The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] in the North West Province notes the State of the Province delivered by the Premier, Supra Mahumapelo, on the 23rd February 2018. In the overall we welcome the emphasis placed on the Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies [VTSD] in terms of the government’s socioeconomic development plans and we acknowledge some of the achievements registered by the government in the province since 2014.
The Premier set out this SOPA as a comprehensive record accounting on the state of the province since 2014 in the light of the fact that the tenure of the fifth democratic administration is coming to an end. As NEHAWU, we are extremely disappointed by the fact that the SOPA merely reflected on what has been achieved, whilst being largely silent on the failures of the provincial government during this period.
We note the emphasis on fighting corruption. It is rather disturbing that virtually all government departments under the watch of Premier Mahumapelo, are engulfed by corruption. Yet, the Premier proudly makes announcements on investigations to be undertaken, whilst opportunistically mentioning the names of previous MECs to sully their names.
As NEHAWU, we condemn this conduct as we find it totally unnecessary for the Premier to pronounce these names before proper judicial processes have taken, only to say that they must cooperate with the investigations. In this vein, the Premier indicates only in passing that 40 ambulances have been bought by his government. In this regard, he fails to inform the people of the province that these ambulances are not going to be used any time soon, instead they would remain idling, parked in government properties, whilst two privately-own ambulance companies, namely the Buthelezi and High Care Emergency Medical Services are respectively paid R123 803 and R280 165 a day. As NEHAWU we condemn this and call on the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation [Hawks] to investigate this matter, including the swirling allegations around the corrupt involvement of the Gupta family in provincial affairs.
Lastly, despite numerous protests and grievances raised by NEHAWU on behalf on the Community Health Care workers in the province, with regard to the Premier’s report on the state of health and plans in the coming period, no mention is made to address the plight of this critical cadre of health workers. It is clear for us that the outsourcing of many service delivery functions in the health department is already undermining progress in the implementation of the National Health Insurance in the province, of which no mention was made in the SOPA. Therefore, from our point of view, in the overall the state of the provinces is deeply worrying we call for urgent change in leadership.
For further information, please contact: Patrick Makhafane @ 082 455 2486 or Toffies Moemi @ 073 064 9300