UCT on mandatory vaccinations: 'No-one can expect that there will be unanimity on matters such as these'
The University of Cape Town (UCT) says it did not expect a unanimous response in support of the recently approved mandatory vaccination policy, said the chairperson of its council Babalwa Ngonyama.
In a statement on Thursday, Ngonyama said council had considered submissions by staff and students in response to a mandatory vaccinations proposal and resolved to approve on an “in-principle basis” a proposal requiring that, with effect from January 1 2022, all staff and students must provide proof of having been vaccinated against Covid-19.
“No-one can expect that there will be unanimity on matters such as these, and for a public institution like ours, with an established culture for debate and inquiry, we must expect and value the very many contributions that staff and students are making to the debate on vaccinations,” she said
Vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng said on Wednesday the majority of the student body, staff and council voted in favour of the policy. Staff and students responded through a survey, while council voted via a ballot in September.
“As part of our engagements, UCT staff and students were invited to complete a short survey on the matter. The majority of staff and students who completed the survey supported a mandatory vaccination policy.
“The UCT Senate voted overwhelmingly in favour of mandatory vaccination at their last meeting in September, with 83% of respondents in the ballot indicating support,” said Phakeng.
The student representative council (SRC) conducted its own survey, which received 6,354 submissions from students and staff who weighed in on the proposal. Fifty-two percent were in support of mandatory vaccinations, 42% were opposed and 6% said they were undecided.