- Public sector employees could now be mandated to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
- In a circular, the Ministry of Civil Service and Administration says they could make vaccinations mandatory for employees.
- Discovery Health and the University of Cape Town have introduced mandatory vaccination policies.
If Covid-19 vaccination rates do not improve, the government could make it mandatory for all public service employees.
This was according to a circular circulating the Director General of the Department of Civil Service and Administration (DPSA), Yoliswa Makhasi, which was sent to all directors general and department heads in the government, encouraging them to improve. immunization in the public sector. .
The circular, dated October 27, said: “Discussions are underway with stakeholders and unions to consider the introduction of a mandatory vaccination mandate, within the parameters of OSH. [occupational health and safety] direction in the event that voluntary participation does not increase to an acceptable level as set by the Ministry of Health.
Makhasi also encouraged departments to develop awareness and share credible information about vaccinations with employees.
DPSA Director of Communications Moses Mushi confirmed the authenticity of the circular.
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“We are not saying that we are going to make it mandatory now or if the numbers do not improve. We are saying that we are in discussion with all relevant stakeholders, including workers.”
Earlier this year, the Department of Employment and Labor released the revised Occupational Health and Safety Measures Directive on workplace vaccinations.
The guidelines state that employers must perform a workplace risk assessment for Covid-19, based on operational needs. Employees and employers must also find a reasonable solution when employees refuse to be vaccinated for medical and constitutional reasons.
Constitutional grounds can include the rights to bodily integrity and freedom of religion. The medical reasons could be those that could have an immediate allergic reaction to a previous dose or a known (diagnosed) allergy to a component of the Covid-19 vaccine.
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The guidelines urged companies to find reasonable ways to accommodate those who refused to be vaccinated.
As of Wednesday, 14,991,375 people had been vaccinated. This number did not include the number of young people aged 12 to 17 who were also eligible for vaccination.
If the government goes ahead with mandatory vaccinations, it will join Discovery Health and the University of Cape Town (UCT).
Last week, UCT announced that the mandatory vaccination would go into effect on January 1 of next year.