Richard Anthony Chemaly
4 minute read
19 Jan 2021
12:17 pm

Should we really prioritise the Covid-19 vaccination of prisoners?

Richard Anthony Chemaly

With rage on social media about how prisoners may be prioritised over acquiring Covid-19 vaccines, one needs to ask where the rage comes from, how justified it is, and whether it’s based on a bad idea.

Picture for illustration: Vladimir Zivojinovic/AFP

One of the major unspoken realities of living in an unequal society such as South Africa is that differing interests often lead to differing views on policy. If you are wealthy, you have no interest in your tax going to public schools your kids may never attend. If you’re poor, you’d likely need tax-funded schools. At least this is how it is generally perceived. This view, though, has always been a short-sighted one to me. I should like to imagine that even the rich may benefit from collective better education of the population in the form of long-term economic growth,...