Today's Labour News

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Busa2BL Premium reports that less than two weeks after the government signalled urgency in boosting the take-up of Covid-19 jabs, it has left the important task to businesses after saying it would seek a Constitutional Court order before making vaccination mandatory for access to certain places and activities.

At a time when SA may be forced to confront a fourth wave of infections with just a quarter of the population fully vaccinated, a social compact at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) agreed in principle that the only way out of the health pandemic was to ensure the vast majority have taken jabs. But business will bear the sole burden of implementation until the outcome of what may be a lengthy legal process. The government moved on Tuesday to encourage individual businesses, such as restaurants and hotels, to ensure staff and patrons were vaccinated, but has stalled any enforcement of vaccine mandates in public places until SA’s highest court gives the state the thumbs up.   Delivering the keynote address at the annual Nedlac summit held virtually on Tuesday, employment & labour minister Thulas Nxesi said while there was agreement among social partners that mandates would pass a constitutional test, they "support the work of Busa (Business Unity SA) to get a declarator from the Constitutional Court in the new year". Busa has in fact applied to the high court, and expects the matter to be heard only in the first quarter of 2022. The decision to turn to the courts is said to show a government that is unwilling to lead on the issue, while its ally Cosatu’s stance has also been marked by inconsistency and confusion. Cosatu has been facing a backlash from members over the impending demand for workers to vaccinate, and has welcomed the government’s decision to stall implementation.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Hajra Omarjee and Luyolo Mkentane at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)
  • Read too, State dithers about vaccine mandate while seeking direction from ConCourt, at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page