Ramaphosa Defends National Health Insurance Law Despite Opposition From Affluent Groups

President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially enacted the long-awaited National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill into law, despite vocal opposition. The move formalizes plans for universal healthcare coverage in South Africa just days before the upcoming general elections.

Ramaphosa defended his decision in the face of criticism from affluent individuals and groups. He vowed to pursue equality in vital areas like healthcare access “whether people like it or not.” Business organizations and opposition parties like the Democratic Alliance have threatened legal challenges, accusing the president of pushing through the NHI law for political gain ahead of the polls.

The Economic Freedom Fighters party leader Julius Malema also dismissed the ruling ANC’s version of the NHI as insincere. However, Ramaphosa argued the comprehensive healthcare overhaul is long overdue. He maintained that South Africa cannot move forward while inequalities persist in providing essential services.

The president is set to officially sign the legislation during a ceremony at the Union Buildings in the nation’s capital. While the NHI aims to provide quality healthcare for all South Africans regardless of income, opponents argue it will overwhelm the already strained public health system and require significant tax increases to fund. Ramaphosa insists the reform promotes a more equitable society.