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Opposition: SA not in position to roll out NHI

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize launched the NHI Bill this week.

FILE: Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Some opposition parties have raised concerns that South Africa was not in a position to roll out National Health Insurance (NHI) right now.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize launched the NHI Bill this week.

Its aimed at providing essential healthcare to all South Africans regardless of their financial status.

The Democratic Alliance's Siviwe Garibe said the legislation was problematic.

“There’s going to be an additional tax burden on South Africans. So, if you’re looking at the model of the draft bill, it states there that there will be an income tax imposition on South Africans. So, we are saying that South Africans cannot afford this and you can enroll free healthcare by using the current health budget.”

Inkatha Freedom Fighters chief whip Narend Signh said the country did not need the NHI right now as the health sector was in crisis.

“We need not to forget that we must get things right as we move to this ideal of NHI which must come and which we believe that as IFP will benefit the whole of South Africa.”

NHI was expected to come in to effect in 2026.