South Africa’s President Signs Controversial Health Bill Into Law

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South Africa’s President Cyril Ramapahosa has signed a controversial bill for universal healthcare into law.

The signing ceremony occurred in Pretoria on Wednesday afternoon. Mr Ramaphosa described it as a major step towards a more just society.

Despite the excitement Mr Ramaphosa exuded as he signed the bill, many groups have said they are exploring taking legal action against it.

The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), said it was an unaffordable, populist move aimed at preventing the ANC from losing its overall majority.

Build One South Africa, another opposition party, released a statement shortly after the signing.

“We cannot allow this new law to go unchallenged,” it read.

They accused President Ramaphosa of using the bill to boost his party’s chances at the polls on May 29.

Most people in South Africa currently rely on overburdened and run-down publicly funded hospitals.

Those who can afford to pay for healthcare have access to better treatment through their insurance.

The new law will gradually limit the role of private insurance and create a new public health fund.

This bill comes ahead of a tough election season for Mr Ramaphosa’s party, the African National Congress (ANC), which has been in power for three decades.