Government intervenes to stabilise North West

Government has approved two immediate interventions to restore order and stability in communities of the North West province.

One of the interventions includes a task team of Ministers, which will be dispatched to visit the North West to establish the facts on the ground.

The task team comprises the Ministers of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation; Health; Finance; Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, as well as the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster of Ministers.

They are expected to submit a report in the next two weeks. The report back will assist in determining any further interventions that may still be required, Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said on Thursday.

She was briefing the media following the regular cabinet meeting in Cape Town.

Another intervention that government has introduced is the invoking of Section 100(1)(b) of the Constitution to address the apparent crisis, particularly in the health sector.

The main objective of this intervention, Minister Mokonyane said, will be to restore trust and confidence between labour and government; assist the province to upgrade its systems and capabilities; ensure compliance with the legislative and regulatory framework of government; stabilise the labour environment, restore sustainable service delivery, ensure security of staff and improve financial management.

These interventions by government follow continued tensions and violent protests in the province amid calls from some community members for Premier Supra Mahumapelo to step down.

Criminal elements have infiltrated the protests, with vehicles being set alight, shops and buildings looted, private and government buildings broken into and vandalized.

There were reports on social media of shops being looted in places like Klerksdorp. Ambulances were also prevented from entering Tshepong Hospital.

According to National Commissioner of Police, General Khehla John Sitole, more than a 100 people were arrested in Mahikeng, Mmabatho, Delareyville and Lomanyaneng on charges of malicious damage to property, public violence, possession of suspected stolen goods and business robbery.

“I am urging the communities of these affected areas, especially community leaders, to come together and work towards peace and stability through robust discussions and negotiations instead of violence.

“Since the outbreak of violence, I have instructed additional deployments of various disciplines of the SAPS to stabilise and normalise the affected areas,” the National Commissioner said.

These views were also expressed by Minister Mokonyane, who strongly condemned the acts of violence, looting and destruction of property that accompanied protests in some areas of the province.

The arrested suspects, according to General Sitole, will be taken through the court processes and the SAPS will ensure that they face the full might of the law in an effort to bring this lawless behaviour to a complete halt.

“Police will continue to enforce the law and bring to book those who continue to terrorise communities in these affected areas,” said General Sitole.

If convicted, the accused could face lengthy jail terms. Therefore, wrongdoers should be cautioned that their criminal behaviour could result in dire consequences.

Stadium violence condemned

Meanwhile, Cabinet also condemned the senseless violence and malicious damage to property by soccer fans following a pitch invasion at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium during a Premier Soccer League game at the weekend.

Law enforcement agencies are urged to ensure that all those involved in hooliganism and acts of violence at the match are held responsible for their actions, Minister Mokonyane said.

Cabinet wants a swift investigation and the implementation of stricter security measures to ensure the safety of spectators and officials.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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