Deputy President Paul Mashatile is hopeful that the National Health Insurance Bill will be passed by the National Council of Provinces on Wednesday despite objections from business and other sectors.
However, Mashatile said the ANC government was still willing to engage business on the bill.
He said South Africa was founded on the values of engagement and dialogue. It is in that spirit that government was still willing to talk to business about the NHI Bill.
Business had objected to the bill, saying it was approved by the Select Committee in the NCOP without taking into account submissions made.
Opposition parties have already warned that they will challenge the bill in court.
The bill was supposed to have been adopted by the NCOP last week, but it was withdrawn at the last minute.
NCOP chairperson Amos Masondo did not provide reasons for the withdrawal of the bill, but said it was rescheduled for Wednesday.
Mashatile, who was addressing the NCOP on Tuesday during his annual address, said they hope that they will continue to talk to business about the NHI Bill.
He said the aim of the bill was to provide universal health insurance to millions of South Africans in order to get quality healthcare.
“However, there is still significant inequality in access to quality health care. As a result, the ANC government will continue to engage key stakeholders, including organised business and labour, to find amicable solutions on critical areas that may hinder the passing of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill to enable every South African to receive appropriate standardised quality health care, regardless of their ability to pay.
“The NHI Bill is currently before the NCOP; having received enthusiastic support from most participants during the public hearings in provinces. We remain optimistic that the NCOP will allow stakeholders to develop progressive solutions towards finalising this important bill. We are a democracy anchored on dialogue and finding one another, no matter the difficulty,” said Mashatile.
Mashatile also told the NCOP that load shedding remained a stumbling block to growing the economy.
Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has said Stage 6 of load shedding costs the economy R1 billion a day.
Already a number of companies have been shut down because of load shedding.
Mashatile said to deal with load shedding they want Eskom to improve its plant performance.
They want to fast-track generation capacity from other sources of energy, including renewables and gas.