Opinions of the Day: Will you be fired for not taking the Covid-19 vaccine?

Last week Discovery, South Africa’s largest medical scheme provider, became the first corporate business to flinch and announced that it would require all of its employees to be vaccinated come 2022. It’s a massive step for business in South Africa after many large corporate businesses and government institutions in the United States already called for mandatory vaccinations earlier this year. 

But it does beg the question: “Can I be fired for not getting vaccinated?” It’s a question that Jacqui Reed answers in Business Day. Reed details what the Occupational Health and Safety Act states and how it makes provision for mandatory vaccination policies from employers. According to the act, if an employee “fails or refuses to get vaccinated, the employer will be obliged first to determine whether the employee’s objection is based on a constitutional ground (the right to freedom of religion, belief, opinion and bodily integrity) or a medical ground (severe allergic reaction).” 

Ultimately it will come down to a case by case basis and in some instances, the employer may decide to terminate employment. Yikes! 

So, Adriaan Basson argues in News24, that getting the vaccine really is your best bet, not only for added protection against the virus but also for a return to some semblance of normality. 

Basson also notes the false equivalency arguments made by anti-vaxxers. The argument that scientists and medical practitioners are split down the middle on a 50/50 basis regarding the efficacy of vaccines is just a plain lie. They aren’t – not even by a long shot. 

And Lukanyo Mnyanda writes that while the facts surrounding Covid-19 have not changed, his own mind has been by Discovery’s announcement. The Business Day editor believes that “It hardly seems unreasonable to expect a health worker who deals with people who have compromised immunities to be vaccinated.” (for subscribers)

Here’s a roundup of interesting opinions and analyses:

Rob Rose takes a look at the decision to allow Jacob Zuma to leave prison on medical parole and serve the remainder of his sentence at home. 

Justice Malala writes about the polarisation of political discourse in South Africa and the need for us to listen to each other’s perspectives lest we self-implode as a nation. 

As the debate continues around moving the State Security Agency (SSA) under the direct control of the presidency, the Mail & Guardian has two interesting pieces on the decision and its implications from writers, David Africa and Johann van der Westhuizen

There has been much movement recently on allowing independent power suppliers the opportunity to produce electricity separately from Eskom, but Chris Yelland warns the media and society not to be distracted by the smoke and mirrors. 

And with the ANC’s local government election campaign, in somewhat of a shambles, this week will become defining one for the governing party writes Carien du Plessis.

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