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In the next five years, the ANC will establish a National Health Insurance Fund

  • When made: January 2014

  • Where made: Party manifesto

The National Health Insurance (NHI) aims to provide “essential healthcare” to South Africans, regardless of their financial status.

The NHI Fund would buy services from healthcare providers and deliver them to the public, who would not have to pay at the point of care.

The fund has not been set up in the five years since the start of the 2014/15 financial year.

The department of health’s annual performance plan for 2019/20 to 2021/22 says it will be established in 2020/21.

Dr Anban Pillay, deputy director-general for the NHI, said the delay was due to the legislative process and the related need for consultation, which was “extensive” in South Africa.

The NHI Bill has been approved by cabinet but must become law before the fund can be established.

On 26 July 2019, health minister Zweli Mkhize gave notice of his intention to introduce the bill in parliament. “This marks the beginning of the bill being open to debate in parliament and for public commentary,” says a media advisory.

Pillay told Africa Check that the target date for establishing the fund was not set in stone because it depended on the parliamentary process, over which the department had no control.

In its 2019 election manifesto, the ANC again promised to “create a publicly administered NHI Fund”.

The 2014 promise has therefore been broken. The ANC did not respond to requests for comment. – Africa Check, August 2019

Note: The ANC’s 2014 manifesto was released on 11 January and the election held on 7 May. Government reporting keeps to financial years. We tracked the party’s five-year progress in keeping its promises from 1 April 2014, the start of the 2014/15 financial year, to 31 March 2019, the end of the 2018/19 financial year.

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