S.Africa’s MTN seeks mandatory vaccination for employees from January

FILE PHOTO: MTN logo pictured in Abuja
FILE PHOTO: The logo of MTN is pictured in Abuja, Nigeria, September 11, 2018. REUTERS / Afolab Sotunde

December 6, 2021

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Africa’s largest telecommunications service provider MTN Group said on Monday that it will enforce mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for its employees from January, the latest of which in South Africa promulgate regulations on vaccines.

Many South African companies have opted for mandatory vaccinations to ensure a safe work environment, but that also exposes them to potential legal challenges.

The MTN’s move follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement last month that the government is considering making COVID-19 shots mandatory for citizens when visiting certain locations and activities.

Business lobby groups have backed the move although one of them, Business Unity South Africa, said without specifying that they were expecting legal challenges and were seeking opinions. legislation to help companies enforce vaccine mandates.

South Africa’s largest union COSATU last month said its stance on mandatory vaccinations had “evolved” and it now supports the mandate as a measure to contain the pandemic.

South Africa is experiencing a surge in coronavirus infections due to the new variant Omicron detected for the first time in the country.

This has spurred widespread vaccination demand in countries and continents where vaccination rates are among the slowest in the world.

“MTN Group’s new vaccine policy is a measure to meet MTN’s legal obligations to provide a safe workplace,” MTN said in a statement.

“It (the vaccine authorization) also recognizes the right of employees to apply for policy waivers and/or to refuse vaccinations for some clearly defined reason,” it said, adding that staff members do not there is a good reason not to vaccinate will be fired.

(Reporting by Promit Mukherjee and Nqobile Dludla; ​​Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise) S.Africa’s MTN seeks mandatory vaccination for employees from January

Caroline Bleakley

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