UN technical team visit to North West delayed due to 'unforeseen circumstances'

"Unforeseen circumstances" have been cited as the reasons for the delay in a planned United Nations (UN) technical team visit to the North West province to assist it to return to normalcy.

Professor Job Mokgoro, who had recently been appointed premier of the province, approached the UN agencies in South Africa to assist with expertise in areas that led the national government to invoke sections 100(1)(a) and (1)(b) of the Constitution, and place the province under national administration.

READ: Troubled North West gets help from UN team

There was unrest in several towns in the troubled province earlier this year, after claims of years of mismanagement by former premier Supra Mahumapelo. It led the national government to place the province under administration. Mahumapelo stepped down as premier in May.

His replacement, Mokgoro reached out to the technical team from the UN and recently met with UN co-ordinator Nardos Bekele-Thomas to discuss ways to help fix the province.

"The UN agencies have not yet started the work in the province due to the premier still engaging with the inter-ministerial task team," Mokgoro's spokesperson Vuyisile Ngesi said on Monday.

Ngesi added that the meeting would still take place because "the work that needs to be done remains immensely urgent to ensure that the province is [returned] back to sound and administratively healthy [governance]".

ALSO READ: 'The party is over' - new North West premier warns public servants

"We believe that we need to mobilise all the best resources at our disposal to ensure that we lead this province back to administrative normalcy," he said.

Ngesi earlier said the province and the UN Development Programme "agreed on a Marshall Plan approach towards the recovery of the provincial administration as informed by the national intervention".

He said the UN technical team would assist with health and the provision of quality health services, social services, agriculture, anti-corruption across all levels of government in the province, planning, monitoring and evaluation, and youth empowerment initiatives.

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