A recent Pretoria High Court judgment declared the regulations under South Africa’s lockdown alert levels 3 and 4 invalid and unconstitutional. This case may well be overturned on appeal, but provides a critical opportunity for government to redirect and base its decision-making processes on transparency and participation.
MPs were caught up in a foxtrot of hypotheticals and assurances over COVID-19 with Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and senior officials in Parliament today. Mkhize and his department briefed MPs in the Portfolio Committee on Health on COVID-19 ahead of a debate on South Africa’s readiness for an outbreak in the National Assembly tomorrow.
The latest Auditor-General’s (AG) report makes for grim reading regarding a number of provincial departments of health. Yet, there seems little hope that provincial legislatures will hold these departments to account and even less that the public will be kept informed of the activities of these legislatures.
Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health wrapped up the last public hearings on the NHI Bill for this year on Monday in King William’s Town. Here is the hearings in pictures.
If all goes according to plan the NHI Bill may just be on the President’s desk to be signed into law by July or August next year, according to portfolio committee chair Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo.
ANC veteran Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo is chairperson of the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Health and will play a pivotal role in deliberations over the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill. The question is – will it be about serving the people or toeing the party-line?
Siviwe Gwarube is not only one of the Democratic Alliance’s upcoming stars, she is also one of the key people on parliament’s health committee who will soon consider the NHI Bill. Biénne Huisman went to meet her.