South Africans must get the opportunity to submit comments on the planned international health treaty on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response by member states of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health met yesterday with a delegation from the European Parliament to discuss the need for such a treaty.
The FF Plus had sent several questions about the proposed treaty to the Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, and Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, in May 2022 already.
That was after it came to light that South Africa is participating in the negotiations and will be a fellow signatory to the treaty.
The member states of the WHO are busy compiling certain measures for controlling and combating future pandemics.
During yesterday's meeting with the delegation from the European Parliament, the FF Plus made it very clear that the senseless Covid-19 restrictions in South Africa had an extremely detrimental impact on the public.
Due to the declared state of disaster, the parliamentary oversight process was totally diluted and corruption was rampant.
The FF Plus also emphasised that poor decisions and mistakes made during the pandemic must not be repeated.
All the member states of the WHO must carefully consider the proposed treaty. It could, in fact, be dangerous to rely too heavily on input from the ANC.
It is of the utmost importance that the South African public is afforded the opportunity to submit comments on the WHO's planned international health treaty, which government will sign on their behalf.
It is, therefore, also important to disclose all the details of the treaty.
Another situation where the government has absolute power over the South African public and enforces draconian regulations, like during the Covid-19 state of disaster, cannot be allowed.
Section 231 of the South African Constitution clearly stipulates that any international treaties are only binding once the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces have adopted it.
Seeing as government cannot be trusted with enforcing states of disaster and health regulations, it must follow the right route with a public participation process.
The FF Plus will insist on it in the Portfolio Committee on Health.