Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
9 Dec 2021
1:45 pm

White adults leading the line against workplace vaccine mandates – survey

Citizen Reporter

Support for compulsory workplace vaccination is highest amongst Indian and black adults, followed by coloured and white adults.

Picture: iStock

A recent survey shows that white adults are most opposed to vaccine mandates and passports at work.

That’s according to a survey conducted by the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ’s) Centre for Social Change and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).

The survey was aimed at gauging the public’s support for compulsory workplace Covid-19 vaccinations and having to provide proof of vaccination to enter public places.

6,633 participants from diverse backgrounds, ages and education levels were surveyed and can be regarded as broadly indicative of the views of the local adult population at large.

Just over 50% of adults support a vaccine mandate in the workplace.

The latest findings come from round five of the UJ-HSRC Covid-19 democracy survey, which collected data between 22 October and 17 November 2021.

The results have also revealed that there are considerable differences in the support levels for these policies by vaccination status and willingness to vaccinate.

Key findings

  • At least 54% of South African adults support compulsory workplace Covid-19 vaccinations, while 51% support vaccine passports.
  • 75% of fully vaccinated adults support compulsory workplace vaccinations and 78% are keen on vaccine passports.
  • Below 10% of employees oppose both compulsory workplace jabs and passports.
  • Support for compulsory workplace vaccination is highest amongst Indian adults (65%) followed by black African adults (56%), coloured adults (49%) and were lowest among white adults (32%).
  • Similarly, only 32% of white adults support vaccine passports, compared to 54% of black African adults, 51% Indian adults and 46% among Coloured adults. 
  • People with higher levels of education have greater opposition to compulsory workplace vaccinations and vaccine passports.
  • 61% of people with less than matric support compulsory workplace vaccination compared to 39% of those with post-matric education.
  • 60% of people with less than matric support vaccine passports to enter public places compared to 40% of those with post-matric education.
  • There were negligible differences by gender and small differences by age.
  • 57% of younger adults aged between 18-24 years had slightly higher support for compulsory workplace vaccination compared to older age groups.
  • 52% of people aged 55 and above are opposed to mandatory workplace vaccines.
    However, younger adults were slightly less supportive of vaccine passports, 51% compared to 55% for those aged 55 and above.
  • The survey also gauged relative levels of support for vaccine passports to enter six particular types of public places. Close to half (47%) supported vaccine passports for sporting events at stadiums.
  • Similar shares (43%-45%) supported vaccine passports at schools and universities, restaurants, shisa nyamas, coffee shops and night clubs.
  • Slightly lower support was evident for such measures at municipal offices (38%) and places of worship (40%).

Compiled by Narissa Subramoney