The Democratic Alliance (DA) has waged a fight against the ANC’s move to dictate where the public hearings on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill should be. This desire to usurp the powers of Parliament is consistent with the ANC bullying tactics and misunderstanding of the function of a multi- party legislative arm of the state.
The DA has demanded the following:
- All public hearing venues should be discussed and adopted by the portfolio committee;
- The public hearings should take place in all types of areas and the sample should be an urban and a rural mix;
- The process of taking the Bill to the people of South Africa should not be rushed but thorough with the earnest view of obtaining the views of as many people as possible.
The reality is that the ANC government is aware of the massive implications this legislation has on all South Africans. They are seeking to tailor-make the programme to go to ANC constituencies instead of a fair geographic spread of locations. This attempt is not just limited to the programme of the NHI hearings, it is the undermining of Parliament.
Gone are the days where the ANC can use its majority in Parliament to render the institution useless. The work of the people of South Africa must take front and centre on the parliamentary agenda.
The DA remains undeterred to fight for legislation that will bring about Universal Health Coverage and not one that will destroy the health sector and the economy while doing nothing to improve health outcomes.