The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) says it plans to approach the Constitutional Court next week to seek a declaratory order on the issue of mandatory vaccination.
The order constitutes a declaration of rights between parties to a dispute and is binding to both present and future rights.
SAFTU’s decision comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa recently hinted at the possibility of government introducing mandatory vaccination a step once seen as politically impossible.
It has been rejected by some unions and opposition parties. SAFTU General-Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says they are concerned that the government’s plan could enable companies to use mandatory vaccination to reduce the workforce.
On Thursday Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said the cabinet has not yet tabled any recommendations on mandatory vaccination in the country.
He said Deputy President David Mabuza is heading the team that will look at ways to make sure that South Africans are encouraged to take the COVID-19 vaccines but there have not been any recommendations for a mandatory process by the Cabinet.
Briefing the media on the outcomes of the virtual Cabinet meeting held this week, Gungubele says people are encouraged to take the vaccines.
“On the mandatory vaccine, no recommendations were tabled and all we are looking at is the entire information on the implications of the mandatory stuff. You see, to say it safely, it’s so clear to a number of us that you need a policy that encourages vaccination and you need a policy that discourages cynicism towards the vaccine,” says Gungubele.
Gungubele update on outcomes of Wednesday’s cabinet meeting: