A number of traditional universities across South Africa have adopted the vaccination mandate, that will be implemented in January 2022 at the earliest.
The University of Free State says it had firstly consulted widely before adopting a mandatory vaccination policy.
This follows a declaration by the 26-member vice-chancellors body, Universities South Africa.
Universities South Africa CEO, Ahmed Bawa says that universities are desperate for students to go back to campus.
“It's on that basis that individual universities have made choices about the way in which they will bring the students back,” says Bawa.
The bottom line is the issue around safety, ensuring that the occupational safety act is obeyed and ensuring that there aren’t severe outbreaks on campuses.
Spokesperson of the South African Union of Students Asive Dlanjwa says that they are not opposed to the vaccinations, rather they have been working tirelessly getting students to vaccinate but have a problem when students are being forced to be vaccinated against their will.
“Science and intellectual debate and persuasion should be used to persuade students to vaccinate,” says Dlanjwa.
Dlanjwa further mentions that all that is needed is to sufficiently converse with people as to why they should be able to take the vaccines.
Debates around whether this is a smart move for universities or not still carry on.