North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo has appointed a team to intervene at the North West Health and Social Development Departments, following ongoing strike action. According to an IoL report, Education and Sport Development MEC Sello Lehari would lead the team made up of three MECs. The team would work with the Health MEC Dr Magome Masike and Social Development MEC Hofman Galeng to resolve issues which were the centre of a strike action by the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) members. Lehari was expected to provide Mahumapelo with a weekly progress report on the intervention efforts made.
“I have full confidence in the ability of the team to resolve issues and emerge with a long-lasting solution,” Mahumapelo is quoted in the report as saying. He also called on the striking workers to return to work while issues were being resolved through the intervention team.
Union members took to the streets on 26 February, demanding the dismissal of the head of department Dr Thabo Lekalakala; the termination of contracted companies by the department; the bonus payment of 5% across the board to all employees in the department; the payment of occupation specific dispensation for employees at provincial office; and the increase of community health workers salaries.
North West director-general Dr Keneilwe Sebego said investigators were unable to access critical documents and information from the Health Department due to the ongoing Nehawu strike.
The report says Mahumapelo instituted forensic investigations in the Health Department following allegations relating to the Mediosa (medical mobile unit) inter-facility transfer, including Buthelezi emergency medical services and other procurement related matters raised by the public.
“The forensic investigators were supposed to have concluded their work by end of March 2018 and have unfortunately not been able to do so because of the on-going strike by Nehawu members in the department of health,” Sebego said. “The sooner issues are resolved between the department and the union the sooner will the investigators be able to conclude their work,” she said.IoL report