Government launches digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate

Friday, October 8, 2021

South Africans can now download their digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate following the official launch by the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla.

Addressing a media briefing on government’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19 and the national vaccination rollout programme on Friday, the Minister said the certificate could be used for travel and tourism, sport and recreation events, music festivals, shops that are providing discounts and prizes for people who are vaccinated.

“Our role is to make this tool available to the nation to provide people with the proof of vaccination so they can have access to many the amenities and activities that some have been missing...

“The vaccination certificate was introduced over the last three days while it was in the testing phase but some people have been able to upload it to their cell phones.

“We are launching the first phase of the certificate - there’s going to be a lot more improvements in the next two months [with regards to] the safety and security of the certificate but it is ready for use,” the Minister said.

The certificate was developed by the Department of Health and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and can be found at

National Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) project manager, Milani Wolmarans, said the certificate can be downloaded through a web portal by anyone who has received the COVID-19 vaccine in South Africa.

“You’ll need your vaccination code from the sms you received after your vaccination, South African ID or Foreign Passport number or Asylum or Refugee number. This should be the same document that you presented when you got vaccinated and the cell phone you included on your registration,” she said.

Over the next four days, the vaccination codes will be sent via SMS. The code can also be accessed from the COVID-19 call centre on 0800 029 999. The code will be sent via sms.

“With regards to the recognition of the digital certificate, most countries around the globe would accept the certificate. It is, however, dependent on the policy of the country that you would be visiting and also what their verification requirements would be.

“Towards the end of the next two months, there will be an app that you can use to download the certificate,” Wolmarans said.

Meanwhile, the Minister welcomed South Africa’s removal from the United Kingdom (UK) red list.

“We are also pleased with the United Kingdom (UK) government announcement that it is taking our country from the red list - meaning more easy travel between people from South Africa and the UK. The UK will be recognising the certificate that we are launching,” Phaahla said. –