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Dr. Kgosi Letlape Leaves ANC Over NHI Bill, Joins ActionSA as Health Shadow Minister

Published March 12, 2024
2 months ago

In a significant political shift, Dr. Kgosi Letlape, past President of the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA), announced his resignation from the African National Congress (ANC), citing discontent with the party's direction and operational procedures, particularly in the healthcare sector. Dr. Letlape's departure comes amid his harsh criticism over President Cyril Ramaphosa's push to implement the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, a piece of legislation that has sparked considerable debate in South Africa's healthcare and political spheres.

For Dr. Letlape, who joined the ANC in 2010, the move to ActionSA—an opposition party led by former Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba—and his subsequent appointment as Shadow Minister of Health, signifies a desire to effect change in a space he holds expertise. Expressing frustration over the ANC's handling of health policy, particularly the lack of consultation with professionals, Dr. Letlape contends that under the current leadership, there's been a stagnation in progress, with young doctors struggling to find employment and healthcare workers facing increasing violence—a situation he deems unacceptable and unresolved by his former party.

The tumultuous transition indicates a broader discontent within the ranks of the ANC regarding policy making and member inclusion. Dr. Letlape's expertise as a seasoned health professional embodies a significant asset for ActionSA as the party aims to fortify its stance on national health issues and present alternative policies to the controversial NHI Bill, which seeks to overhaul the South African health system by creating a government-run public healthcare fund.

ActionSA has welcomed Dr. Letlape, leveraging his skills and experience to bolster their campaign for more effective, inclusive, and consultative healthcare policy-making. Meanwhile, the ANC faces introspection as to how it engages with its members and experts in various fields. Dr. Letlape’s departure underscores the ongoing challenge of retaining skilled professionals within the party’s ranks and the impact this could have on policy development and implementation in South Africa. As the narrative unfolds, it sets a scene for a potential restructuring of the political landscape, with healthcare reform at the forefront of the debate.

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