DA WC calls on public comment on NHI Bill

The Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape urges members of the public to vigorously interrogate and comment on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill. Opportunities for public comment will close on 29 November 2019. The enactment of the Bill holds major threats to both the public and private healthcare sectors.

MPP Wendy Philander joined Benito Vergotine on The Honest Truth, listen to the conversation here: DA WC calls on public comment on NHI Bill


“The enactment will centralize financing and decision making of health care services of both public and private facilities which will delay the processes within the healthcare system as well as complicate accountability in the event of compromised healthcare service delivery,” MPP Wendy Philander said.


“The Western Cape Department of Health, despite several challenges, has been the forerunner in providing universal health coverage which aims to provide affordable quality care to all citizens without compromising supplementary services of the private healthcare sector. The department’s successes has already been evident as the province has the highest life expectancy rate in South Africa,” MPP Philander added.


It is very important that we realize how the intended National Health Insurance will affect the availability of future care.  


The Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape will fight this Bill tooth and nail to ensure that this does not become another failed, or even deadly, state-owned enterprise. We remain committed to ensuring quality healthcare provision for all South Africans.

Garron Gsell, chief executive and founder of the Men’s Foundation and prostate cancer survivor Darren Robertson, joined Benito Vergotine in conversation on The Honest Truth.

Listen to the conversation here: Movember!!! Men Get Screened!

How will you fight prostate cancer, testicular cancer and male mental health issues?

Whatever you Grow, will save a bro!

1 November 2019 – The hairiest month of the year is here! Join the global movement that’s Changing the Face of Men’s Health. Sign up as a Mo Bro or Mo Sista at www.za.movember.com and choose to Grow, Host or MOVE for men’s health.

In the month formerly known as November, over half a Million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas across the world will be rallying to raise funds and awareness for the often ignored issues surrounding men’s health.

“Men are facing a health crisis that isn’t being talked about. We have to make a stand and stop men dying too young, before their time,” says Garron Gsell, chief executive and founder of the Men’s Foundation, which manages the Movember campaign in South Africa under license from the Global Movember Foundation.

Movember is the leading global men’s health charity, funding over 1,250 projects in 21 countries worldwide – tackling prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. In South Africa, besides implementing global programmes, the Men’s Foundation develops and invests into men’s survivorship and research programmes. A more recent addition includes Project Peacock. Project Peacock provides the option of Low Dose Rate (LDR) brachytherapy to prostate cancer patients. In 2018, 18 prostate cancer patients received free brachytherapy treatment. In 2019, the number of men gaining access to this treatment has increased to 36.

As an advocate for Men’s Health and as a member of the Cancer Alliance, the Men’s Foundation has also been acknowledged for its contribution in developing first ever Policy and Guidelines for treating prostate cancer to be published next year by the Department of Health.

Currently, men in South Africa have a life expectancy that is seven years’ shorter than that of women. The Men’s Foundation aims to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25% by 2030.

Prostate cancer rates will double in the next 15 years. Testicular cancer rates have already doubled in the last 50 years, while three quarters of suicides are men. Poor mental health leads to half a million men taking their own life every year. That’s one every minute.

In South Africa, prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in men, while male suicide accounts for approximately 18 deaths a day.

“We have a long way to go until no man dies of these diseases. Our sons, partners, fathers, brothers and friends are facing these challenges and we need your help,” says Gsell.

This year’s campaign encourages everyone to Grow, Move or Host – Whatever you do, it all fights these health issues that are the leading causes of men’s fatalities in South Africa. Whether it’s your own health or that of your father, partner, brother or mate, by encouraging men to start the conversations, become aware of the health risks men face and get tested to become more physically active.

Visit www.za.movember.com to sign up and find out more as to how you you’d like to make a difference and change the face of men’s health.

Mo Bro’s are encouraged to start 1 Movember clean shaven. Grow throughout the month and get some serious funds behind the men who need it most.

Mo Sistas, make a difference in the lives of the men in your life! Get behind the Mo Bro’s in your life, adopt a Mo Bro in the office, help organise the teams, auction off their moustaches, or get a little creative and organise an event. Anything to attract attention and raise funds while having fun.

