Ramaphosa says he will definitely sign NHI Bill, soon

President Cyril Ramaphosa said he will sign the NHI Bill into law. Picture Henk Kruger/Independent Newspapers

President Cyril Ramaphosa said he will sign the NHI Bill into law. Picture Henk Kruger/Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 15, 2024


President Cyril Ramaphosa says it was a matter of time before he signed the National Health Insurance Bill into law.

Ramaphosa said on Thursday, during his address to the Cape Town Press Club that there was a need for universal health coverage in the country.

He said there was no doubt that he will sign the bill into law. It was going to happen, said Ramaphosa.

However, there have been different views on the bill with one section of South Africa supporting it and another section not in favour of this piece of legislation.

The NHI Bill was approved by the National Council of Provinces after it was adopted by the National Assembly earlier.

It was then referred to Ramaphosa to be signed into law.

But political parties and other stakeholders are opposed to the bill and have threatened to take the government to court if it was signed into law.

Business also urged Ramaphosa last week not to sign the bill because it was unconstitutional, unworkable and flawed.

But political parties have consistently said the ANC rammed it through the parliamentary process without taking into account the submissions of various stakeholders.

The NHI Bill seeks to address an anomaly in the healthcare sector.

However, before he signs the bill into law he has to consider a number of factors.

One of the issues he needs to look at was whether all processes were followed before it was passed by the two Houses of Parliament.

“It’s on my desk,” he said of the NHI Bill.

“What I have to do as president is to examine the bill very carefully and subject it to a very close analysis, including a process right up to the passing of the bill in our two Houses of parliament and applying my mind to the bill and that is a process that I am hoping to be concluded soon.”

He said there have been those who support the NHI Bill and others who were against it.

“As president I have to weigh up all the issues that have been raised by everyone and look at the bill very closely,” said Ramaphosa.

He said the bill has been in the making for a long time. This was out of the government’s plan to implement universal health coverage so that everyone will have access to free healthcare services.

Ramaphosa said he will sign the bill into law.

“The NHI Bill will soon be signed into an Act. It is going to happen. It s a matter of time,” said Ramaphosa.

The president did not indicate how soon though he will sign it.

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