The Stage
Is welfare the best medicine for inequality?

The overwhelming sense we got after watching South Africa’s 2021 National Budget speech was that our beautiful country is in for another year of the same nonsense. We were among a handful of taxpayers who felt more than a bit miffed by minister Tito Mboweni’s flippant and at times irreverent delivery. Although the minister acknowledged the fiscal debt crisis facing the country, he barely mentioned the growing herd of elephants in the room. Eskom and SAA remain unresolved and the as yet un-costed National Health Insurance (NHI) initiative did not even make it into the text.

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Straight Talk
FIA weighs in on NHI, healthcare brokers and medical schemes

We were among thousands of South Africans who listened attentively to the 2021 National Budget in the hope that our Minister of Finance would offer some insights into the future of healthcare provision. We fully expected the minister to explain how the roll out of the country’s National Health Insurance (NHI) programme would impact on the national budget in coming years. But he never mentioned healthcare funding at all, leaving it to commentators to go over the detailed statements released alongside his speech for further details. Our readers are interested in NHI because it will have a profound impact on the private healthcare sector and influence the long term sustainability of medical schemes and health insurance distribution.

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Featured story
A third wave for winter

A study of historic coronavirus outbreaks suggests that countries will experience a third wave of Covid-19 at some point in 2021. The three wave trend is prevalent in almost all previous pandemic events, including the 1929 Spanish flu, the 1958 Hong Kong flu and the 1969 Asian flu. More recently, MERS and SARS exhibited similar patterns, although infections in these cases were largely localised. Futurist and scenario planner, Graeme Codrington, says that South Africa will face a third wave around Easter 2021. He was presenting at a RGA webinar, titled ‘Back to the future: Emerging from the disruption’.

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The Budget Speech 2021...


Certainly taxpayer-friendly, with tax increases being kept to a minimum
Realistic and in accordance with my expectation
Is welcomed news and will go a long way to bolster the economy and South Africa
I have mixed feelings… cutbacks and reprioritisations in government spending pose a significant risk and will come at a cost
Oh no! What about our booze and tobacco! Higher sin taxes
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FAnews February 2021 Get the latest issue of FAnews

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