SAPTU won’t sit quietly about new health regulations

The way in which new health regulations concerning communicable diseases limit South Africans is unacceptable. 

Health minister Joe Phaahla announced these new regulations only an hour before the previous guidelines expired. But, besides the fact that there was confusion surrounding children wearing masks in classrooms, nothing much changed. People still have to wear masks indoors and bend to rules about events. However, now they also face jail time of up to ten years if they fail to comply. 

“Should we now accept that we will never again live without masks and be limited in our movements?” says Adv Ben van der Walt, the general secretary of SAPTU (South African Parastatal and Tertiary Institutions Union). “The government cannot continue trying to slip in more and more regulations to have more control of our lives. First, it was Covid-regulations; now, it is health regulations. The government should be aware that we know the world’s history and how communism works. Therefore, our members and we will not stand for any more limiting regulations.” 

SAPTU will take up the matter with Fedusa, of which it is a member. Fedusa is a member of Nedlac, which must guide the government in social dialogue. 

“We want the government to explain the research that goes into any new regulations and why they think it should be implemented. Then South Africans will give their input, and realistically acceptable regulations can follow. We are not children who should be quiet and listen because the government knows best,” says Adv. Van Der Walt.

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