DA lodges complaint with the Public Service Commission over NHI

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has lodged a complaint against the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme with the Public Service Commission for urgent investigation. 

The complaint comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa recently signed the controversial NHI into law at the Union Buildings in Tshwane. 

DA FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST NHI 

After Ramaphosa signed the NHI Bill, panicked public servants who are members of the Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS) – the most prominent medical aid scheme in South Africa, with over 2.8 million principal members and beneficiaries reportedly contacted the DA.

The party said using NHI to expropriate medical aid contributions without compensation and to extort even higher taxes from all South Africans, including from the millions of public servants who are members of GEMS, will only serve to fuel further the ANC corruption and mismanagement that is the real cause limiting access to quality public healthcare for millions of poor citizens.

DA Shadow Minister for Public Service and Administration Leon Schreiber said the party’s complaint to the PSC is lodged in terms of the Commission’s mandate, as outlined in section 196 (4)(a-c) of the Constitution. 

“The NHI scheme violates the constitutional principles governing public administration. It results in the inefficient, uneconomic, and ineffective use of resources and undermines good human-resource management and career development practices. 

He explained, “As a result, the NHI poses an existential threat to the health and well-being of public servants, the capacity of the public service to deliver on its mandate, and labour relations within the sector.” 

President Cyril Ramaphosa signs the NHI Bill at the Union Buildings. Image: X/@PresidencyZA

Additionally, Schreiber said that as the custodian of the public service, the PSC is incumbent upon it to take urgent steps to avert possible labour unrest and the outright collapse of the public sector. 

As a matter of priority, he emphasised that the Commission must investigate and propose measures to the government – including the possible repeal or revision of the NHI Act – to ensure effective and efficient performance within the public service.

POSSIBLE LABOUR UNREST? 

The DA said it is easy to foresee how the NHI Act has sown the seeds of labour unrest and a complete breakdown in “good human-resource management and career-development practices” in the public sector. 

The party further labelled the NHI a cheap political ploy that will not address the dire state of public healthcare in all provinces. 

“The foreseeable breakdown in labour relations, and possible widespread labour unrest, that will follow the President’s signing of the NHI into law will cripple the ability of the public sector to deliver critical services to the people of South Africa. 

“Under the weight of decades of cadre deployment, mismanagement, and corruption, service delivery is already teetering on the brink of collapse,” he said. 

Furthermore, Schreiber said the breakdown in relations between workers and the employer precipitated by the expropriation without compensation of public servants’ GEMS contributions and unbearable tax increases would push the situation beyond breaking point.