Social development minister announces sector vaccination rollout plan

The department is encouraging those in the sector to be vaccinated for their own safety even though vaccination remains voluntary.

On Saturday, minister of the Department of Social Development (DSD) Lindiwe Zulu announced that the sector will be launching its national vaccine rollout plan in all provinces from today (Monday), except for the Western Cape (where the plan will roll out from Thursday) and Limpopo (Friday).

Provincial MECs were briefed on the readiness of the implementation of the vaccination programme with national, provincial, district and local task teams established between the social development and health departments to assist all members of the sector.

“In total, we anticipate that this vaccine rollout programme will target just over 240 000 workforce [members] 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,” said Minister Zulu.

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 contracting the virus. This includes all ECDs both registered and unregistered with the 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).

Only those who are registered on the Department of Health’s Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) system will be eligible for vaccination, as there is no paper-based registration process at vaccination sites.

Details of all vaccination sites, provincial and district coordinators, including the ECD forum coordinators, will be published on DSD National, Provincial Departmental and the departments’ agencies websites.

Members of the sector may also send enquiries to

The department reiterated that when visiting a vaccination site, the person being vaccinated would need to carry their:

  • 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
  • Ensure that they have an updated cell-phone number which must be provided to the healthcare professional at the vaccination site in order to receive further communication directly from the Department of Health.

The department is encouraging those in the sector to be vaccinated for their own safety even though vaccination remains voluntary.

The DSD also called on members of the public to desist from spreading negative information about the vaccine which may cause vaccine hesitancy.

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