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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

What you said: Scrap the idea of vaccine passports

17 September 2021

The idea of a vaccine passport to allow people to enter certain events and venues has sparked a lot of debate, with readers saying the idea should be scrapped.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday the health department was considering implementing vaccine passports “which can be used as evidence of vaccination for various purposes and events so people are able to demonstrate they’ve been vaccinated”.

He said the sooner citizens are vaccinated, the sooner the country can open up sports venues to spectators and open tourism fully.

Some welcomed the move, saying those who are vaccinated must be afforded some privileges.

Others accused the government of forcing the jab on citizens and threatened to boycott the ANC in local government elections on November 1 in protest.

The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said it was expecting to receive complaints about the Covid-19 vaccination passports, and said it would monitor how it is implemented.

“We are anticipating that we will receive complaints. How we intervene will depend on how the passport will be used,” said SAHRC chairperson Prof Bongani Majola.

“If the vaccination passport is used to say, ‘if you do not vaccinate you will not go to school or you can’t go to the clinic’, it may be problematic, because you will be dealing with a situation where the passport appears to be interfering with an existing right,” added Majola.

TimesLIVE ran a poll this week asking readers if they thought we needed a vaccine passport in SA.

62% said the idea should be scrapped, while 34% said it was needed.

4% said vaccine passports would likely be forged anyway.

On social media, the idea was met with scepticism and backlash.

“I do want to take the vaccine but I am still doing my research about it, which may take about 10-20 years. I don't trust these guys,” wrote Justin Ntlhoro.

“I will get a fake one anyway,” added Griffiths Mathentwa

Gill Rall was in favour of the idea and wrote: “We have to have drivers' licences for the road, gun licences, and may other documents permitting you to practise your professions. They were instituted to protect us, and a community initiative. People hate to comply with laws where in civilised countries people obey for the good of all.

“We humans want to do as we please, to have freedom, which in reality is the exact thing that is bringing us down. That expression, give a man enough rope and he will hang himself. We create our own misery.”

Source: Times Live

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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