JUST IN | Nedlac backs mandatory Covid-19 jabs and restricting the unvaccinated from public events, South Africa


The National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) has thrown its support behind restricting public gatherings to vaccinated persons, and businesses only allowing vaccinated employees to access their place of work.

Nedlac executive director Lisa Seftel announced this at the council twenty-sixth annual national summit on Tuesday morning. Her address comes as the country has been plunged into a fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic with cases surging due to the new Omicron variant.

While President Cyril Ramaphosa maintained lockdown level 1 during his last update to the country, government has been considering the possibility and modalities around vaccination mandates, while South Africans are also expecting lockdown restrictions to be tightened.

Various businesses have already taken the initiative to introduce a mandatory vaccination requirement from their employees if they wish to access their place of work or, in some cases, keep their jobs.

Seftel said while government has introduced a number of interventions to assist households and businesses during the economic fallout of the pandemic, it will be government’s duty to get more South Africans vaccinated, which will get the economy back on course for recovery.

“The most important measures that all social partners agree on is that ramping up vaccinations, including through positive and negative incentives, is critical, as well as the ongoing promotions of pharmaceutical interventions,” said Seftel.

Seftel said business was not supportive of large gatherings which have the potential to spread Covid-19 and that events and public gatherings should continue to restrict those that have not yet been vaccinated for Covid-19.

“The social partners have agreed, that is organised business, labour and community, that to promote vaccination and protect the country from lockdown, workplaces should require employees to be vaccinated to enable occupational health and safety and that access should be restricted to certain venues and gatherings only to vaccinated persons,” Seftel said.

She said this recommendation from Nedlac has been referred to government’s National Joint Operational Intelligence Structure.

Labour and Employment Minister Thulas Nxesi has also confirmed that Nedlac has recommended that mandatory vaccinations should be implemented in workplaces and access to certain venues should be allowed only to those who are vaccinated.

Source: fin24