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Mokonyane: Govt to step in and deal with North West crisis

Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says Cabinet has decided to invoke Section 100 (1) (b) of the Constitution.

Residents of Seweding near Mahikeng call for the removal of North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo on 20 April 2018. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee/EWN

CAPE TOWN – The government is stepping in to deal with the crisis in North West province.

Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says Cabinet has decided to invoke Section 100 (1) (b) of the Constitution.

This allows for national government to take over to ensure stability and service delivery when a province proves incapable of doing so.

North West has been gripped by violent protests, with residents calling for Premier Supra Mahumapelo’s removal, while health services have ground to a standstill.

"Cabinet has approved the invoking Section 100(1)(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 to address the apparent crisis, particularly in the health sector. The main objective of this intervention would be to restore trust and confidence between labour and government, to assist the province to upgrade its systems and capabilities to a new normality, to ensure compliance with the legislative and regulatory framework of government and lastly to stabilise the labour environment to restore sustainable service delivery and ensure security of staff and improve financial management."

Mokonyane’s also announced a ministerial task team will head to North West and report back on any further interventions needed.

She says the team won't be engaging Mahumapelo on whether or not he should step down, saying this was not the task of government.

RESTORING HEALTH SERVICES

Mokonyane says that national government’s intervention in the North West province will start by focusing on restoring health services in the violence-torn region.

The minister says that Cabinet is concerned about the instability and several other issues in the province but wants to engage with the provincial government first.

“For now, what has been a revealing area that requires immediate intervention is around health services, precisely because of the stand-off that exists between management labour and leadership in that sector.”

Security cluster ministers and those of Health, Planning, Finance and Cogta are now to establish the facts on the ground and must report back within two weeks.

Mokonyane says that Cabinet has noted communities’ concerns but condemns the violence, looting and destruction of property that’s taken place.

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