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Western Cape Universities share mandatory vaccine policies for 2022

Published Dec 1, 2021


CAPE TOWN - While other Western Cape Universities have given signs that they will move towards mandatory vaccinations for staff and students in 2022, Cape Peninsula University (CPUT) is encouraging voluntary vaccinations.

UWC Council became the first to approve an interim Covid-19 vaccination policy for next year.

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The policy has a “soft mandate” where all staff and students will have to be vaccinated in order to enter campus, attend any University events and also apply to the placement of students at all its residences.

The “hard mandate” will require students in certain faculties and programmes to be vaccinated in order to register at UWC.

According to UWC spokesperson Gasant Abarder, a lengthy multi-stakeholder consultative process involving engaging students, staff and experts took place.

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“Where an employee, student, service provider, or visitor seeks an exemption from the policy, they must apply for such exemption, setting out in detail the nature and reasons for their application for exemption. Any application for exemption will be dealt with by a committee and a decision made based on verifiable objective evidence,” said Abarder.

CPUT Spokesperson Lauren Kansley said the university has not reached a final decision on the matter, although the issue is being discussed in consultative multi-stakeholder meetings.

“To date our preference has been to encourage voluntary vaccinations, and recently we have also undertaken a campaign to encourage vaccination through VOOMA vaccination days which included competitions and mobile vaccination drives. We await the outcome of the consultation processes before executive management finalizes this critical matter,” she said.

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Stellenbosch University Rector and Vice-Chancellor Wim de Villiers said the university intends to publish a vaccination rule requiring proof of vaccination as a condition to register or to remain registered as a student, and to govern the employment of staff members.

According to De Villiers a compulsory risk assessment was conducted and found that the risk of transmission and the risk of severe Covid-19 at the University was high.

“A draft vaccination rule is currently being considered by the University’s management, after which it will follow a process of internal and public consultation. Upon the completion of the internal and public consultation process, the draft rule, revised as necessary, will be presented to the relevant SU institutional bodies and finally to Council to consider and approve,” said De Villiers.

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If approved by Council, it will in all probability become effective from the start of the second quarter of 2022 onwards.

UCT is expected to have its council meeting on Saturday.

Cape Times

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