Taxpayers in South Africa are facing the prospect of soon paying more than three types of tax for medical services, following the publishing of the African National Congress’ long-promised White Paper on National Health Insurance (NHI) in the Government Gazette by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi in December.
The NHI is a proposed health financing system designed to provide access to healthcare services to all citizens at an estimated cost of R256-billion a year.
According to business rights watchdog AfriBusiness law and policy analyst Armand Greyling, the programme, which he described as “a wonderful idea”, would be financed through across-the board tax increases, placing an additional onus on already overburdened taxpayers.
“The problem that we face is not with the NHI, but the deep dark hole into which billions will disappear every year. We have seen it with [parastatals], the South African Post Office, PetroSA and more recently South African Airways.
“The State is a very good taxman, but a very bad businessman,” he said in a note.
AfriBusiness, meanwhile, committed to continuing to keep a watchful eye on the development of the NHI and the financing model thereof, saying it would oppose and deliver commentary on any proposed legislation promulgated by government in this regard to protect the interests of all South Africans.