Mo Bro’s or Mo Sistas, do something good for you, while doing something great for men’s health. Move this Movember, and you can be the difference in a man’s life. Walk, run, cycle, swim or row. A little or a lot. Solo or in a team. It’s not about being the fittest or going the furthest. It’s about havin’ fun, doin’ good, by raising funds along the way.

“Until the recent development of the National Prostate Cancer policy & guidelines, the current reality is that government funding primarily focuses on women, children and the elderly, and there are very good reasons for this,” Gsell says. “What that means is that if we want to help men, then we have to rely on the private and public sectors to donate and invest in programmes that will make a difference.”

Help Change the Face of Men’s Health and sign up as a Mo Bro or Mo Sista. Grow a Mo, host and attend an event, or MOVE. Help spread awareness and education about men’s health. All past Mo Bro’s and Mo Sistas need to re-register. For more info, visit www.za.movember.com to download the Movember app on your mobile device. Follow Movember on social media: @MovemberRSA on Twitter or facebook/MovemberSouthAfrica.

All funds raised will go to awareness campaigns, research and survivor programmes linked to men’s health in South Africa.

It’s time to take action:

1. Sign up to help raise awareness and make a difference. Whatever you grow will save a Bro, whether it’s the First One, the Itchy One, the Salt & Pepper One, they all fight prostate, testicular cancer & male depression. Grow a Mo, Host and attend an event, or MOVE to fundraise at www.za.movember.com.– But

2. Start a Team, get the people in your workplace to join you. Have fun.

3. Set a fundraising target. Create a JustGiving page so your supporters can find you.

The seasoned political journalist Jan ­Jan Joubert looks at the burning issues of the day that can determine our fate in his new book “Will South Africa Be Okay?” It’s essential reading for every South African who cares about the country’s future and wants to be better informed.

Jan Jan Joubert joined Benito Vergotine on The Honest Truth, listen to the conversation here:

After the ANC’s victory in the 2019 elections, president Cyril Ramaphosa’s mandate is stronger than ever. He can now make good on his promises to clean out government corruption. But will he be successful and what does this mean for South Africa and its people? What does South Africa’s future look like with challenges like the land debate, racial tension and a dire economy? Will South Africa survive and thrive amidst the turmoil?

Jan­Jan Joubert is an author, journalist and political commentator. He has covered
parliament since 2011 for various publications and journalism platforms, and was
previously political editor of Die Burger, Beeld and Rapport, as well as deputy political
editor of Sunday Times. Will South Africa be Okay? is his second book. He lives in
Cape Town.



Ryland Fisher, Chief Executive of Ikusasa Lethu Media, joined Benito Vergotine in conversation to unpack the vicious response by police to migrants in Cape Town last week.

Listen to the conversation here: Police need sensitivity training

This week has been one in which we have felt proud to be South African at times, but also ashamed at other times.

The shame has also been because of the vicious response by police to migrants in Cape Town. It does not reflect well on your country if members of your police force forcibly pull babies out of the hands of their mothers and generally mishandle foreigners from other African countries, or anyone for that matter.

It shows there is a lack of sensitivity in police training. I am not arguing for what some people might consider a “soft” approach by police – police need to be tough, especially in a crime-ridden country such as ours, but they also need an ability to apply discretion.

The people from neighbouring countries, who are seeking a better life in South Africa, on the whole are not our enemies, even though some of them might engage in crime.

But the tough action, batons and stun grenades should be reserved for criminals, including those terrorising the Cape Flats and those who have stolen millions from poor people.

There appears to be a problem in the public service where those who work in the government do not appear to understand that our democracy needs a sensitivity to our violent past and humane treatment of everyone in our country. We cannot afford to have a situation where anyone is mistreated based on class, gender, race, country of origin or economic circumstances.

We need to start off with respect before we decide to get tough.

From watching the videos of Wednesday’s police action against the migrants in Cape Town, it is clear the police went in to terrorise and intimidate. They appear not to know how to treat anyone with dignity.

This is probably true for many parts of the public service. For instance, patients have been complaining about being treated with disrespect by nurses for years, and the less said about the service at government departments such as Home Affairs, the better.

