‘Your submission was deleted without being read’

Please find an attached soundbite by Michele Clarke MP.

The DA will write to the Minister for Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, regarding serious concerns about the validity of the public’s submissions on the Regulations in the Government Gazette to the National Health Act 61 of 2003. The Minister must ensure that an independent and transparent audit of all submissions are done. The Regulations must not come into effect until this audit is conducted and everything is proven to be above board.

The DA has received numerous complaints from members of the public that they are getting automated messages that their submissions have been deleted without being read. The audit must include an assessment of the system capabilities of the platform the Department is using to receive submissions. It could be a case of that platform struggling to deal with the volume of emails coming in. While this might be a technical issue, South Africans deserve clarity and a chance to resubmit their objections.

It is extremely worrying that we have yet to receive feedback on our complaint to the chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on health, Dr Kenneth Jacobs, regarding this issue.

The ANC government has a long history of messing up public consultations, and these regulations could seriously infringe on people’s Constitutional rights.

The DA has many concerns regarding the Regulations that have seemingly been drafted for the sole purpose of shifting lockdown powers to the Health Minister. We will do everything in our power to stop these Regulations from being enacted and encourage the public to continue submitting their objections to tsakani.furumele@health.gov.za before 15 April 2022.

The lockdown has had a detrimental impact on the lives of millions of South Africans, and we cannot allow the Health Minister the ability to decree other lockdowns without Parliament’s approval and scrutiny.