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South Africa: Govt Calls for National Dialogue on Dysfunctional Coalitions – South African News Briefs – May 26, 2023

 

Government Calls National Dialogue to Address ‘Loosely Arranged’ Coalitions

The government is inviting all political parties to share their inputs with the Presidency and the department of cooperative governance which are working on a framework to manage coalition governments, reports TimesLive. The aim is to address the issues caused by loosely arranged coalition governments, particularly in dysfunctional municipalities. Deputy President Paul Mashatile said that the government plans to convene a national dialogue within the next two months to develop a coherent coalition framework. He added that the current regime of coalitions in South Africa is “shaky”, and the government intends to intervene to ensure solid principles are established for local government coalitions. Mashatile emphasised that the party that wins the majority should govern.

National Health Insurance Bill Advances Amid Funding and Legal Concerns

After three years of deliberations, the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill passed through the National Assembly Portfolio Committee on Health this week, with hardly a change made to the original version and the threat of legal challenges hanging in the air, reports News24. The bill aims to establish universal healthcare in South Africa by replacing the current two-tier system. It will create a single NHI Fund managed by the state to provide free healthcare services to the public. However, there are concerns about the viability of private healthcare and the funding model for the NHI. The bill will now proceed to the National Assembly for further processing and also needs approval from the National Council of Provinces. Lobby groups are hopeful for amendments to protect medical aid schemes.

Scientists Advise South Africa to Brace for New El Niño

Scientists monitoring extreme climate events say all indications are that Southern Africa should expect to feel the heat of another El Niño spell this summer, reports TimesLive. Global data indicate the development of an El Niño in the Pacific region, accompanied by record sea surface temperatures. El Niño typically brings hotter and drier weather, potentially leading to local droughts in southern Africa’s summer-rainfall region. The Extreme Climate Event Research Alliance (ECERA) is hosting a national summit in Pretoria to discuss the potential impacts of El Niño and to engage with civil society to enhance preparedness. The summit aims to raise awareness and gather information regarding the pending climate anomaly. ECERA was established to prioritize research and help South Africans prepare for extreme weather events associated with climate change.

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