President Cyril Ramaphosa was still considering the National Health Insurance Bill (NHI) after it was sent to him to be signed into law after Parliament approved it.
Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said the president had to satisfy himself that the bill would stand up to constitutional muster, before signing it into law.
He said the president’s legal advisers were looking at the NHI Bill.
The overriding factor was that the president must satisfy himself that the bill was compliant and all processes were followed when it was approved by both Houses of Parliament, said Magwenya.
Business and healthcare groups have made submissions to Ramaphosa and asked him not to sign the bill into law.
They said it was flawed, as Parliament had failed to address some of the issues about its constitutional validity.
The bill was processed by the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces last year and sent to the president to be signed into law.
“With respect to the NHI Bill, you will appreciate that the president has a constitutional obligation to satisfy himself that the process that the bill has gone through will stand scrutiny, that all the submissions that were made during the public participation process were carefully considered before the bill was passed.
“This is his constitutional duty. The legal team is hard at work, not only on the NHI bill, as you have pointed out. There are other bills before the president and it is important that the president satisfies himself that all those processes prior to the signing of the bill were conducted in the earnest manner that our constitution envisages,” said Magwenya.
Some political parties have also threatened to take Ramaphosa to court if he signs the bill into law.
They said the process was flawed and the bill was not compliant with the Constitution.
They also said the bill was rammed through Parliament.
Ramaphosa must refer it back to Parliament to allow all parties to make corrections on provisions that were questionable, said parties.