16 May 2018

South Africa: Inter-Ministerial Task Team Briefs Media On Progress in Implementation of Cabinet Decision

press release

Ministers

Deputy Ministers

Directors-General and Heads of other institutions present

Members of the media

Fellow South Africans

Good afternoon to you all,

Thank you very much for joining us for this briefing on progress in the implementation of the Cabinet decision to establish an Inter-Ministerial Committee Task Team (IMTT) on the North West Province.

Introduction

At its meeting of Wednesday, April 25 2018, Cabinet deliberated on the unstable situation that has unfolded in the North West province, and which has affected a number of services, particularly health services.

Following the Cabinet meeting, President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed an Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) to give urgent attention to matters of governance and risks facing the North West province. The Ministers in the Task Team are; the Ministers of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (Convener); Health; Finance; Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, as well as the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster of Ministers.

Inter-ministerial Task Team

The President has directed the Inter-Ministerial Task Team to:

Conduct an urgent assessment of the state of governance in the North-West Province;

Advise Cabinet on potential risks facing the province;

Provide Cabinet with a comprehensive report on the state of governance in the province. The report should advise on steps to be taken in respect of the Task Team's findings, and

Remain seized with the North-West matter until all critical issues are resolved.

A Technical Task Team (TTT) of the IMTT, chaired by the DG DPME, comprising the Directors-General (DGs) of the respective IMTT Departments met with the Provincial Heads of Department (HoDs) and the Director-General of the North West Province in preparation for IMTT engagements with the Provincial Executive.

Members of the IMTT visited the North West Province on 04th, 07th and 8th of May 2018 as part of the urgent assessment of the state of governance.

On the 4th and 7th May, The IMTT met with Members of the Executive Council (MECs), led by the Premier, Mr. SOR Mahumapelo.

On 07th and 08th May 2018, the IMTT met with a diverse group of concerned stakeholders in the North West Province.

On the 04th of May 2018, the IMTT visited Mafikeng Provincial Hospital to assess the state of health service delivery, particularly in the context of the strike by members of NEHAWU and the stabilization and support provided by the South African Military Health Services (SAHMS).

The work of the IMTT and its Technical Task Team entailed a diagnostic assessment of the current situation in the North West Province, a preliminary analysis of root causes, an outline of initial remedial interventions and recommendations required to restore normality to the Province. The report also identifies numerous areas where further work is required, prior to submission of a final report on the assessment of the state of governance in the North West Province.

Preliminary report

The Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) on North West presented a report on its preliminary work to Cabinet on 09 May 2018. The report provided an account of the preliminary work that has been done in the last two weeks.

The report reflected a diagnostic assessment of the situation in the North West Province, covering root causes and remedial interventions required to restore normality to the Province.

Cabinet was satisfied with the progress made by the IMTT in its efforts to stabilise the Province.

Invoking of section 100 (1) of the Constitution

Cabinet took a decision to invoke Section 100 (1) of the South African Constitution, which authorizes national and provincial executives to intervene in provincial administration and local government respectively within certain constitutional constraints. The Constitution states that, when a province cannot or does not fulfil an executive obligation in terms of the Constitution or legislation, the national executive may intervene by taking any appropriate steps to ensure fulfilment of that obligation.

Based on the preliminary findings of the IMTT, President Cyril Ramaphosa has written to the Chairperson of the National council of Provinces notifying her of Cabinet's decision to invoke section 100 (1) of the Constitution to address the problems in the North West.

The Ministers who have equivalent departments in the province will use this week to assess the findings in relation to specific North West Provincial departments to determine whether to invoke Section 100(1) (a) or Section 100(1) (b). Cabinet will receive the report from the IMTT reflecting recommendations from National departments on the application of the relevant section. The President will then write to inform the NCOP of the full nature of the intervention to meet the constitutional obligations.

The fact-finding remains work in progress, The IMTT is still going through and verifying the information that it received in its consultations with stakeholders. This has to be a meticulous process that ensures that any claims that are made are supported by evidence.

Investigation by law enforcement

Over and above the obvious responsibility of restoring peace to the North West Province, the JCPS Cluster has to conduct further investigations where maladministration and/or corruption are suspected. In areas were glaring contraventions of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) are found, the IMTT is referring the matters to the law enforcement agencies for consideration of criminal prosecutions.

The issues are not insurmountable

The IMTT would like to assure the people of South Africa that it is putting in place the necessary interventions intended to resolve issues and restore normality in the North West Province as mandated by Cabinet.

National government is putting together a capable team of specialist officials who will work closely with the North West Executive to ensure better governance systems and improved services for the people of the province.

Reports on progress will be made to Cabinet on a fortnightly basis in line with the IMTT mandate.

Conclusion

It is regrettable that the people of the North West Province allowed the criminal element to embed itself in their grievance processes through acts of looting and destruction of property. We reiterate our call for our people to be vigilant and reject this opportunism, especially when it affects essential services like public health facilities and shutdown entire communities to register their concerns.

As we conclude, The IMTT would like to express its appreciation to all the officials supporting the ongoing work in the North West Province, especially the executive and senior government leaders of the province for their cooperation.

The IMTT would like to thank the provincial executive led by Premier Supra Mahumapelo as well as senior official in the North West Province for their cooperation in ensuring a smooth fact-finding process. They were always ready to meet with us and answer our questions. This assisted us to meet the Cabinet deadline for submission of the preliminary report.

We would also like to thank the North West community for allowing calm to restore to the province as this makes the work of the IMTT easier. We also thank the officers our security agencies on the ground who continue to provide security to the public and property.

We also extend a special word of thanks to the members of the South African Military Health Services for insuring that our people continue to receive healthcare while the labour impasse within the Provincial Department of Health is being addressed.

Lastly, we thank you members of the media for your interest in keeping South Africans informed about the work that we are doing to assist this province. We will continue to give you updates as the process moves forward.

Issued by: Government Communications

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