Public comment for the consequential Draft Health Regulations will close this Sunday. The DA urges South Africans to make their submissions. We remind South Africans of the concerning proposed amendments, which will seek to impose the following:
- Forced quarantine, without the option of refusal, in the event of a positive Covid-19 case;
- Forced testing and taking of bodily samples, without the option of refusal, in the event of a positive Covid-19 case, or worse, upon the mere suspicion of a positive test;
- Forced treatment or providing of prophylaxis, without the option of refusal, in the event of a positive Covid-19 test. Currently, the only lawful prophylaxis for Covid-19 are the various vaccines as approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Agency (SAHPRA); and
- The ability to enforce trivial limitations on gatherings and funerals without the need for scientific based evidence or input, which will continue to destroy small businesses and the entertainment and restaurant industry.
Earlier during the public participation process, it was reported that public submissions were being deleted without being read. The DA wrote a letter and informed the department highlighting these reports and it was realised that the automatic deletion was a technical error. We are yet to receive feedback on the request regarding an audit and assessment of these public comments, that have potentially been lost due to this technicality. We will continue to place pressure on government to ensure that the public participation process results in meaningful incorporations into the new regulations and is not just a box ticking exercise
Before the 7-day extension for public comments was announced, approximately 160 000 submissions have been sent through. Public participation is a central part to our democracy and offers South Africans an opportunity to provide for meaningful input to the decision-making process. South Africans have a right for their voices to be heard. We encourage South Africans to submit their concerns regarding the Regulations before 24 April 2022 via WhatsApp on 060 012 3456; e-mail at email@example.com; or via the website on www.health.gov.za/public-comments-on-regulations.