months ahead through a major campaign that will reach every community of the Western Cape.
Today, I am excited to announce that we are ready to launch the first part of this campaign, with a specific focus on registering residents 60 years and older.
Today, I say to the people of the Western Cape, and to those 60 and older in particular, the time has come to start the fight back against COVID-19!
Today, I say to each and every one of you, #LetsDoThis!
This #LetsDoThis campaign, which will run in all three languages of the Western Cape, and across radio, print and other targeted communication, will find new and innovative ways to get information through to as many people in our province as possible - no matter where they live, and no matter what they earn.
Importantly, the #LetsDoThis campaign is a rallying call to come together as province to beat COVID-19. It’s a powerful message that we are stronger when we stand together.
I have no doubt that there will still be many more bumps in the road. This is a complex and challenging time, and we still face a third wave of infections and the great pain that will cause many.
But I am confident and hopeful that if we motivate our residents to stand together and to get vaccinated, we will finally wield a decisive blow in this COVID-19 battle.
To the people of the Western Cape, the time has come. #LetsDoThis.
If you are 60 or older, register to be vaccinated by following this quick and easy process:
- Visit westerncape.gov.za and click on the link to register
- Capture your basic details, including your ID or passport number
- Provide a cellphone number, where confirmation of your registration and future booking details will be SMSed
- Indicate where and when you would like to be vaccinated
- Enter your medical aid details if you have one – it doesn’t matter if you don’t.
- Check that all your details are correct, and press submit. The system will send you an SMS to verify your registration on the system. When it is your turn, you will receive a second SMS with your appointment time and place. You will need to show this at vaccination sites, with your identification document.
- Should you receive a 2-dose vaccine, such as the Pfizer vaccine, you will be given a follow-up appointment date.
If you are struggling to register, or don’t have internet access, ask a family member, friend or trusted person in your community to help you.
For further support with registering:
- USSD (free on South African networks) - dial *134*832#
- Whatsapp the word REGISTER to 0600 123456