Team making progress in North West

Thursday, August 16, 2018

A team of administrators that have been appointed to turn things around in the North West are making progress towards stabilising government and improving service delivery.

Nompumelelo Mpofu, the Director General for the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, said this when the Inter-Ministerial Task Team on the intervention in the North West briefed the Ad Hoc Committee of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) appointed to provide oversight in the implementation of the intervention in the province on Thursday.

The Inter-Ministerial Task Team, led by Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, also presented the team of administrators across several portfolios - who were introduced by the new North West Premier Job Mokgoro to top management on 10 July - to Members of the Ad Hoc Committee.

“The Northwest intervention in our view is really an implementation mode… There are very few matters that still need to be finalised.

“At national level, the arrangements are in place, the institutional structures are in place.

“The various structures that manages the meetings between the Premier and the administrators, the meeting between Exco and the Premier and the administrators and the national departments are in place,” she said.

The briefing comes after Cabinet invoked section 100 (1) (B) – first with the North West Department of Health in April – before the national government invoked the same section to take over the administration of a further 10 departments in the province on 23 May.

These events were preceded by protracted violent protests in the province calling for the resignation of the then Premier Supra Mahumapelo, who stepped down the same day that the 10 departments were placed under administration.

Briefing members of the Ad Hoc Committee, Mpofu said interventions covered a wide range of service delivery areas.

Department of Health

She said in the provincial Department of Health, an agreement was reached with unions on the contracts of Community Health Workers while a process was initiated for the procurement of essential equipment for primary health care facilities.

Outstanding payments for Emergency Management Services are being processed and while posts in the office of the chief financial officer were being advertised to mitigate against financial challenges, the wastage of budget resources due to poor contract management was being addressed.

Department of Education and Sports Development

Mpofu said in the provincial Department of Education and Sports Development, the administrator is clearing up the backlog in relation to the submission of non-payment of services rendered – some of which date back to 2014 – to restore trust and essential services.

The process of addressing an audit finding of R1.1 billion in irregular expenditure has commenced and to date, R350 million has been removed from the overall amount and identified as money spent on learner teaching support material.

Department of Local Government and Human Settlements

With the provincial Department of Local Government and Human Settlements, 12 municipalities have passed resolutions to approve recovery plans as the administrator focussed on getting the recovery plans approved and the development of service delivery models.

Mpofu said structures were in place to ensure that the administrators are able to do their work efficiently.

“Every structure that needs to make this work is in place and operational and has been since July until now. Despite the short period, we really believe we have stabilised governance and service delivery challenges in the province,” she said.

She said work was also focussed on addressing irregular contracts, irregular expenditure, dealing with audit findings, restoring the credibility of supply chain management practices and building relations with stakeholders. –