Nedlac to approach Constitutional Court early next year over mandatory vaccination

Nedlac to approach Constitutional Court early next year over mandatory vaccination

The Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi says partners at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac)  plan to approach the Constitutional Court early next year over mandatory vaccination in South Africa.

Thulas Nxesi
File Photo: Jacaranda FM

The social partners want a declaratory order to make the vaccine mandatory at the workplace.

Nxesi delivered the keynote address at the Nedlac Annual National Summit on Tuesday morning.

He said government, business and unions want to start with the process of bringing in a Covid-19 vaccine mandate in South African companies.

Nxesi says Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has proposed heading to the highest court in the land to ensure such an order will withstand any legal tests.

The government is still discussing the possibility of introducing mandatory vaccinations in South Africa amid an increase in Covid-19 cases and with the country now in the fourth wave.

Nxesi says Cabinet referred the matter to Nedlac for input.

“The Nedlac social partners represented in the Nedlac Rapid Response Task Team believe that the promotion of vaccines remains the most significant intervention to prevent further spread of Covid19 and lockdowns.  To intensify the vaccination programme and in response to the President’s call, they have had an extensive and urgent discussion over the last week and made proposals to the government through the NatJoints that the Health and Safety Direction of the Department of Employment of Labour should be strengthened so that vaccination can become mandatory where a risk assessment at the workplace requires this,” says Nxesi.

He add that the social partners also agreed that access to certain places should be limited to only vaccinated people.

“While the social partners believe that vaccine mandates will pass constitutional scrutiny, they support the work of BUSA to get a declarator from the Constitutional Court in the New Year.

They understand that their proposals will be brought to the attention of the NCCC and other relevant government structures so that decisions can be made speedily to improve the vaccination rate and mitigate the negative impact of a fourth wave,"


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