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Deeper investigations to tackle N West maladministration

The Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, says the justice cluster must be given room to do its work in uncovering alleged corruption in the North West.

The Minister on Wednesday gave an update on the work of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT), which is charged with assessing the state of governance in that province.

The IMTT includes Minister Dlamini-Zuma as convener, Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi; Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene; Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, as well as Minister Michael Masutha for the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security [JCPS] Cluster.

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 where 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, said Dlamini-Zuma.

Cabinet took a decision to invoke Section 100 (1) of the South African Constitution, which authorises 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 (NCOP) notifying her of Cabinet's decision to invoke section 100 (1) of the Constitution to address the problems in the North West.

Dlamini-Zuma said national ministers who have equivalent departments in the North West 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, said the Minister, noting that 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.

Issues are not insurmountable

Dlamini-Zuma, however, assured that the IMTT is putting in place the necessary interventions intended to resolve issues and restore normality in the North West, 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, said the Minister.

The IMTT presented a report on its preliminary work to Cabinet on 9 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.

Work of the IMTT

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 of the Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation (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 4, 7 and 8 of May 2018 as part of the urgent assessment of the state of governance.

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

? On 7th and 8 May, the IMTT met with a diverse group of concerned stakeholders in the North West Province.

? On the 4th 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 stabilisation 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.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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