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Undocumented Zimbabweans Denied Vaccination In South Africa

31 July 2021

There are fears that hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans living in South Africa may fail to be vaccinated against COVID-19 due to a lack of identity documents.

This is despite assurances by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the start of the vaccination programme that everyone, including foreigners, would be vaccinated.

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However, Migrants Workers’ Association-SA (MWA-SA) chairperson Butholezwe Nyathi expressed concern over the failure of undocumented migrants to get inoculated.

Ncube said health workers at some vaccination centres in South Africa were turning away foreigners without passports and work permits, a situation that has also affected Zimbabwean migrants.

He said there are concerns that some employers might demand proof of vaccination and that might lead to job losses. Said Ncube:

MWA-SA has observed that the South Africa Department of Health requires proof of identity for its vaccination data system (VDS).

We are grateful that those who managed to produce their passports with permits have been vaccinated without any problems.

However, we are concerned that those who fail to produce any form of proof of their legal status in SA might be excluded.

Ncube implored Ramaphosa’s government to allow private pharmacies to inoculate undocumented foreigners.

He said there is no way South Africa's Department of Health can attain herd immunity without vaccinating migrants — whether legal or illegal as they form a significant percentage of communities.

Zimbabwe Community in South Africa chairperson Ngqabutho Mabhena said foreigners were being asked to produce IDs, yet Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi said no one would be discriminated against.

More: NewsDay