Nehawu protestors block staff access to Tshepong hospital. Picture: KATE CHILD
Nehawu protestors block staff access to Tshepong hospital. Picture: KATE CHILD

Cabinet has immediately invoked Section 100(1b) of the Constitution to take over the Department of Health in violence-torn North West province.

It has also mandated a ministerial task team to undertake a fact-finding mission to the province and report back in two weeks, Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said at a post-Cabinet meeting media briefing Thursday.

Violent protests about premier Supra Mahumapelo has rocked the province for several days and precipitated the early return of President Cyril Ramaphosa from a trip to the UK.

Mokonyane said Treasury and the national Department of Health would take over the management and leadership of the North West department. While concerned about the general situation of instability in North West, Cabinet was also particularly concerned about the situation within the province’s Department of Health, which required immediate intervention.

Some clinics and hospitals had closed down even before the protests and there was a stand-off between management and workers in the sector, Mokonyane said.

The fact-finding team will include the ministers of planning monitoring and evaluation (as the convenor), health, finance, co-operative governance and traditional affairs, justice and all ministers in the crime prevention and security cluster.

Mokonyane said that before it could take action, national government needed to engage with the provincial government to establish the details of the situation.