South Africa: President Awaits Report On Possible Introduction of Vaccine Mandates

President Cyril Ramaphosa (file photo).

President Cyril Ramaphosa is awaiting a report on South Africa's possible introduction of vaccine mandates.

"We are expecting a report from the Task Team we have set up as well as the Inter-Ministerial Council," said the President on Sunday.

The President emphasised the need to act with speed "so that Cabinet can take a decision on the matter."

This as the country faces a rising wave of COVID-19 infections.

"When the National Coronavirus Council Committee meets, I am expecting a report from the Task team that we have set up. Of course, it could be slowed down by the intensity of consultations and talking to various sectors of society and if that is the report, I am willing to allow that to ensue but we cannot waste too much time on that," he said.

The President said that he is expecting the turnaround time to be quick. However, he did not close the door on consultations. "I will listen to that and if needs be, I will also be willing to engage with some of those constituencies."

He said he would like to see discussion around making vaccination mandatory.

"I would like a discussion to ensue in the country. We live in a country where a number of people have strong views for and against mandatory vaccination. My task as a leader is to nudge everyone in the same direction and through the dialogue that we should have, hopefully we will get everyone to move in the direction where we will all be aware as South Africans about the danger of being unvaccinated."

He reiterated that vaccines are the strongest weapon against the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I believe very strongly in vaccinations and they are one of our strongest weapons against COVID-19. I believe that we should give our people a chance so that they can go through this and see the dangers of not being vaccinated."

State Visit to Ghana

The President who is on a four-nation visit of West Africa, wrapped up his State Visit to the Republic of Ghana on Sunday.

"The engagements between ourselves as Presidents and our delegations were just outstanding; they were not the usual stale type of State discussions. There were a lot of discussion, innovation, new ideas that came to the fore, and we have been able to consolidate our relationship. We gave meaning and life to the Bi-national Commission (BNC).

He said that when South Africa and Ghana meets in two years' time again, the two countries will be able to take the relationship to another level.

"For me the cherry on top was getting the Business Council to be a substructure of the BNC, where each time we meet we will have business not just being an appendage, but being part of the discussions. [Business] will be able to raise issues of concern, issues that have got to do with a conducive climate and lack thereof for them to do business," said President Ramaphosa.

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