Work begins in North West
Intervention to be determined by ministers while EFF warns on court action over appointment of acting premier
National ministers are set to determine the extent of the intervention required in North West departments after the province was placed under administration.
According to a letter to acting premier Wendy Nelson from Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the ministers will determine whether a section 100(1)a or section 100(1)b intervention is required. The former entails assistance and co-operation, while the latter implies a complete takeover and the sidelining of provincial MECs.
Key departments, such as the provincial treasury, are likely to come under control of the national government, with MECs likely to be stripped of their executive powers.
The government’s order is likely to heighten pressure on embattled Premier Supra Mahumapelo, who last week reneged on his decision to resign after weeks of protests and talks with the ANC’s top brass to get him to do so. His supporters took to the streets in his support last week.
The health department was placed under administration two weeks ago.
Dlamini-Zuma is set to announce further details of the intervention in the province on Tuesday. In the letter to Nelson, she said the Cabinet had decided that ministers should "immediately" begin processes to assess their "specific equivalent provincial portfolio" to advise her task team on the extent of the intervention needed.
She also requested that the province co-operate with ministers and their officials, as they had done with her task team.
"Cabinet also resolved that the interministerial task team shall report to every Cabinet meeting until all the critical issues are resolved," Dlamini-Zuma wrote. She is heading the interministerial team and is believed to have delivered a scathing report on the state of the province to the Cabinet last week.
Mahumapelo was among her key backers in her failed bid for the ANC presidency at its December elective conference.
She was included in her former opponent’s Cabinet in a reshuffle in March.
Mahumapelo initially argued that the push against him in the ANC and the alliance was due to his support for Dlamini-Zuma.
Municipalities too are set to be a critical area of intervention, with insiders saying they are emblematic of the "capture process" that has become endemic in the province.
Twelve of the 18 municipalities in the provinces were marked for intervention.
Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize said his department had plans for the distressed municipalities and will sit down with them to implement those plans.
Meanwhile, court action looms against the appointment of Nelson as acting premier. The EFF had written to the provincial government, giving it until Monday evening to reverse her appointment or face court action. EFF leader in the province Betty Diale said late on Monday the party had not received a response yet and would be meeting with its attorneys on Tuesday to chart a way forward.