President Cyril Ramaphosa’s inter-ministerial committee (IMC) task team, which is looking into the state of the North West province, has started meeting with leaders at different municipalities.
“This week, we also decided, since we visited the province, we must visit at least two municipalities this week to assess the state of the municipalities,” IMC head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said.
“This will give us a dipstick assessment of where things are in municipalities,” added the minister in the presidency, who is charge of the planning, monitoring and evaluation portfolio.
Dlamini-Zuma was addressing the media for the first time since her appointment on April 25.
Ramaphosa first placed the province’s health department under administration, and appointed the IMC, following the outbreak of violent protests in the platinum-rich province, as residents demanded the removal of Premier Supra Mahumapelo.
Health services had also collapsed, with staffers at hospitals in the province being on strike for more than two months.
The president has since placed the whole province under administration, following a preliminary report by the IMC.
However, Dlamini-Zuma would not divulge details of the report that was presented to Cabinet, and which led to the decision to place the entire province under administration.
The IMC includes several ministers from the departments of health, cooperative governance and traditional affairs, agriculture, public works, and some various others from the justice cluster.
News24 previously reported that Cabinet had decided to invoke Section 100(1) (b) of the Constitution of 1996 to address the apparent crisis, particularly in the health sector.
Dlamini-Zuma said various ministers were meeting with heads of their equivalent departments in the province in order to determine if the Section 100 should be section (a), which will see the national department working with its provincial counterpart to turn things around, or section (b), which would see the entire department taken over by the national office.
“Cabinet will also receive a consolidated report from all ministers who have equivalent departments in the province,” said Dlamini-Zuma.
Dlamini-Zuma told journalists that the IMC had decided to also get a sense of what was happening in the province’s municipalities. She said they also wanted to meet with the South African Local Government Association (Salga), the SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) and ratepayers’ associations to hear their views on the state of municipalities in the province.
Dlamini-Zuma also said that the justice cluster would take on the various claims of corruption and maladministration.
“The JSPC is investigating and they are going to investigate anything and everything that is given to them to investigate and they are going to then charge whoever needs to be charged if they find someone needs to be charged,” she said.
Earlier, members of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) marched to North West Legislature to hand over a memorandum of complaints ahead of the meeting by the IMC’s meeting.
The union said the North West province could not be allowed to continue in the way it had under the embattled Supra Mahumapelo’s leadership.
The union said it wanted to “fight [the] barbaric tendencies of a selected few who want to benefit in the country’s economy by a way of exploiting workers”.
One of the main grievances by the union was problems plaguing public service in the province.
“The quality of services given to our people in this province is a true testimony of [the] lack of accountability; incompetent management as well as [corrupt] practices which are allowed to become a norm,” the union said in a statement.
“It is against this background that Nehawu in the North West Province took the fight to the street against this Supra Mahumapelo-led government.”
It further criticised the “shocking experiences” of employees through maladministration in the province.
Nehawu said it “violently and vehemently opposed” any form of privatisation and outsourcing in the province.
“In this regard, the introduction of consultants who are doing the same work as the employees of government in the presence of the same skilled workers seeks to undermine the principle of strengthening the public service,” the union said.
It further criticised the Premier’s office claiming it had been used “to perpetuate and advance the same irregular acts” that had seen the province placed under national administration.
It listed more than 20 demands including forensic investigations into cases of corruption in the province, the release of a report following an investigation into Public Works, and the insourcing of workers, among other demands.