Stuart Lowman’s Inbox: Mandatory vaccine debate takes a different turn

Former business journalist Ed Richardson joins the mandatory vaccine debate but takes a different turn. He says jobs are not a right – safety and clean water are:

Diatribes against those promoting vaccination and insisting on it in the workplace miss a crucial point – jobs are not a right.

Company owners, shareholders and managers do not have a constitutional duty to employ anyone. Their duty is to safeguard the sustainability of the business by ensuring that the company receives the full benefit of the time, skills and productivity the employees have willingly contracted to provide.

No commercial enterprise can afford regular disruptions to workflow due to now largely preventable Covid-19 scares and outbreaks. Nor can they afford to put their customers and suppliers at risk.

The impact is even more widespread and dire in the public service. Let’s take the Nelson Mandela Metro, where I live.

The council, already dysfunctional before Covid-19, now has what at best can be considered to be a part-time workforce. Departments, service centres and whole office blocks are regularly closed down due to real or imagined Covid-19 scares.

(We have doctors who have such incredible psychic gifts that, for a mere R300, they can diagnose Covid in a patient whom they have not seen and who has not been tested.)

Judging by the crowds in the shopping centres any day of the week the 14-days of exclusion are not being spent at home.

The measurable effect is that the rights of 1,2 million people to clean water, sanitation, roads, security and power have been trampled on – along with any hopes of getting a job.

It is easy to understand why we have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country and there is a steady exodus of skills – graft, corruption, incompetence and absent political leadership from all parties make it practically impossible to attract meaningful investment or to retain anyone with ambition.

Requiring that those who want to retain their highly paid sinecures in the municipality be required to vaccinate and to actually pitch for work will be the first step in a long road to recovery.

The same goes for employers in the private sector.

South Africa has one of the most disengaged workforces in the world – they go to work because they want a salary at the end of the month, and not for any other reason. If the salary gets paid without work being done, so much the better.

Employers therefore cannot rely on loyalty or commitment to get the necessary work done.

Employees have a free choice – comply (in the same way they may need to wear protective clothing or may not smoke in the office) – or find an employer which is comfortable with the risks of regular disruptions to productivity and the loss of the skills when people die of Covid-19.

Community member John Allen picks up on the retirees, retrenched seniors discussion from earlier this month. He highlights that opportunities do exist.

Trust this finds you well – I enjoy being a Premium member with a daily read of BizNews – Professional, Fair, Value-Driven and one of the very few places reflecting Upstanding Decency.

Concerning the two views expressed by your correspondents, Eleanor Smith and Mark du Toit, may I introduce Abelusi Global ( involving Elders/Seniors/Retirees. Abelusi (Zulu for Shepherds) currently has two Chapters with its major operational pilot being Abelusi KZN NPC, legally constituted and currently based in Pietermaritzburg. It was started nearly a year ago and, whilst things in current operational conditions take a while to get going, they are now involved in providing “extra hands” in two major projects with Project Gateway. One is involved with the history of the 25 Amakhosi whilst the other is the Community Feeding the Community Project (CfC). The latter now has a detailed strategic plan which involves up to 39 wards and will impact +/- 600,000 people. It currently has two pilot gardens, 17 creches with gardens and has had the first operational meeting with funding to deploy 2 Greenfield sites. It has been a small start but other outreaches include negotiating some minor projects, exploring synergies with women in Business, offering training and mentoring, planning to approach local government structures and starting new Chapters – discussions currently being held in Cape Town.  Internationally we have a partnership with United Nations seniors (GreyCells), are involved with Hotel Associations to compile a Centre of Expertise for the Hospitality Industry and have reached out to establish Chapters in other countries. Our vision is for an International integrated network.

The background is provided to advise about our existence. We have made the first steps and are now looking for more clients and more people with leadership, farming, entrepreneurial, support and subject matter expertise to join us and/or to establish a Chapter in their regions.

To concur with your Eleanor – opportunities do exist and we have established a framework for it by gradually increasing credibility. To Mark we agree that it is not easy and expectations have to be met but energy levels do rise when included in a supportive group and with initial small wins.

We welcome any contact and will soon need a new leader and farming expertise for the ‘maxi’ phase of the CfC Project next year.

Abelusi – Shepherding Others for the Magic of Their Success – Turning Experience into Solutions for the Future.

And today’s final contribution comes from Theo Stehle, he comments on Dr Peter McCullough’s contribution from yesterday:

Thank you for providing a forum for debate and letting readers decide on the merits of each of the contributions which are truth and which are nonsense.

I especially value the contributor who referred us to Dr. Peter McCullough’s excellent presentation on the early treatment of Covid and the vaccines imposed on humankind. He says one thing that is worth repeating here regarding the vaccine hysteria: The “mass psychosis” that has taken hold of society. When was the last time we experienced that? In the 12 years of Nazi rule in Germany. Then it was one nation. Now it is the whole world.

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