The Department of Civil Service and Administration (DPSA) is thinking about a variety of alternatives to increase Covid-19 vaccination uptake in South Africa — consisting of compulsory vaccinations for federal government employees.

In a circular sent out to department heads and director generals today, pointed out the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) instruction released in June 2021 which will permit companies to present necessary vaccinations in South Africa, based on specific requirements.

Following this, the department stated that it was holding conversations around the following:

  • Propositions are under factor to consider to increase the voluntary uptake of vaccines by public servants through advocacy by interacting the advantages of vaccination;
  • Discussions are continuous with stakeholders and continuous with stakeholders and arranged labour to think about the intro of a compulsory vaccine required, in addition to the specifications of the OHS instructions in case the voluntary upgrade does not increase to an appropriate level as set by the Department of Health;
  • Departments will be notified of advancements in this regard on a constant basis.
Unions dissatisfied

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has actually currently knocked the circular and showed that it will not support obligatory vaccinations for federal government employees.

The Cosatu-affiliated union stated that vaccines have actually contributed significantly in securing individuals from extreme health problems, hospitalisations and deaths. Nevertheless, it stated that required vaccinations were not the response.

” The nationwide union is surprised and entirely disgusted by the circular provided by DPSA on obligatory vaccination of public servants. We should possibly advise DPSA in case they have amnesia that South Africa is a constitutional democracy and the Constitution is the supreme unwritten law which can not be broken by anybody even the President of the Republic.”

” There are recognized bargaining councils where conditions of service in the general public service are pondered on and accepted. It is extremely regrettable that DPSA saw it essential to misinform workers versus the dedication of President Ramaphosa who on record had actually guaranteed the nation that nobody will be required to take the vaccine.”

The union included that the DPSA had actually not correctly consulted it on the suggested modification.

” Indeed, the union supports the federal government efforts to have actually all staff members immunized however not at the cost of their constitutional right and can not be required. As Nehawu, we have actually long gotten in touch with the federal government to take the vaccine to individuals to guarantee that a growing number of South Africans are immunized.

” Whilst we support the vaccination program, our view is that it ought to not be required down the throats of public servants. Employees have rights and should be sought advice from on any matter that worries their conditions of service and it can not be appropriate for the company to unilaterally alter these conditions.”