HomePoliticsANCWatch| Ramaphosa: "NHI Bill Driving Fear Into Hearts Of Some White People"

Watch| Ramaphosa: “NHI Bill Driving Fear Into Hearts Of Some White People”

“The biggest fear in the hearts of white people in this country. They were terrified, they were so afraid when they thought when everybody gets a vote and the privilges that they always had are now going to disappear.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s impending signing of the controversial National Health Insurance (NHI) bill into law has sparked a wave of reactions and criticisms.

The bill, aimed at transforming South Africa’s healthcare system to achieve universal coverage for health services, is set to be signed into law publicly at the Union Buildings, Pretoria, at 2 pm.

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Ramaphosa’s decision has drawn disappointment, concern, and dismay, with several legal challenges expected to follow the signing.

However, the president has remained resolute in the face of opposition, defending his decision to sign the bill into law during an African National Congress (ANC) Progressive Business Forum luncheon in Centurion, South of Pretoria.

During the luncheon, President Ramaphosa addressed the criticism, particularly from affluent individuals, stating that the opposition to the NHI bill primarily comes from “well-to-do, rich people.”

“The opposition on NHI is coming from well-to-do, rich people…This is what often happens. The haves don’t want the have-nots to benefit from what they have been having.”

He emphasised that the NHI aims to ensure that every citizen, including the poor, has access to quality healthcare.

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Ramaphosa’s remarks also touched on the fear and resistance from certain segments of the population, including some white citizens, drawing parallels to the apprehension that arose during the transition to democracy when all South Africans gained voting rights.

Ramaphosa said he knew the NHI “was driving fear into the hearts of many, including “some white people” like when all South Africans got a vote after democracy and felt that they would lose their privileges.

“The biggest fear in the hearts of white people in this country. They were terrified, they were so afraid when they thought when everybody gets a vote and the privilges that they always had are now going to disappear.

“Let me tell you something, my good friends, we are not a reckless government. We are a government that is focused on building a nation, reconciliation and making sure that there is equality fully in our country.

Despite the anticipated legal challenges, President Ramaphosa reiterated that the democratically elected representatives have voted for the legislation and that those unhappy with it have avenues to address their concerns.

“So, in their wisdom, they have voted for that piece of legislation and whoever is unhappy has a number of avenues,” he said when asked whether the bill would withstand legal scrutiny and backlash.


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The impending signing of the NHI bill has prompted strong opposition and legal challenges from various quarters.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has announced its intention to challenge the legislation in court as soon as it is signed, with the party’s legal team having been prepared for this course of action for several months.

Additionally, civil rights organisation AfriForum has vehemently condemned Ramaphosa’s decision to push through the NHI bill, asserting that it is unconstitutional and unenforceable.

AfriForum has expressed readiness to oppose the implementation of the bill in the highest court and has signalled its intention to sign a resolution on the day of the bill’s signing to validate its stance.

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The South African Health Professionals Collaboration (SAHPC) has also voiced its opposition, preparing for a legal challenge.

The organisation has highlighted its previous submissions and engagements in the NHI parliamentary process, emphasising its belief that the bill is unconstitutional and not in the best interest of patients and citizens.

Cas Coovadia, the CEO of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), has echoed concerns about the NHI bill, citing substantive and procedural constitutional flaws.

BUSA has expressed deep concern over Ramaphosa’s decision to sign the bill into law, further contributing to the growing opposition and legal challenges surrounding the NHI bill.

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Ntuthuko Gumede for SurgeZirc SA
Ntuthuko Gumede for SurgeZirc SA
In the fast-paced world of politics, staying informed is crucial. Ntuthuko Gumede, a renowned journalist, has been making waves with his insightful and thought-provoking political news articles on SurgeZirc SA. With his expertise and dedication to reporting accurate and unbiased information, Gumede has become a trusted source for political analysis.
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