Students and staff at Rhodes University will be required to produce proof of vaccination to gain access to the campus. This mandatory vaccination rule which was approved by the university’s council will be implemented in 2022.
“Based on an analysis of the law and information drawn from the higher education sector, it was submitted that having assessed risks, Rhodes University had a responsibility to ensure that employees and students are protected and that all the necessary precautionary measures are in place,” a university statement read.
The university said it was preparing for the full return of students and staff in 2022.
“The vaccination requirement also applies as a condition for registration for all students, as well as for staff working on campus, service providers and visitors. A recommendation for an exemption application process and an alternative health status process for those who cannot take the vaccine on medical or other legitimate and justifiable grounds, was also approved.”
All applications for the exemption will be evaluated by a team. If the exemption is successful then one of the requirements may be for the student or staff member to produce a negative Covid-19 test result on a weekly basis. This would be at the cost of the student, staff member, visitor or service provider concerned in specific circumstances.
The university said most of the decisions made by the council were based on the assumption of a resumption of face-to-face university activities, and the need to mitigate safety and health risks to students, staff, service providers and members of the community of Makhanda.
“Council agreed that the purpose of the limitations to access is to reduce onwards transmission, reduce the risk of ongoing mutations, relieve the pressure on the limited health facilities in the city, protect healthcare workers, and to mitigate the risk of severe disease, hospitalisation and death,” the university said.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the University of Cape Town Council approved in-principle to make vaccination mandatory for all staff and students as a condition of campus access for the 2022 academic year.
UCT Spokesperson Elijah Moholola said the proposal required that all staff, as a condition of being able to perform their duties, and students as a condition of registration, provide acceptable proof of having been vaccinated against Covid-19.