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DA brings its own 87,000 submissions on the NHI Bill to Parly

It's also brought 87,000 submissions and objections from South Africans who made comments through the party’s own petition.

FILE: Inside the Radiation Oncology department at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) said its 87,000 public submissions on the National Health Insurance Bill raise serious concerns.

The party's chief whip Natasha Mazzone and health spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube have on Monday briefed the media on the DA's opposition to the bill.

They have also called into question the NHI public hearings.

The DA has handed over its own submission as the official opposition.

It's also brought 87,000 submissions and objections from South Africans who made comments through the party’s own petition.

Gwarube said they wanted to collect every bit of evidence they could.

“We have, in fact, within clause by clause analysis discovered that there are 25 areas of this legislation that we will be opposing in the parliamentary process when we get started with the clause by clause analysis.”

DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone said the party had also managed to get Parliament to obtain a legal opinion on the constitutionality of the bill.

“The first huddle compelling Parliament was for it to obtain legal opinion into the constitutionality of the bill even before we began with the constitutional process. This was absolutely critical, Parliament cannot neglect its role in lawmaking and we as parliamentarians must remember that our fundamental role is that of legislators.”

The DA also raised concerns around public hearings into the National Health Insurance Bill and has called the entire process into question.

It alleges the ANC and those in support of the NHI Bill were mobilising and bussing in people to attend public hearings across the country.

The official opposition said pamphlets purporting to be from Parliament were handed out during the hearings.

Gwarube said: “We have obviously laid a complaint around the fake leaflets but that’s why we’re ensuring that we’re at each and every single meeting because we’re compiling a dossier on the process that this bill has taken since it was introduced.”

The DA said it would continue to attend public hearings and compile a body of evidence on how the hearings have been conducted and whether there was any political influence.