A Hanover Park mom says she has been left destitute after she was fired for refusing to get the Covid-19 vaccination.
Tanya Smith, 45, who worked as a home-based carer, says she and her 21-year-old daughter now rely on feeding schemes to survive after a Plumstead family sacked her.
The hartseer woman says she was working for a retired, sickly couple for nine months when she was suddenly told that her refusal to get the jab meant she no longer had a job.
“I have been working for them since December last year and took over from another lady who retired,” explains Tanya.
“The mother is 63 years old and bedridden and the father is 65 years old and has one of his legs amputated.
“When I started working for them, they said they would pay me R2500 a month and R400 for transport, which they did, but they never gave me a contract.”
She says in August she was approached by the couple’s son who asked her if she was vaccinated and she explained her fears about the jab.
“In the week before 25 August, he took his father for the jab,” says Tanya.
“I told them I was conflicted because I do not know much about this experimental drug and I survived the first, second and third waves without getting Covid.
“I heard about people getting sick after taking it (vaccine) and I was worried but because I know it’s not mandatory, I wasn’t worried about my job.”
She says after the oupa received his second jab, the son brought up the issue again.
“He said, ‘Tanya, you must go for the jab’, and I said I haven’t made a decision yet and the Monday when I returned to work, he sat me down and said he doesn’t think I understood what he meant and then he gave me the option of going for the jab or taking my money and finishing off,” says Tanya.
“I went to the bathroom and just cried because they were pressuring me and it was either the jab or no income.
“When I said no, they gave me my money and I left.”
The Daily Voice contacted the family but they refused to respond to text messages and phone calls.
Tanya Smith worked as home-based carer in Plumstead. Video: Monique Duval
Western Cape Health Department spokesperson, Mark van der Heever, says the jabs are voluntary.
In a statement last week, the department said you can spread Covid even if you have the jab: “We would like to remind the public that the vaccine gives great protection against severe illness and death.
“However, it does not offer a guarantee that you will not contract (or transmit) Covid.
“So even if you have been vaccinated, and do not practise the necessary safety measures, you can still contract the virus, albeit a mild disease.”
Department of Labour spokesperson, Musa Zondi, says in a case like this, a risk assessment must be done in consultation with employer and employee .
“This is the important aspect and we also have said there should be proper negotiations between the employer and employees. .
“If the employee has been dismissed already, she can approach CCMA to determine the fairness thereof.”