It’s understood that Standard Bank will look to implement its own vaccine mandate in the early part of 2022, becoming the first major bank in South Africa to declare its intentions over ‘compulsory jab‘ policies.
Sim Tshabalala, the CEO of Standard Bank, has told BusinessTech that the decision is based on evidence that shows how vaccines limit transmission and save lives. Indeed, those hesitant to get a shot now face a difficult decision.
On Sunday, President Ramaphosa revealed that the government was looking into how South Africa could bring in a vaccine mandate programme for certain events and locations, as new COVID-19 infections continue to soar. The arrival of the Omicron variant has pushed South Africa into its fourth wave already.
The announcement was met by stern opposition, alongside some significant support. This is likely to be an issue that polarises South Africans, in a country where only 37% of the population is fully vaccinated.
Who will – and won’t – be affected by these changes?
In light of the trouble caused by Omicron, Standard Bank has decided to follow the president’s lead.
“The more people vaccinated, the lower the risk of future ‘lockdowns’ and travel bans. As more people are vaccinated, business and investor confidence will undoubtedly also improve. Hence, getting vaccinated protects jobs and helps the economy to recover. Vaccination helps our countries and our continent to recover faster from the pandemic.”
“We will make every reasonable attempt to accommodate employees who have valid reasons for not being vaccinated. By getting vaccinated, we will contribute to driving Africa’s growth, which is the Group’s purpose.”Sim Tshabalala