The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) welcomes the National Department of Health’s (NDOH) decision to immediately open up the COVID-19 vaccination rollout programme for over 18-year old workers.
SACTWU has recently made a public call for this to happen, and is pleased that this is now a concrete reality.
This decisive special exemption for industrial and other workers is despite the previously conveyed decision that general vaccination processes for over 18’s will only open from 1st September 2021.
The decision was conveyed in a written circular issued on Monday 26 July 2021, by the Office of the Director of Health. The relevant provision from the circular states as follows:
“Workplace vaccination through Occupation Health Services (OHS) has thus far been restricted to vaccinating according to the national programme age cohorts but this limitation has been lifted in advance of the opening of the last population cohort to include all workers at a workplace over 18 years of age, with immediate effect”.
In our view, this excellent development will contribute significantly to our country’s focused objective to achieve population immunity as soon as possible.
Importantly, it will also contribute to much needed higher economic productivity, in that the anticipated outcome will boost the health well-being of all workers, the main drivers of productive activity.
We appreciate the role that COSATU has played to achieve this special outcome.
Key now is for the authorities to ensure sufficient vaccine availability to meet the expected and inevitable inoculation increased demand.
We are determined to take full advantage of this opportunity by helping to significantly and immediately ramp up COVID-19 vaccination programs in all the qualifying workplaces where our members are employed.
If further information or comment is required, kindly contact Mr Membinkosi Vilina, SACTWU Deputy General Secretary, on cell number 081 585 3798.