File picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)

Government looking into ’soft incentives’ to encourage Covid-19 vaccination, says Joe Phaahla

By Rudolph Nkgadima Time of article published Sep 3, 2021

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Health Minister Joe Phaahla says that the government is looking at "soft incentives" to encourage vaccination, but don’t expect monetary rewards.

This comes at a time when many South Africans are reluctant to get vaccinated due to fear or suspicion of its efficacy.

Phaahla was speaking at a media briefing at the Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital along with Gauteng health MEC, Nomathemba Mokgethi and US Embassy officials, on Friday morning .

Phaahla said: “The SA government is looking into "soft incentives" to encourage vaccination. It is exploring free entertainment, sports events (such as soccer games), and cultural events that people will be able to attend if they agree to be vaccinated.”

“The government's priority is to convince people to come forward for vaccination voluntarily. It's not currently our priority to mandate it. But we are aware of the debate around this, and we encourage businesses to implement policies that are within the law,” he said.

Phaahla added that the government was making progress with a system for people without IDs (such as undocumented migrants), who want to get vaccinated to be able to do so.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape government announced on Wednesday that visitors who ae partially or fully vaccinated, may enter provincially sponsored museums free of charge,

’’I see no better way to responsibly celebrate this Heritage Month than by incentivising vaccinated residents to visit our provincial museums. It is for this reason that I welcome the Western Cape Government’s announcement that, for the month of September, visitors partially or fully vaccinated may enter provincially sponsored museums free of charge,’’ said Reagan Allen, the Western Cape spokesperson for cultural affairs and sport.

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