South Africa: Minister Aaron Motsoaledi welcomes rollout of vaccination programme to Home Affairs officials

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Minister Aaron Motsoaledi welcomes the rollout of the vaccination programme to Home Affairs officials which kicks off in earnest this week and encourages officials to vaccinate while ensuring that services are delivered without disruption.

Minister Motsoaledi has already taken his two jabs.

“Vaccination saves lives. Even though the vaccination is totally voluntary, employees are encouraged to vaccinate in order to lessen the impact of COVID-19 on the entire population. Additional to the vaccination, we need to continue to follow the non-pharmaceutical pre-cautionary interventions such as wearing masks properly, sanitising hands regularly and observing appropriate social distancing,” said Minister Motsoaledi.

From this week, employees of the Department of Home Affairs will receive the COVID-19 vaccine in their respective provinces as part of the roll-out of vaccination to essential workers who are in the coalface of service delivery. This will be done at various sites identified by the Department of Health and respective Premiers’ Offices across all nine Provinces. This information is coordinated by Home Affairs COVID-19 Steerco Coordinators.

Protecting essential workers is meant to assist in limiting the spread of Corona virus as our front-line workers are in regular contact with members of the public at the service sites across the country.

As of June 2021, there were 8443 Home Affairs employees on the Personnel and Salaries Management System (PERSAL) and all of them are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

“As of last week, the Department had sadly lost 40 employees to COVID-19, some having lost their parents and siblings due to this pandemic and its associated complications, and another 1 389 were adversely impacted. These are colleagues, mothers, fathers and agents of service delivery who have been part of those employees who could not work from home even during Level 5 of the lockdown, they had to face the brunt of the pandemic to serve members of our community with diligence amidst very difficult circumstances,” said Minister Motsoaledi.

He said each time a positive COVID-19 case is reported at Home Affairs offices, services have to be temporarily suspended to allow for disinfection. Alternate sites and mobile offices are provided to ensure that services are not disrupted whenever possible. This is done to still enable our communities to gain access to our much needed enabling documents such as identity documents, birth and death certificates, just to name a few.

Home Affairs will continue to encourage adherence of employees and clients to COVID-19 health protocols. Every person visiting a Home Affairs office is reminded to observe all non-pharmaceutical interventions of social distancing, washing hands or sanitising and wearing masks properly.

Source:  South African Government

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