- President Cyril Ramaphosa called for the government to finalise its vaccine policy so that the mandate can be announced
- Ramaphosa said that implementing these policies will allow South Africa's economy to fully reopen
- In 2020, the South African economy shrank the most since 2000 and unemployment rates reached 35%
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POLOKWANE - During the African National Congress's 110th-anniversary celebrations in Limpopo on 8 January, President Cyril Ramaphosa called for the government to finalise its vaccine policy so that the mandate can be announced.
Ramaphosa said that implementing these policies will allow South Africa's economy to fully reopen and allow for financial losses during the Covid-19 pandemic to be recovered.
“The success of our economic recovery depends to a large measure on our ability to effectively manage Covid-19 as this virus is likely to remain part of our lives for the foreseeable future,” Ramaphosa said.
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The effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on South Africa's economy
In 2020 the South African economy shrank the most since 2000 and unemployment rates reached 35%, TimesLIVE reports. this is mainly due to some industries having to close down temporarily for a long period of time due to Covid-19 restrictions and the rise of unemployment causing fewer people to contribute to the economy.
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Many recently unemployed South Africans rely on the temporary social relief grant from the government. However, with this grant stopping in March 2022, recipients are calling for a permanent solution, according to News24.
The government have responded by saying that it will be difficult to implement a new grant, as the national budget is limited. This upset people who feel that it is unfair in light of corruption revelations published in the recent State Capture Report.
Reactions to the possibility of vaccine mandates being announced soon
"Stay away from mandates!"
"How many people from the ruling party are vaccinated?"
"A vaccine mandate will provide only marginal gains at the population level now and erode trust further. Vaccines should be strongly encouraged but not mandated now. The picture has changed."
SAUS opposes university vaccine mandates, protests expected
In earlier news about the vaccine mandate, Briefly News reported that The South African Union of Students (SAUS) has repeated its previous statement, which opposes the vaccine mandates that will come into effect at many South African universities when the 2022 academic year commences.
The universities that have announced this policy change so far include the University of Witwatersrand (Wits), the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the University of the Free State.
This mandate means that to access campus, students and staff will need to be fully vaccinated, but unvaccinated people can still register and access online learning. The Student Representative Council (SRC) at UWC expressed that many students are concerned about how the vaccine mandate will affect their academic careers.
Source: Briefly News