President Ramaphosa intervenes in North West

Monday, May 14, 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa has set the wheels in motion to intervene in the North West province by placing it under administration.

Parliament confirmed on Sunday that it received the letter from President Ramaphosa to evoke section 100(1) of the Constitution, which will allow the national executive to take over the reins of the province.

“The office of the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Thandi Modise, received communication on Friday, 11 May, from the President of the Republic notifying the house of Cabinet’s decision to invoke section 100 (1) of the Constitution to address challenges facing the North West province,” said Parliament’s spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.

According to the Constitution, 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.

“Chairperson Modise is expected to table the President’s letter through Parliament's official publication, Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports (ATC), for the attention of Members of Parliament during this week.

“The matter will follow an ordinary course of parliamentary procedure, which includes it being referred to a committee or committees of the House for processing,” said Mothapo.

Cabinet’s decision follows ongoing protests that engulfed the North West, leaving the province paralysed.

At the height of the protests, President Ramaphosa dropped his engagements at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London to return to the country and stabilise the situation.

One of the biggest blows faced by the province is the protracted strike in the Health Department, which left patients unattended as healthcare workers downed tools.

The South African Military Health Service was deployed to the province, while the national department placed the provincial department under administration.

During the President’s meeting with North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo, the provincial government and political leaders, in a bid to diffuse the protests that saw several buildings being set alight, a number of issues were raised.

According to the President, some of the reasons raised by leaders for the protests were issues with Premier Mahumapelo, governance and corruption. 

The Premier had announced on the national broadcaster last week that he would resign but reneged and instead took a leave of absence.

Premier Mahumapelo appointed North West Finance, Economic and Enterprise Development MEC Wendy Nelson as Acting Premier.

The NCOP now has a 180 days to make a decision on whether the national executive followed the correct procedure for its takeover in the North West.

“As enjoined by the Constitution, the National Council of Provinces must independently conduct its own assessment that the National Executive observed all procedures and circumstances for the intervention and must make a determination within 180 days,” said spokesperson Mothapo. –