Industrial health care clinics in the South African clothing manufacturing industry have been certified as COVID-19 vaccine roll-out campaign sites.
The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) welcomes this as an important step forward to significantly ramp up vaccinations of industrial workers in our country.
It is the first industrial health care clinics in the country to be so accredited.
On Friday 3 July 2021, the first vaccination pilot run was conducted at our Bolton Hall health care clinic, situated in the SACTWU building in Durban.
This pilot was completed in collaboration with officials from the Department of Health (DOH), when 15 clothing workers were successfully vaccinated.
Our industry health care clinics are self-managed by our trade union and our employer counterparts, and have been delivering primary healthcare services to SACTWU members for many decades.
The first of these clinics were established as far back as 1942, and are currently managed as a value-added service of the clothing industry bargaining council.
Combined, they have the capacity to vaccinate 6000 workers per week immediately, increasing to at least 15 000 per week within two weeks of commencement.
The next step is for the DOH to allocate the vaccines in appropriate quantities to our clinics and to unlock linkage to the Electronic Vaccine Data System (EVDS), whereafter the full vaccination rollout process is expected to commence in earnest.
This exciting development follows on the recent conclusion of successful negotiations for a historic COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Framework Agreement for our industry, which was signed between SACTWU and all clothing employer associations in April this year.
Part of this Framework Agreement states that we will make available our industry health care clinics and its qualified medical staff to assist with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout campaign.
We regard this as an important development to not only help combat the spread of the pandemic, but also to use the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to build infrastructure and medical technical skills to support progress towards the establishment of a National Health Insurance (NHI) in South Africa.
If further comment or information is required, kindly contact the SACTWU Deputy General Secretary, Mr Membinkosi Vilina, on cell number 081 5853798