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Restoring Dignity

SAHRC receives over 50 queries in GP from staff on whether jabs are mandatory

12 August 2021

The SAHRC has received queries from staff mostly in the corporate sector asking whether their employer has the right to let them go if they refuse to get the COVID inoculation.

JOHANNESBURG - The number of complaints submitted to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) regarding whether the COVID-19 vaccine should be compulsory have now more than doubled in Gauteng, to more than 50 as more employees want to know if they can lose their jobs.

The SAHRC has received queries from staff mostly in the corporate sector asking whether their employer has the right to let them go if they refuse to get the COVID inoculation.

At the same time, companies have also raised their concerns about how to deal with those who are refusing to take the vaccine, risking the lives of other colleagues.

The commission’s Buang Jones on Wednesday said a team was currently going through all the 50 and more submitted complaints before it would be processed.

Jones said they would then make a decision on what route to follow to deal with the complaints.

“The legal team is looking into the legal questions being raised by complainants, the human rights issues and the legal team will provide advice and guidance how each complaint should be approached and dealt with.”

The commission said most of the complainants work in the corporate sector, however, they have also received a number of queries from teachers, domestic workers and security guards.

It’s not yet clear how long it will take before the commission will be able to make an assessment and recommendations on the way forward.

Meanwhile, as Gauteng continues to expand its vaccination sites in a bid to get more residents inoculated against COVID-19, Premier David Makhura said the province was ramping up its efforts to ensure equal access to vaccines to those in hard-to-reach areas.

Makhura, together with the MEC for Health Nomathemba Mokgethi are visiting vaccination sites in the Lesedi Municipality to increase the rate of vaccinations in farming communities.

Gauteng continues to lead government's mass vaccination rollout with more than 2.1 million residents having received their jabs so far.

Makhura said he was impressed by the turnout of women and young people who were driving vaccination numbers in the province.

“Women have been responding very well in Gauteng and in some regions, we’ve got real problems of men not coming out. So, we must commend women for taking steps to ensure that they are safe. And young people have been driving our [vaccination] numbers.”

Source: EWN

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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