ANC presses ahead with NHI, ANAs

2015-10-11 16:34
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga

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The ANC has flexed its muscles as it forges ahead with the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme and the Annual National Assessments (ANAs).

National Treasury now has added pressure on its shoulders as the ANC instructed it to find enough money to finance the full rollout of the NHI scheme soonest.

The party also wants the Department of Basic Education to forge ahead with the ANAs despite stiff opposition from teacher unions which led to the postponements of the tests to next year.

Delegates at the National General Council (NGC), a midterm policy review meeting currently sitting in Midrand, agreed that a national financial health system as adopted seven years ago must be sped up and that money must no longer be an issue.

In its 2012 Budget Review, the Treasury estimated that the country would need an extra R6 billion for the rollout this year.

“We must use public resources to realise this,” ANC NEC member Naledi Pandor told journalists during a report back on Education, Health, Science and Technology.

The NHI scheme – as the government’s chosen path to universal and affordable health care – has been plagued by funding and poor working conditions.

The pilot is already under way in 11 districts across the country. While the NHI white paper is yet to be released, the NHI Bill was gazetted last year.

A discussion paper on financing options is yet to released by the National Treasury, to accompany the NHI white paper.

Meanwhile, the ANC flexed more of its muscle when it endorsed the ANAs which had pitted Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga against teacher unions.

The SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) and the National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) last month raised concerns about the frequency of the testing and the demands on administration.

This led Motshekga to postpone assessments until next year. Learners were supposed to have sat for the ANAs last month but the unions complained about their readiness.

Pandor said not a single member of the alliance partners came out to speak against pressing ahead with the ANAs.

“The view was that this is an important strategy. Where there are disagreements and concerns about implementation, the process of review has been set in motion and we must allow it. That process should not make us detract from ANAs. That was the strong sentiment and it was supported,” she said.

A task team of department officials and unions will consider proposals for re-designing the assessments to be relaunched next year.

Read more on:    anc  |  anc ngc

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