Mandatory vaccines are starting to be adopted by multiple universities. While some have welcomed this decision, some student organisations and unions are not all in.
South African Union of Students (SAUS) says that students should be protected and it is their constitutional imperative to choose whether they agree to do as the new policy requires of them.
The University Johannesburg has recently followed suit, as other tertiary institutions, by taking the mandatory vaccination route.
Other institutions that have taken this decision include the University of Cape Town, Rhodes University, University of Western Cape, University of the Free State, and the University of the Witswatersrand prior to the upcoming academic year.
The University of Stellenbosch and the University of Pretoria are currently on the other side of the fence.
The University of Johannesburg, did a survey to inform their decision around mandatory vaccinations and the majority of the students were opposed to the mandatory vaccinations,” said South African Union of Students national spokesperson Asive Dlanjwa.
SAUS has labeled this act as being Draconian and underhanded’.
Nationally, Student Representatives Councils said that they were not ‘sufficiently consulted’ as the institutions were in the process of deciding on mandatory vaccinations in institutions of higher learning.
Dlanjwa clarifies that as a union they are in full support of students receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, however, they are against vaccination being mandatory.
They even partnered up with Higher Health in the campaigns that they ran as they had drives throughout South Africa.
SAUS said if the universities are not willing to listen to them – having reasonable and substantive arguments through debate.
Dlanjwa expressed how this will force their hand to do whatever is necessary to ensure that all students have access to their campuses at the beginning of the academic year.
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