Dear B4SA and business colleagues
There are few issues more topical, important or urgent for South Africa than mandatory vaccination. As things currently stand, vaccination rates are well below the desired rate of 300,000+ per day, which would significantly lessen the scale and impact of a fourth wave over December.
And time is running out. For anyone to be fully vaccinated in time for the festive season, they must get their first Pfizer shot by 20 October, and it is now increasingly unlikely that 70% of adults will have had their first jab before then. In addition, there appears to be growing apathy towards the vaccination: the Gauteng province, for instance, recently reported that a million people had not returned to get their second jab. In our view, a combination of mandatory vaccination policies, as well as incentives, are going to be necessary alongside the demand generation communications and mobilisation campaign, to get as many people as possible vaccinated.
We appreciate that some people feel that their rights may be infringed on with the introduction of vaccine mandates, but, as Dr Ron Whelan from Discovery pointed out in Friday’s B4SA webinar on the topic, all employees have rights – not only the unvaccinated ones. Employers and businesses too, have rights, as well as a legal and moral obligation to provide a safe workplace and safe services to customers.
Read more: B4SA weekly update 12 Oct 21