September 21, 2019

South Africans across the board will be comforted to know that the NHI pilot projects that were reported to have failed were in fact “not NHI pilots” at all. They were “health system strengthening projects” implemented in the NHI pilot districts, according to the Minister of Health in response to a question in the National Council of Provinces in September.

Women activists who have been conducting countrywide protests since the peak in femicide and violence against women in September have released an appeal to the government to use a portion of the additional funding set aside by President Cyril Ramaphosa to increase and strengthen shelters for abused women and children.

Performance in South Africa’s two tier health system – the public and the private – has been worsening for some time, writes ALEX VAN DEN HEEVER. Politicians have attempted to attribute the decline in the public sector to a myriad of ills, none of their making. These include migrants; insufficient funds; insufficient staff; medical schemes; lawyers suing them for medical negligence; the existence of two tiers and even the middle class.

Remember the song you sang as a kid: ‘there were ten in the bed and the little one said roll over ... so we all rolled over, now there are nine in the bed”. Parliament is an unlikely place to be reminded of nursery rhymes, but this was a committee meeting about the scourge of child murders in South Africa, and this old ditty had chilling implications when quoted in a submission to the Western Cape Social Development department.

The almost forgotten ‘Secrecy Bill’, which had civil society across the country up in arms when it was first introduced in 2010 as the “Protection of Information Bill,” could reportedly be back in the legislative pipeline if the State Security Agency (SSA) has its way. This beleaguered bill, in its last known iteration ironically named the Protection of State Information Bill, came up in the budget speech of deputy minister of State Security Zizi Kodwa. He gave no reason for reviving the controversial legislation.

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Notes from the House is an independent online publication that tracks and monitors Parliament’s role in fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities to improve the lives of South African citizens. Published by Moira Levy with the support of the Claude Leon Foundation.

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