Nedlac recommends mandatory vaccination at workplaces

It’s understood labour and business see eye-to-eye on this matter and made recommendations to Natjoints, which will be discussed at this week’s National Coronavirus Command Council meeting.

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JOHANNESBURG - The National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) has recommended to government that vaccine mandates should be implemented at workplaces and that some venues be only accessible to vaccinated persons.

This was confirmed by both Labour and Employment Minister Thulas Nxesi and Nedlac executive director Lisa Seftel during its 26th annual summit under way on Tuesday.

It’s understood labour and business see eye-to-eye on this matter and made recommendations to Natjoints, which will be discussed at this week’s National Coronavirus Command Council meeting.

South Africa is currently in its fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and government has been continuing with discussions over mandatory vaccine use, with President Cyril Ramaphosa - who is on a West Africa tour - telling journalists he was expecting to hear from the task team leading the consultations on Wednesday.

Nxesi said Nedlac’s rapid response task team believed vaccines remained the most effective tool to fight the pandemic and lockdowns.

“The health and safety direction of the Department of Employment and Labour should be strengthened so that vaccination can become mandatory where a risk assessment at workplace requires this,” he said.

He added that Nedlac discussions also called for the access to some places and events - particularly in the hospitality sector - to be restricted to only the vaccinated, but that government must simplify its position on public gatherings.

“Regulations on maximum gatherings in venues and events should be simplified. Provision of ventilation added and enforcement strengthened, so that social distancing can be adhered to.”