There is a need for sensitivity training for public servants so that they can begin to understand how people in South Africa deserve to be treated in line with our Constitution.

There is no place for homophobia, sexism, racism, xenophobia, gender or class discrimination, or religious intolerance. There should be no place for any of this among public servants who are, more than anyone else, expected to uphold the Constitution.

This brings me to my unease with the Springboks’ performance. The Constitution outlaws hate speech and discrimination. In their haste to have the best chance of a Rugby World Cup victory – because we think it will momentarily solve our country’s complex social cohesion issues – those with authority have seen fit to allow Eben Etzebeth to represent our country despite allegations of hate speech and assault against him.

Whether he is guilty or not is not the point. The allegations are serious enough to have warranted him being withdrawn from the team before the world event started. Otherwise you are saying to the people who claim to have been the victims of his alleged transgressions that they do not matter.

I am patriotic and I want the Springboks to win, but I feel uncomfortable we should do it while there are such huge question marks over the behaviour of one of our senior players. In some ways, national rugby players are also public servants and they, too, could benefit from sensitivity training.

* Fisher is chief executive of Ikusasa Lethu Media. Follow him on Twitter: @rylandfisher

#changethestory: When humility leads us we are so much better

Listen to the conversation with Lorenzo A Davids, Chief Executive of the Community Chest, on The Honest Truth with Benito Vergotine, here: When humility leads us, we are so much better!

It was with breathless anxiety that I watched the Rugby World Cup Final between the Springboks and England. It wasn’t until Cheslin Kolbe crossed the line with his magical twists and turns that I felt that a third Rugby World Cup victory was a done deal.

At the final whistle a nation erupted in elation. Scenes of the 1995 Mandela Moment played on all our minds. President Ramaphosa had donned the no 6 jersey, a gift from captain Kolisi. And here is where it all changed. Siya Kolisi gave a speech of true humility.

The president was eventually found hidden somewhere in a scrum of bodies and looked like he was competing to be the hooker for the next Rugby World Cup. While English players all mostly removed their medals in what appeared to be a sign of disdain, Captain Kolisi and President Ramaphosa celebrated with a humility that became a moment of inspiration.

It is how we celebrate in victory and how we behave in defeat that we allow the world to see the character of our leadership.

When Maro Itoje, the brilliant English lock, refused to allow RWC President Bill Beaumont to put the medal around his neck, his example was followed by Kyle Sinckler, and later by others including English coach Eddie Jones who took his medal off before South Africa took to the podium to receive the World Cup trophy. What the English team told the world was: we refuse to accept that we lost. We refuse to be runners-up. It was a childish tantrum. It’s the typical brat attitude of “if I did not win, I won’t celebrate your win”.

It spoke volumes of the two cultures of leadership in the two teams. Siya Kolisi was in every way the servant leader who kept his message on point.

He spoke of how proud he was of “the boys” and referenced the ordinary people on the farms, the rural areas, the homeless who all inspired the team. He reflected the light on to others.

The president was hidden in the team scrum. Let’s not under-estimate how devastating this loss was for England. To be beaten by a South African team regarded as second rate at best was a sore blow to English pride.

The leadership styles of our sports stars, politicians and business leaders either take us down a destructive road of inflated importance and entitlement or into the enlightened pathway of humility.

There is no other word for it. Humility is the word.

It does pose the question: Why do we not have better leadership from our public icons? The answer to that is that we’re all trained to win at all cost.

We are trained to not celebrate the achievements of others. We are surrounded by people who click “like” on social media posts, not because they like it (in fact, they often don’t) but if they don’t “like” the post, then that person won’t click like on their posts. The culture of narcissism is eating us alive.

It was Michelle Obama who famously and simplistically said: “If they go low, we go high.”

Off to the side were the English players, all bar two players, having removed their runners-up medals. They have poisoned the minds of thousands of young people who, wanting to see them shine in glorious victory, instead saw them behave like brats in defeat. There is a better way.

On Saturday I was happy that we won. But what inspired me more was that both our captain and our president behaved in a way that inspired our country to lead with humility and to avoid narcissistic indulgences. May our future leaders come from the humble team.

* Lorenzo A Davids is chief executive of the Community Chest.