Mokonyane: Further govt action could follow in NW

Cabinet decided at its meeting in Cape Town on Wednesday to invoke Section 100(1)(b) of the Constitution, which allows national government to step in where a province is unable to effect proper delivery of services or to maintain stability.

Outside the Mahikeng Provincial Hospital where SANDF health service staff have been deployed to assist. Picture: Masechaba Sefularo/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The North West provincial health department has been put under administration but further action by the national government could follow, depending on a report-back by the high-level team of ministers sent to the violence-torn region.

Cabinet decided at its meeting in Cape Town on Wednesday to invoke Section 100(1)(b) of the Constitution, which allows national government to step in where a province is unable to effect proper delivery of services or to maintain stability.

Briefing at Parliament on Thursday, Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said that the team of ministers was expected to carry out its fact-finding mission and report back to Cabinet in two weeks’ time.

Mokonyane says that the immediate focus is restoring health services in the North West.

"For now it is the Health Department (that’s been put under administration) and hence this multi-disciplinary team (of ministers) going in there to look at all other issues that they must then bring back to Cabinet and Cabinet will then apply its mind."

There’s been a lengthy stand-off between employees and health authorities in the province, while some protests have targeted clinics and hospitals.

"Secondly, the inefficiencies that have actually brought some of the clinics and hospitals to actually close, not only because of the protests… a number of clinics closed prior to the protests."

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