Communications minister Nomvula Mokonyane File picture: Phill Magakoe/ANA Pictures

Parliament - Cabinet approved placing the provincial health department in the North West province under administration, Communications minister Nomvula Mokonyane said on Thursday.

"Cabinet has approved the invoking of section 100 (1) (b) of the Constitution...to address the apparent crisis, particularly in the health sector," Mokonyane said while briefing the media on Wednesday's fortnightly cabinet meeting.

"The main objective of this intervention will be to restore trust and confidence between labour and government..."

An ongoing strike by health professionals affiliated to the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) has been ongoing for over a month, deeply affecting healthcare in the province.

Nehawu’s initial demands included the suspension of the Head of the Health Department, Thabo Lekalakala, who allegedly made a pre-payment of R30 million to the Gupta-linked company, Mediosa. They also want performance bonuses, which they say haven’t been paid for years.

Last week, North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo finally gave in to the pressure and suspended Lekalakala - based on a preliminary report into the allegations levelled against the HoD.

The entire province was plunged into crisis after violent protests in several towns in the North West, with protestors demanding that Mahumapelo step down.

Mokonyane said a task team of ministers will be visiting the province "to establish the facts on the ground".

"The team is expected to submit a report in the next two weeks."

African News Agency/ANA