26 April 2018

South Africa: MEC Sello Lehari On North West Protests

press release

Press briefing statement by MEC Sello Lehari of the Department of Education and Sport Development, who is also the Leader of Government Business. MEC Lehari was joined by MECs Manketsi Tlhape of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development and Dr Mpho Motlhabane of Community Safety and Transport Management.

Ladies and gentlemen, It is now for a week that we have been witnessing sporadic incidents of looting, violence, destruction of property emanating from a campaign formally launched through a motion of no confidence by the EFF on the Premier.

As the Executive Council we believe that all citizens of the province like the rest of South Africans have a right to express their views and desires through various platforms which include peaceful protests.

This right we respect and no one can ever take it away from our citizens because many South Africans fought and died for this right.

What is unfortunate about the current incidents in the province is their violent nature, resulting in torching of buildings, injuries to people, intimidation displacement of foreign nationals and other South Africans as well as unfortunately loss of lives.

We have observed destruction of critical government properties and private properties such as clinics, schools and police stations and government buildings.

We call on the police to get deeper with investigations on these issues.

It is our call to all people of the North West in general and in particular the affected areas to use existing democratic platforms to express their views.

We want to take this opportunity to report to the people of our province and South Africa that commendable progress has been registered in discussions between government and NEHAWU.

In this regard we want to remind people that Premier Mahumapelo has appointed a team of 3 MECs to attend to the issues facing government employees in Health and Social Development.

We want to applaud NEHAWU leadership for the robust manner in which discussions have been taking place.

Both government and NEHAWU are committed to do everything possible to end the strike because it has a devastating impact on the lives of people, for instance:

Ngaka Modiri Molema District has been hard hit through the closure of central medical depot, clinics and two major hospitals. Disruptions have also spread to some facilities at Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati and Bojanala Districts.

The unfortunate victims are the largest sections of society who do not have an alternative to the services provided by public health.

Most of the patients who receive chronic medication and have not had access to medication stand to develop severe resistance which has a deadly consequence on their lives.

Some of the administrative demands made by NEHAWU are reasonable.

The forensic investigation in relation to MEDIOSA has been completed and the report was delivered to the Department of Health yesterday for implementation of the recommendations.

The next phase of the investigation relates to other contracts, to name but a few: Buthelezi emergency medical services, High Care emergency medical services, Moepathutsi and OGC Bokone Bophirima property developers.

We would heartily like to thank the South African Military Health Services for ensuring continuity of the provision of health services in Mahikeng.

The Fifth Administration led by Premier Supra Mahumapelo implement the National Development Plan - NDP through Rebranding, Repositioning and Renewal(RRR) strategy anchored on five (5) concretes namely: Agriculture, Culture and Tourism (ACT); Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies (VTSD) Reconciliation, Healing and Renewal (RHR); Saamwerk - Saamtrek philosophy and Setsokotsane Approach.

A lot has been done towards bettering the lives of the people of Bokone Bophirima through RRR. However, we are the first to admit that a lot still needs to be done.

The following are some of the ACT achievements

Established Provincial Agri Fund to finance smallholder producers.

Transformation in the wildlife/ Biodiversity sector

Bokone Bophirima Wild Life Academy launched in Taung and 40 learners benefitted.

Provided financial support for the expansion of Bokamoso Impact Lab that trains beneficiaries on innovative cultivation methods and link them with product markets. More than 100 beneficiaries who are now independent producers.

Supported Dikgosi through Tshimo-ya-Kgosi initiative by providing them with Herd of Cattle, cultivate their fields for the benefit of community.

Support to black Commercial farmers.

Promotion of local artists through festivals such as Annual Mahika - Mahikeng Musical Cultural festival over the last three (3) years benefiting 2 400 artists and more than 280 business entities.

Promotion of local and international tourism

Contributed immensely towards the overall GDP through tourism

VTSD achievements

Resuscitated the Mahikeng Airport Route and upgraded its runway

VSTD economy warehouse has been launched in Ventersdorp

166 youth owned businesses supported with production equipment and machinery.

Facilitated the establishment of an Industrial Hub that supports mobile waste management and laundry services in Christiana

Three (3) Recording Studios established to increase access to professional facilities for the creation and production of music for local artists, especially those in VTSD areas.

77 161 individual units for subsidy housing submarket provided.

More than 8 bulk water projects have been implemented across the province. e.g Pillanesburg Water Scheme, Taung, Moretele, etc

Infrastructure development

As part of Health Infrastructure Projects development, 5 clinics were completed including Lekgopung Clinic at R6.4 million and Buxton Clinic at R12.2 million. Other infrastructures included the Bophelong Psychiatric Hospital - Phase 2A (Forensic and State Wards) at R599.3 million, Witrand Hospital - Upgrade and additions at R113.9 million and Brits Hospital R530 million.

Infrastructure in 584 schools was improved. That included provision of water; sanitation facilities as well as the building of classrooms, special rooms and hostels built.

