SAB bolsters the fight against COVID-19 by exploring the introduction of mandatory vaccination policy
To safeguard its employees, aid the country in its drive to accelerate vaccination, and recover the economy, SAB will begin a consultative process of exploring the establishment of mandatory vaccinations for all employees in 2022.
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect all aspects of the lives of millions of people across the world, and in South Africa the pandemic has had a devastating effect on society and the economy. As a result of the previous waves of infections, our industry has been severely impacted by lock down regulations and alcohol bans, and we believe that vaccination is key to protecting the 1 million lives and livelihoods supported by the alcohol industry.
Our intention, therefore, is to explore mandatory vaccination in all of our SAB operations. As a pro-vaccination company, we aim to safeguard our employees in the workplace and aid the country in its drive to overcome the pandemic and recover the economy. In looking to pursue this endeavor, SAB wishes to recognise and appreciate how much its workforce has adapted as we navigate through this “new normal” across our business operations.
SAB is among several large South African employers to implement a mandatory vaccination policy at the workplace including Sanlam, Curro, Discovery Health, MTN, Dischem Pharmacies and Life Healthcare, Standard Bank and MTN.
Our intention to explore mandatory vaccination to access all our sites is based on the following facts:
- Covid-19 is an unprecedented health tragedy that has caused significant excess deaths in South Africa
- Vaccines are effective and safe and are our best defence against COVID-19 as it reduces severe illness and hospital admissions
- Supporting the government’s drive to reach herd immunity will help slow the spread in a large vaccinated population and decrease the risk of variants
- Vaccines are freely available, and the issue is no longer one of access but of vaccine hesitancy
- As an employer we have a legal obligation to create a safe working environment for all employees
Over the last few months SAB has responded to the pandemic by hosting vaccination education campaigns to enable its employees to make informed decisions about being vaccinated, ensuring that they provide its employees with adequate information concerning the vaccination process and its benefits.
To date, the brewer has hosted numerous vaccination drives in partnership with the Department of Health as part of its efforts to accelerate vaccination. This commitment has also extended support to community vaccination intervention across the country.
SAB believes that its people are its greatest asset, the health and safety of the brewer’s employees remains its top priority and it is committed to providing and maintaining a safe workplace. This month the brewer will undertake several consultative steps on the journey to explore mandatory vaccinations. A final decision on the implementation of mandatory vaccines will be made in due course.
Vaccinations are freely available to all in South Africa, and SAB continues to call on its employees and the nation at large to get vaccinated. We believe that the pursuit of this endeavor is the best way to act responsibly as a company, support our health care workers, and get South Africa back on track economically.