The public only has three days left to submit their concerns regarding the draft health regulations before the public participation period closes on Friday, 5 August 2022. The DA encourages everyone to submit their objections in writing via WhatsApp on 060 012 3456; e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the website on www.health.gov.za/public-comments-on-regulations.
The DA has called on the Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, to recall the draft health regulations on a number of occasions. These draconian regulations would have far-reaching implications for our Constitutional rights. All Covid-regulations and restrictions have already been removed and the National Department of Health has also recently conceded that the current variant does not even warrant them to provide daily updates on figures anymore.
The proposed draft regulations would enforce, without the option of refusal or any oversight from Parliament:
- Quarantine should a patient test positive for Covid-19;
- Forced testing and taking of bodily samples in the event of a positive Covid-19 case, or even should a positive test be suspected;
- Forced treatment or providing of prophylaxis 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
- Trivial limitations on gatherings and funerals without the need for scientific evidence or input. This will negatively impact small businesses as well as the restaurant and arts and culture industries, which have yet to recover from the lockdowns.
The ANC government seeks to consolidate as much of its dwindling power as possible, and the draft health regulations are a perfect example of this. It does not bode well for the South African public or economy should these regulations be bulldozed through by the Minister.
The DA has also raised concerns regarding the public participation process. In the interest of transparency and accountability, the DA has requested an audit of the public participation process and all submissions received. The ANC government has often used public participation as a mere box-ticking exercise, and given Health Department officials’ comments regarding submissions opposing the draft health regulations, the DA will do everything in our power ensure that no citizen is undermined.