Trade union federation Cosatu has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, saying the public health system has collapsed on his watch. Motsoaledi has faced a sustained campaign against him by Cosatu over the past two years, as the federation is unhappy with his progress on implementing universal healthcare. Cosatu has consistently accused him of watering down the ANC’s policy on National Health Insurance (NHI) to appease the private sector, and has called for him to be axed. Cosatu was a major driving force behind Ramaphosa’s bid to win control of the ANC in December. Motsoaledi was also a Ramaphosa backer.

Motsoaledi called a media conference on Tuesday to try and reassure the nation that while the public health system was taking strain, it was far from collapsing. He emphasised that the public health sector provided care to 4.2-million HIV patients and that deaths from TB had halved between 2009 and 2015, falling from 69,251 to 33,603 ove...

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