Western Cape premier Alan Winde says his provincial government is considering its stance on mandatory vaccinations and looking into implementing such a policy for its staff.
Responding to questions in an ad hoc committee meeting on Covid-19 on Friday, Winde confirmed the provincial government was in talks over the issue.
“Yes, we are having that discussion amongst our own staff within our departments. What should we be doing? What is our stance on it? How do we deal with this?”
Winde referred to the recent announcement by financial services group Discovery that vaccinations would be mandatory for staff and service providers working in its buildings from next year.
The premier said his government had previously received several emails from Western Cape residents who requested to get vaccinated before their age groups were eligible, as this was required by the countries they would have to travel to for work.
“There are parts of the world where it is mandatory — even if you want to book an air ticket, [they ask] do you have your vaccine or a vaccine passport?”
Winde pointed out that certain countries already required visitors to be vaccinated for diseases like yellow fever before getting their visa.
The premier has advocated for an e-passport or e-record that could show the vaccination status of a person, as a physical card system would not be sufficient.
“There needs to be some mechanism of recording it properly and linking it through to the EVDS system, so that you can actually have it on your phone,” Winde said. He added the solution could be a QR-based system.
Winde said there was also the incentive side of the debate that needed to be considered, referring specifically to Game stores which are now offering 10% discounts on all products to vaccinated persons on Wednesdays.
The Western Cape’s department of arts and culture has taken a similar approach, offering free access to its museums for visitors that show their vaccination card.
Below is the full recording of the Western Cape government’s ad hoc committee meeting on Covid-19 on 3 September 2021.