MOMENTUM’S EMPOWERMENT DEAL: WHAT’S IN IT FOR UNIONS?

Nehawu and Popcru hopes, that in due course, the empowerment transaction will give more than 2 million people Universal Access to health care.

Momentum Metropolitan Health Group Empowerment deal has generated a lot interest amongst business news hounds. And as far as Black economic empowerment deals , the hype will dissipate and interest people’s focus will on the next one. But what makes the deal unique that Momentum Metropolitan has struck is the diversity of partners involved. 32 percent of Momentum shareholding will be owned by major labour unions and notable black business leaders. The unions involved include: Nehawu Investment Holdings, the investment company of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), Popcru Group of Companies (PGC), investment company of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union. The business leaders in the health sector involved are: Dr Gil Mahlati, Professor Lucky Mathebula, Dr Ntombi Mutshekwane, Mogologolo Phasha, Dr Sello Rathete and Dr David Sekete.

Momentum’s interests

With more than 3.2 million clients, Momentum hopes that the new partnerships will help it gain access to a potential market of some 6 million employed South Africans who have no access to healthcare. With many of these employees active in the labour movement, the partnership has been structured so that more trade unions will be able to join in due course.

Universal access to health care for workers

Nehawu and Popcru have 500 000 members, when one includes their dependents it could easily be more than 2 million people. This cohort needs can best be served through the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme, which could fill the void of the public health system, bedeviled by a dysfunctional healthcare resources and capacity, as well as problems of access. “We achieved that (NHI), but we now needed to become active in healthcare. We had to find a credible partner so we could help in providing universal access to healthcare. We started discussions with various players four years ago,” says Nehawu Investment Holdings chief executive, Makgane Thobejane.

Transformation in the heath sector

Momentum Metropolitan Health chief executive, Hannes Viljoen, says Momentum is confident that it has got the right the right partners who will ensure that it plays a part in a transforming society. Momentum’s move is in response to the need for transformation in the private healthcare industry to support universal access, he adds. “We decided we would create more healthcare solutions, for more people, for less.”

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