Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng
Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

Planning on studying next year? These are SA's tertiary institutions that require you to be vaxxed

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Dec 4, 2021

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Durban - The University of Johannesburg is the latest tertiary institution to adopt a mandatory Covid-19 policy.

To date, several higher learning institutions around the country have signed mandatory vaccine policies, stipulating that students and staff need to be vaccinated.

On Friday, UJ said at its meeting last month, the UJ Council resolved that all the university’s campuses and facilities would be mandatory vaccination sites from January 2022.

"The vaccination policy states that staff, post-doctoral research fellows, and students will need to provide UJ with their vaccination status – first vaccination completed or fully vaccinated – before gaining access to any campus or facility. These measures also apply to ad hoc contractors, identified stakeholders and visitors," UJ said.

According to UJ's manager of strategic communication, Herman Esterhuizen, this outcome would ensure that the university’s staff, post-doctoral research fellows and students have optimal access to the university’s precincts for purposes of working, learning, research, laboratory, and clinical work while protecting the health and safety of the university community and its stakeholders.

He said the need for optimal access to the campuses and facilities had become crucial in part because of the socio economic circumstances of the university’s students. Additionally, some learning programmes require in-person engagement for research and experiential learning.

"Exemptions, based on medical or religious grounds, will be considered. It is important to note, however, that UJ will balance the rights of individuals against the collective rights of the broader university and the surrounding community. As the collective rights take precedence, the rights of individuals may be limited, in terms of section 36 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996," he said.

So far, the University of the Free State, Rhodes University, the University of Cape Town, the University of the Western Cape and the University of the Witwatersrand have all confirmed the implementation of a mandatory vaccination policy.

IOL previously reported that 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.


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