- MTN, Africa's largest network operator, has announced that from January 2022 all its employees will have to be vaccinated unless they have a valid reason to be exempt
- MTN's CEO, Ralph Mupita, says that scientific evidence of the vaccine curbing severe experiences of Covid-19 drove the company to adopt the mandate
- Mupita acknowledged that many African countries have a short supply of vaccine doses, an issue he feels needs to be addressed urgently
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JOHANNESBURG - Network operator MTN has announced that it has implemented a vaccine mandate for its employees from January 2022. Unless MTN employees have a valid reason to remain unvaccinated, they must get the jab or risk being fired.
Ralph Mupita, MTN's CEO, said that the decision to institute a company-wide vaccine mandate is rooted in scientific evidence that vaccinated people are protected from hospitalisation, severe symptoms and Covid-related deaths.
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"Our new Covid-19 policy recognises that some of our markets don’t have adequate access to vaccines. It also recognises some low-risk roles that will be accommodated with full-time work-from-home or alternate arrangements, but this will be a small population within our workforce," Mupita said.
Consequences of MTN's vaccine mandate
MTN's vaccine mandate follows fellow companies Old Mutual and Standard Bank adopted vaccine mandates for their employees. President Ramaphosa's vaccine mandate task team are in the process of figuring out how the policy will be implemented, News24 reports.
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Mupita expressed his concern about vaccine inequality on the African continent compared to the Global North. He said that while his company are making vaccines compulsory, he knows that many African countries where MTN also operates do not have access to adequate numbers of vaccine doses.
According to BusinessTech, Mupita concluded that the travel bans which many western countries recently placed on several southern African countries, including South Africa, is not based on science, but rather on fears and stereotypes. He argues that Africa needs to be supported for the sake of globally eliminating Covid-19.
South Africa shares their opinions on MTN's vaccine mandate
"The court cases following this across the African continent and other countries where MTN are, will be interesting to follow."
"Excellent news. Well done MTN, I hope all the other companies in South Africa follow."
"I smell a boycott coming. These businesses need us at the end of the day, not the other way around."
"When they are done firing them, if they need a vaccinated IT technician, I'm here."
"I think companies should provide absolute prove that the vaccines work. And should then be held liable for any adverse effects."
"Finally some job opportunities for unemployed graduates."
Vaccinated people must be protected from COVID-19 exposure
Previously Briefly News reported that Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, the deputy health minister, has stated that unvaccinated people must not be granted the opportunity to expose vaccinated people to Covid-19.
Dhlomo's statement follows President Ramaphosa's address to South Africans on Sunday (28 Nov) where he announced that a task team was working on a policy to institute a vaccine mandate at certain venues and for specific situations.
“A collective right becomes superior to an individual right. We will not deny you to stay at home if you so wish but you can't force yourself into a taxi of 10 other people who are vaccinated if you refuse to vaccinate but you want to travel with them to work," Dhlomo said.
Source: Briefly News