Intervention in North West is a marathon, not a sprint, says Dlamini Zuma

Intervention in North West is a marathon, not a sprint, says Dlamini Zuma

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Cape Town – Co-operative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has warned that the intervention in the North West province was not a sprint, but a marathon, and that some of the problems would take time to be resolved.

This comes after the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) voted on the report on the North West intervention after the national government had invoked section 100 of the Constitution to take over the running of the departments in the province in 2018.

The province was besieged by labour and community protests, leading to President Cyril Ramaphosa getting the national government to take over.

While opposition parties slammed the collapse of service delivery in the province, the ANC said a lot of work needed to be done.

The ad hoc committee on section 100 in North West had recommended to the NCOP that the national government must continue with the intervention.

All ANC-controlled provinces backed the continuation of the intervention, with the exception of the DA-run Western Cape.

But Dlamini Zuma told the chamber that they had learnt many lessons from the intervention over the past three years.

“A situation which had been festering in the North West is also well documented, with labour and civil unrest being the big triggers. Because these issues had built up over some time, the intervention can’t be a sprint, but rather is a marathon. Our race is not yet over. Service delivery remains a concern, especially at local government level with key areas such as access to water, sanitation, water treatment plants, street lighting and lack of maintenance,” said Dlamini Zuma.

“Nonetheless, we are gradually reducing the combined annual irregular expenditure in the departments. So far we have reduced it by 47% from R4.2 billion to R2.2bn, and we must recall that some of them are legacy, and are not new irregular expenditures,” she said.

She added that law enforcement agencies had been clamping down on fraud and corruption in North West.

The National Prosecuting Authority, the Hawks, the Investigative Directorate, the Special Investigating Unit and the Asset Forfeiture Unit had been probing a number of cases, she said.

She added that the NPA was investigating 51 cases in North West that were related to corruption. The provincial government had either fired or conducted disciplinary hearings against 28 officials implicated in wrongdoing.

Dlamini Zuma said they wanted to ensure that those implicated in wrongdoing faced the consequences.

“This is to ensure there is consequence management, because we have learned that there has been a lack of consequence management, and to instil that that is what the intervention has done,” said Dlamini Zuma.

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