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UCT senate to vote on mandatory vaccinations

UCT Student representative council member Retshedisitswe Molefe at the vaccination site. Picture: Supplied

UCT Student representative council member Retshedisitswe Molefe at the vaccination site. Picture: Supplied

Published Sep 21, 2021


Cape Town - The UCT senate will this week vote on a motion of whether to make vaccination mandatory at the institution or not.

The decision to vote was taken on Friday during a senate meeting, where discussions were also held online with students and staff members on the issue.

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UCT spokesperson Elijah Moholola said the senate had considered a proposal on mandatory vaccination at the meeting.

Moholola said the senate deliberated on the complex matter fully, taking into consideration a range of views. The senate would conduct voting on the matter via an electronic ballot.

He said UCT reiterated that any final decision on a matter of policy for the university would have to be a decision of the university council.

"If taken forward, any decision on the proposal will ultimately be made by the council as the university’s highest decision-making body. Council will consider the proposal thoroughly before coming to any decision," said Moholola.

He said UCT would provide further updates once the electronic voting by the senate has taken place. The university continued to encourage students and staff to get vaccinated.

This after more than 130 UCT professors and academics recently endorsed a proposal for mandatory vaccination at the university.

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Meanwhile, the Student Representative Council (SRC) conducted its own survey, giving students an opportunity to share their views on the matter.

SA Union of Students (Saus) spokesperson Asive Dlanjwa encouraged students to get vaccinated, as they believed this was one of the most critical steps in the fight against Covid-19, and that it would protect them, their families and society at large.

Dlanjwa said it would further edge students towards returning to full contact learning.

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"We must, however, vehemently oppose the coercing and bullying of students and workers through mandatory vaccinations by universities. Let the constitutional agency and right of students to choose to vaccinate be protected and upheld," said Dlanjwa.

He said institutions of higher learning were terrains of views, debates and science.

"We therefore implore universities to engage students intellectually, persuading them through reason, facts and science, and not through these draconian tendencies."

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