TRADE union federation Cosatu on Monday called for restrictions to be imposed on people who refuse to take the Covid-19 vaccines.
The federation was responding to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Sunday of the establishment of a task team to investigate, engage, and propose the modalities for requiring vaccinations at public venues and said that this was a conversation that South Africa needs to have as a matter of urgency.
”Any restrictions going forward must be imposed on those who fail to vaccinate. Those who vaccinate must be allowed to move on with life. Incentives and rewards should be used to encourage everyone to vaccinate,” Cosatu said.
According to Cosatu, it is ready to engage government on the modalities to ensure that everyone is vaccinated as workers’ lives depend on being vaccinated and cannot afford to let workers down.
The federation said although the government and the healthcare sector have done well to dispense over 25 million vaccines to more than 40% of adults or 25% of society, insufficient progress was being made in educating, persuading, and mobilising all persons to vaccinate and called for more to be done.
”This includes deploying mobile vaccine units to every shopping centre, workplace, taxi rank, train and bus station, church and mosque, township, informal area, rural town, and village,” Cosatu stated.
It added that South Africans now need collectively, as a society, to engage on requiring vaccinations to enter public spaces, malls, restaurants, events, sports.
Cosatu said it had received many complaints from retail workers, prison wardens and teachers who have vaccinated and fear for their safety as some of their colleagues have not vaccinated.
”The retail, hospitality and tourism sectors which employ almost two million workers cannot afford another festive season under lockdown,” the federation said.
It also expressed its disappointment that the government did not reduce public gatherings numbers from the 750 indoors and 2000 outdoors currently in place.
”These should be reviewed and only allowed for events where the necessary vaccinations, health and safety measures are put in place,” Cosatu said.