Pretoria, 17 July 2021: The Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, wishes to announce that the Social Development Sector will be launching its National Vaccine Rollout Plan from Monday 19 July 2021, in all Provinces, except in the Western Cape which will start on 22 July 2021, and Limpopo on 23 July 2021. All Provincial MECs for Social Development have also been briefed on the readiness of the implementation of the vaccination programme in all Provinces with National, Provincial, District and Local Task Teams between the Departments of Social Development and Health established to assist all members of the sector.
Over the past few days – the Departments of Social Development and Health have been working hard to ensure that the Social Development Sector is prioritized for the vaccination roll-out during the current phase, given the work that we do as a sector, through our daily interaction with the public in fulfilling our mandate of serving the most vulnerable in society. Minister Zulu said, “In total, we anticipate that this vaccine rollout programme will target just over 240 000 workforce throughout the sector, and this will enable business continuity of our social services currently in high demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
This vaccination roll-out plan will include front-line workers in the following categories:
- The Early Childhood Development (ECD) workforce – this is inclusive of ECD practitioners and staff who work in the ECD environment. The Department has been working with the ECD Inter-Sectoral Forum to ensure that no-one is left behind, given that ECDs remain open whilst schools are closed and practitioners are equally at risk of the contracting the virus. We want to highlight that this includes all ECDs both registered and unregistered with government, including centre and non-centre-based programmes;
- All Social Service Professionals – this includes all Social Workers, Auxiliary Social Workers, Student Social Workers who are currently doing fieldwork, Child and Youth Care Workers, Child and Youth Care Auxiliary Workers and is inclusive of all Social Service Professionals in the public, private or NGO sectors;
- Community Development Practitioners, employed by the Department of Social Development; and
- Frontline staff working in the Department of Social Development across the Republic, including at all Social Development Facilities, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), the National Development Agency (NDA), and the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP).
We want to remind the sector that when going to the various vaccination sites they would need to carry with them:
- Identity document or Passport;
- Employee card; and practice card or receipt in the case of registered practitioners;
- Medical aid cards for those who are on any medical aid; and
- To ensure that they have an updated cell-phone number which must be provided to the healthcare professional at the vaccination site in order to ensure that they receive further communication directly from the Department of Health.
The Department encourages the sector to get vaccinated as this is important for their own safety even though vaccination remains voluntary. The Department also calls upon members of the public to desist from spreading negative information about the vaccine which may cause vaccine hesitancy. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19, especially severe illness and death. It reduces the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines are a key tool in ending the pandemic and getting societies back to normal.
The Department also thanks the entire Social Development Sector, including the ECD Sector for remaining steadfast in their commitment in serving and caring for others, especially the most vulnerable during this difficult time of COVID-19. We look forward to getting this programme underway to enable our sector to continue to effectively deliver social protection and development services to our communities.
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT