Ramaphosa is looking for ways to restart South Africa’s economy – including vaccine passports

 ·2 Sep 2021

President Cyril Ramaphosa has directed his cabinet members to look at possible innovations which could assist the resumption of activities in South Africa, says minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele.

Addressing media on Thursday (2 September), Gungubele said that this includes the possible introduction of a Covid-19 vaccine passport and other incentives which have been drawn for both local and international examples.

He cited the example of Limpopo Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba whose department held discussions with liquor traders in the province about refusing to sell alcohol to unvaccinated customers.

Gungubele said that churches have also approached the government to expand the limitations on the 50 gatherings.

“The approach of the government in dealing with the measures of Covid-19 is that we must be as indiscriminate as possible. We must be as objective as possible and scientific rationale must govern us.

“The issue of vaccine passports is one of the innovative ideas that is going to be attended to as we look at a total package of ideas on how to set the country free. (These are needed) so that the economy can start flourishing,” he said.

Addressing media and parliament this week, health minister Joe Phaahla said that it is possible that certain jobs such as the services sector and the entertainment sector could require mandatory vaccines.

The health minister has also alluded to additional restrictions on South Africans who have not been vaccinated. This could include limiting the use of public amenities. The Department of Labour and Employment has already given directives allowing employers to decide on whether to make vaccination a requirement, he said.

On Wednesday (1 September), South Africa reported 9,544 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total reported to 2,787,203.

Deaths have reached 82,496 (+235), while recoveries have climbed to 2,560,605, leaving the country with a balance of 144,102 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 12,841,537 (+273,012).

Read: 5 things that will make or break South Africa over the next year: Nedbank economics chief

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