Home News NC dept kicks off social sector vaccination programme

NC dept kicks off social sector vaccination programme

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The Northern Cape Department of Social Development officially started the roll out of its vaccination programme for the social sector on Tuesday.

Nontobeko Vilikazi, MEC of Social Development with Maruping Lekwene, MEC for Health during the launch of the vaccine roll-out for the Social Development sector at Harmony Home today. Picture: Soraya Crowie

THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Social Development said on Tuesday that it is elated to be the next government department to launch its national vaccination programme.

The MEC for Social Development, Nontobeko Vilakazi, said that thousands of staff members in the social development sector, which includes early childhood development (ECD) practitioners and employees in the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) and support staff, will be vaccinated during the programme.

“2 076 officials in the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) will be vaccinated. We are aiming to vaccinate 3,117 ECD practitioners and general staff, and we will also vaccinate 453 support staff. We have even included those employed in our outsourced services to be vaccinated,” said Vilakazi at Tuesday’s launch at Harmony Home in Kimberley.

“We will be in Springbok tomorrow, July 21, and then in the ZF Mgcawu and John Taolo Gaetsewe districts, and will be in the Pixley ka Seme District on Friday.”

Vilakazi added that she was pleased with the turnout of staff who had opted to receive the jab.

“We have a good turnout of officials in the sector, which is very pleasing on the first day. We are glad that our sector is finally part of the vaccination programme. We have many officials who have to interact and work closely with community members on a daily basis. This virus has been killing people daily and our staff are also at risk of contracting the virus. It is important for officials to participate in this vaccination programme in order to protect themselves, their families as well the public they work with,” she said.

Sassa’s provincial general manager for corporate services and finance, Karabelo Mojanaga, said the vaccination will ensure that employees in the sector have some protection against Covid-19.

“The agency in the Northern Cape has to date registered 97 infected members in the Province who have since recovered. We have also lost two staff members to the virus. Sassa employees are often exposed to Covid-19 and several offices had to be closed from time to time for decontamination when a positive case is reported,” said Mojanaga.

She said several hundred staff members will be vaccinated

“A total of 506 staff and its outsourced services will be vaccinated from July 20 until July 23 at different vaccination sites in the Province.”

The first employee to be vaccinated on Tuesday, Thapelo Pebane, said the process was fast and painless.

“I urge everyone to get vaccinated as this process is very simple. I am a senior accountant in the department and also became a father to a newborn daughter a few days ago. This vaccine will ensure that I am not only protected, but that my family is also protected. As a new father I need to take care of my health in order to prolong my life. I urge everyone aged from 35 years upwards to take the vaccine,” Pebane said.

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