Students passing at Wits Main campus.Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng
Students passing at Wits Main campus.Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

Mandatory jab policies remain on the cards at varsities, other institutions of higher learning

By Harvest Thwala Time of article published Dec 2, 2021

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The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) said they are still in consultations about Covid-19 mandatory vaccination policies.

Despite some universities announcing their approval of the mandatory vaccination policy, public and private Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges are still engaging on what should be done.

Spokesperson of the Department of Higher Education and Training, Ishmael Mnisi, said: “I am not aware if the government have approved the mandatory vaccination policy for the universities that have (been) announced, but what I know is that they are still consulting around the matter.”

On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the government would “undertake broad consultations on making vaccination mandatory”.

The proposed higher institution mandatory vaccination policy requires that all staff, as a condition of being able to perform their duties, and students, as a condition of registration, provide acceptable proof of having been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Westwood college campus manager, Ntokozo Ngcobo said they hadn’t received any instruction from the department with regards to mandatory vaccination policy.

“We take instructions from the department but for now nothing has been said. Should they instruct us to do so, we will follow the protocols because we don’t want our licence to be taken away,” he said.

IOL contacted some of the public Tvet colleges. They said they couldn’t respond due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Mnisi said as soon as the consultations had been finalised, the public would be informed of the outcome.

“We work according to the government hierarchy where the National Coronavirus Council will pass the regulation. After that, the president will speak to the ministers and address the country. Once that has been done, the ministers will then speak to university managers. ”

“The policies and practices that will be placed in the higher institutions will be in line with those recommended by the county executive, public health commissioner and public health experts,” he said.

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