Several roads in the province are under construction while others are being rehabilitated. Such included road P28/4 from Mafikeng to Lichtenburg and D201 from Pampierstad to Kgomotso.

RHR

In trying to ensure Reconciliation, Healing and Renewal the province held a successful COSAFA games - played in Moruleng and Phokeng, held 2016 and 17 Maize Soccer Challenge, Provincial Reconciliation Healing and Renewal Charter signed. The province also Intervened in Coligny regarding the racial unrests, facilitated the registration of cooperatives made up of former gangsters in Kanana to assist them with income generation and national commemoratives days were held in the Province (2016 Reconciliation day, 2017 Youth day)

Setsokotsane

Through the Provincial Roma Nna Setsokotsane Operation centre established to resolve service delivery complaints. More than 80% of complaints received through Setsokotsane Operation centre are resolved on monthly basis. More than 95% of cases received through Presidential hotline resolved. Setsokotsane 10x10 campaigns launched successfully during 2017.

Saamwerk - Saamtrek

In the spirit of working together Saamwerk-Saamtrek the fifth administration collaborated with the Private Sector on various school projects

La Farge Cement erected Kitchens in schools in Ngaka Modiri Molema

Tiger Brands Foundation built kitchens for Tebogo Primary in Bojanala, as well as provide breakfast to five selected schools in Madibeng

Pioneer Foods provide breakfast in Rustenburg to five selected schools.

Financial Institutions: Metropolitan, Old Mutual, Standard, FNB, ABSA Banks continues to support schools and communities on sport

In the 2013/14 Financial year, the electrification backlog in the Province was estimated at 127 000 households. This backlog has been reduced to only 35 000 thereby improving the North West electrification coverage to 86% and therefore the backlog is only 14%. The backlog will be eradicated by end of term.

Youth Entrepreneurship Services (YES) VTSD Economy

These dynamic and innovative enterprise development platforms continue to facilitate the development of sustainable enterprises, business incubation, job creation and market access for young people.

VTSD Retail Economy that would see the establishment of warehouses across the 4 districts to support South African owned retail stores.

Youth Enterprise Combo and the subsequent launch of the sustainable service delivery based @Worx Enterprise Combo last year allowed government to broaden access to enterprise development

As part of Setsokotsane and in the context of VTSD approach, we will establish a youth employment programme through the NWDC. This programme will act as a platform for job creation, enterprise development and opportunity management.

Successfully hosted the Stokvel Bokone Bophirima 2015 - to promote opportunity for systematic dissemination and sharing of information on national vision and strategies around the establishment of financial cooperatives

Hosted North West Provincial SMMEs and Cooperatives Summit

Conducted 6 feasibility studies 8 business plans developed for the Industrialization Programme Projects

Hosted South Africa China Trade and Investment exchange during China week - to forge stronger trade and investment relations

Over 12 000 youth participated in skills development programme and youth mobilisation programme

81 bursaries, 480 Funza Lushaka bursaries, 180 Learnerships; and 300 Internships were awarded to unemployed youth.

Other fifth administration achievements

In 2014/15 Financial Year when the fifth administration took office, accruals at the Department of Health amounted to R 1billion.Successfully reduced this to R 750m in the last financial year and we have taken a decision to further reduce this less than R 600m in the last financial year;

Ensured that the 2009/10 to 2013/14 financial year unauthorized expenditure amount of R 829million is cleared from the books through the North West Provincial Legislature process.

In 2014 Fruitless and Wasteful Expenditure stood at R10, 78 billion and the Provincial Advisory Committee (PACO) for irregular and fruitless expenditure engaged with all departments with regard to irregular expenditure and to date an estimated amount of R2 billion has been submitted to National Treasury for consideration and condonement. We wish to report that more than 90 percent of irregular expenditure has been investigated and is being treated.

Departments have also strengthened their internal controls to prevent unauthorized, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure..We have also established teams to assist municipalities with same.

Whilst we have achieved all these, lot still needs to be done. We wish to implore our citizens to exercise patience and work government to improve service delivery..

We want to assure citizens that no stone will be left unturned in our fight against crime, greed and corruption.

We have instituted 29 forensic investigation and 22 of them have been completed.

Some of these investigations include Moretele roads for which payments were done without completion of work, sale of government land and properties, BOP recording studios, Sun City etc.

We will also pursue former public servants who fraudulently living in government houses for free, costing us thousands of rand in rates and taxes.

In this regard we are going to intensify our struggle against greed, crime and corruption without fear or favour.

We reiterate the call for people to report all allegations of crime, greed and corruption with evidence to enable law enforcement agencies to do their work.

We want to reiterate that every citizen must be presumed innocent until proven otherwise by courts of law.

We thank residents of Mahikeng and citizens of the province for heeding the call to remain calm following the visit of President Ramaphosa last week and not associate themselves with acts of criminality.

Let us cooperate with the police to ensure that the criminal elements are brought to book.

Province:

North West

Issued by: North West Office of the Premier

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