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Ramaphosa: NHI will prioritise women’s healthcare needs

Although the NHI was yet to be implemented with Cabinet only recently approving it and sending it to Parliament for the legislative process to get under way, the president already placed a bet on it.

President Cyril Ramaphosa speaking to hundreds of people gathered in Vryburg in the North West for the National Women’s Day commemoration on Friday, 9 August 2019. He said that government would ensure that the looming National Health Insurance (NHI) targeted women as its key beneficiaries. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa said he was committed to correcting impediments hampering women’s access to quality healthcare, including reproductive rights.

Ramaphosa told hundreds of people gathered in Vryburg in the North West for the National Women’s Day commemoration on Friday that government would ensure that the looming National Health Insurance (NHI) targeted women as its key beneficiaries.

Although the NHI was yet to be implemented with Cabinet only recently approving it and sending it to Parliament for the legislative process to get under way, the president already placed a bet on it.

He said through the health system, the needs of women would be prioritised.

The president told attendees of the women’s day event that their concerns about access to quality health care would be addressed.

“We will also correct whatever is standing in the way of this nation’s women and girls in enjoying quality and accessible healthcare, including reproductive healthcare. In 1994, the president of the newly democratic South Africa, President Mandela declared that pregnant women and children under the age of six would receive free healthcare in public facilities and it happened,” he said.

Ramaphosa added that the implementation of quality healthcare would ensure women were able to have the doors of opportunity opened to them.

LAND OWNERSHIP FOR WOMEN WILL BE PRIORITISED

Ramaphosa promised women that the government would correct deficiencies in the country’s legislation preventing them from owning land.

He said it was wrong for women to be denied the right to own land due to cultural practices.

Although parliament was yet to finalise the legislation around the expropriation of land without compensation, the president promised women that their right to own land was one of his key priorities.

He explained that the ownership of land by women would be respected and enforced.

“Now, as we proceed with our land reform programme, we must and will confront the issue that we are sometimes reluctant to speak about that women are being denied the right to own land in South Africa in the name of culture and tradition. Now, this has to be addressed and this has to be brought to an end.”

The president said land ownership was a key area which would have the greatest impact in improving the lives of women, especially in rural settings.

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