Johannesburg - A growing opposition to a ’vaccine passport’ has erupted on social media with many South Africans calling it a violation of civil liberties.
The strong stance online against these ’vaccine passports’ have now evolved into a call for protests across the country this Saturday.
A tweet with posters for the protests in the different cities was published by Lonwabo Mfundisi on Twitter on Sunday night, shortly after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the movement of the country to lockdown level 2.
It read: “It’s time to rise the #VaccinePassport are here. Let's put down the keyboard and be at these venues. Vaxx or not vaxxed your freedoms are being taken slowly. Retweet.”
A ’vaccine passport’ is a certification of either vaccination status or immunity following a natural infection that confirms you no longer pose a risk to others.
Advocate Vuyani Ngalwana said the vaccine passport was “BS” and “opaque political speak”.
“I will not be forced to carry a pass in SA in the 21st century. NO,” he posted.
While many supported the opposing stance, some brushed off the call for protests as just another Twitter rant.
Twitter poster, Ernie @Mohlakeng3 called on the SA Police Service to investigate.
“There we go again, @SAPoliceService we are tired with loot instigators hiding behind rallies. Please investigate this guys. Rona re batla ho lo berekela future of our kids and they busy disturbing the peace. Tsek.”
Some of the reactions:
We don't need that we just have to do what we did to apartheid to this government that is controlled by 666 we will never die even if they Separate our souls with our bodies sizapikra one way fusek lwabish #VaccinePassport pic.twitter.com/kBw9HhvT5F— LukhanyoSr (@LukhanyoSr) September 13, 2021
#VaccinePassport Has there ever been a vaccine in history, which forced people to carry passports wherever they go, where people were given incentives to take a jab, where they were fired for refusing? Where in the history has this ever happened, please tell me— #NoToVaccine (@FBaleti) September 13, 2021
Imagine if ARV takers were subjected to an ARV passport?— BMacM (@1BMacM) September 13, 2021
What so special about Corona?
Covid was brought in SA in March 2020, we live till today!
What has been protecting us all along?
All of a sudden we need trial vaccines because the manufacturers say so!?#VaccinePassport pic.twitter.com/dyZ6Tk2vYR
During a weekly vaccine update last Friday, Health Minister Joe Phaahla said South Africans who were vaccinated against Covid-19 would probably be issued with digital vaccination certificates in about a week’s time.
He said ’vaccine passports’ would probably be non-negotiable.
“Covid-19 passports are likely to be non-negotiable in a post-Covid-19 world. Exactly how the world goes about it, is still up in the air. Regardless of this, the news that South Africans will soon have access to a digital health certificate is good news all around, " he said.
Phaahla said the certificate would be available through a person’s smartphone, and could then also be printed out.
However, it's not only South Africans who are against carrying a vaccine passport.
UK changes its mind
The UK government recently dropped its plan to make people in England show vaccine passports to enter crowded events such as nightclubs.
UK Health minister Sajid Javid announced the u-turn, saying the government did not view the move as necessary in the current virus situation, citing high vaccine uptake.
Javid also said that the idea of compulsory showing of documentation at leisure venues made him uncomfortable.