By Kaya 959 News
A property management company has withdrawn a circular threatening to terminate leases of tenants who do not want to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
Bondev Property Management issued the circular to residents at the Midstream Estate Barracks in Ekurhuleni.
According to the circular, residents had until 1 September 2021 to be vaccinated.
The South African Human Rights Commission met with Bondev over the statements made in the circular.
“After engagements, the matter has been resolved amicably, without anyone having to move out of the barracks or being forced to be vaccinated,” Bondev and the SAHRC said in a joint statement.
They said these engagements were made taking into account the constitutional rights and ethos enshrined in the Constitution of South Africa, the National Health Act 61 of 2003 as well as the broader societal and governmental interests.
“The Commission welcomes the decision of Bondev to withdraw this circular and to afford employees an opportunity to make an informed choice,” the SAHRC said.
“While choice underscores its approach, the Commission wishes to emphasise that many lives can still be saved if the residents of this country take every opportunity to get vaccinated.
“This is the responsible thing to do to ensure that we honour the memory of those who have succumbed to the virus, while laying the foundations for a speedy normalization of our economy and our way of life. These are matters that are firmly in our collective hands,” the Commission added.
Unions threatened legal action
In June, the Department of Labour published a directive for the introduction of mandatory vaccinations for certain employees.
However, trade unions have pushed back, threatening to take legal action against companies who dismiss staff who decline the vaccine.
According to law firm, Webber Wentzel, employers are currently faced with the difficult question whether to make vaccination mandatory for their employees.
“However, employers are warned not to implement mandatory vaccinations and to be aware of balancing employee rights and interests. The South African government has stated that it will not enforce a mandatory Covid-19 vaccination regime for its citizens.
“Instead, it is rolling out a programme that encourages citizens to be vaccinated in the interests of public health and safety.”
Photo credit: Pexels/Aleksejs Bergmanis