Ramaphosa said government had eased regulations on the movement of people and that was “something that we should take in our stride”. Asked about making vaccines compulsory, Ramaphosa revealed that discussions within government were taking place.
He said, like other countries, the government was discussing making vaccinations mandatory. “It is a debate, as we all know, that is happening throughout the country as well. It is global and happening in various parts of the world and so we are becoming part of this process and we are also mindful of what the constitution says about the rights that our people have.”
Ramaphosa said at the beginning of the pandemic, he told South Africans that no-one would be forced to get vaccinated.. “But at the same time we are finding that organisations such as companies, are saying that in order for us to perform at pre-Covid levels, in our company we now need to make it mandatory for people to be vaccinated. We are saying we understand that.”
However, he said the matter should be up for discussion. “The trade union movement is not responding positively to this compulsion and we have political parties in our country who are against it, so we have to navigate our way around this one very carefully because it also impacts on the constitutional rights of our people.
“We are discussing it in government and I would want to say that to the extent that people want to make it compulsory, let us engage first with our workers and customers.” He admitted there was still apathy, with the number of people volunteering to get vaccinated decreasing.