The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has restored some normalcy to hospitals in the North West, following weeks of protests calling for the removal of Premier Supra Mahumapelo.
The ongoing protests have also exacerbated the situation at hospitals after National Health Education and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) members joined the protests, which has seen disruptions at hospitals and clinics across the province.
SANDF spokesperson Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi said healthcare in the province had been returned to near normalcy following the deployment of the South Africa Military Health Service (SAMHS) on April 20.
"SAMHS took over the provision of healthcare services at the Mahikeng Provincial Hospital on April 21, caring for in-patients and out-patients following the strike by healthcare workers," Mgobozi said.
North West police recover goods from foreign shops looted during recent violent protests in capital, Mahikeng. A total of 65 suspects have appeared in the Mmabatho and Klerksdorp Magistrate's Courts on charges related tot the possession of stolen goods and business burglary— SAfm news (@SAfmnews) May 4, 2018
He said the SAMHS tended to 131 patients within the 24 hours and successfully helped to deliver nine babies in this period.
Mgobozi added that the chief of the SANDF, General Solly Shoke, commended the military's healthcare practitioners for their "sterling work".
Meanwhile, the DA's North West spokesperson for Health, Dr Tutu Faleni, urged Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi to ensure proper healthcare services to residents of the North West.
"The DA has confirmed a shortage of essential medicines, such as ARVs, chronic medication, and immunisation vaccines. In the entire North West, only the Bojanala District is currently not that greatly affected by this shortage," Faleni said.
"Non-striking workers in Tshepong Hospital in Matlosana and workers in [Mahikeng] are not allowed to go to work, and it seems that this situation has also escalated to the Potchefstroom hospitals. Meanwhile, some clinics are locked as they cannot serve their communities."
"The collapse in the delivery of health services in hospitals and clinics is a direct result of a complete lack of governance by the ANC North West Provincial Government (NWPG)," he said.
North West protests reportedly shut Potchefstroom Hospital https://t.co/OUP3zsscgh— eNCA (@eNCA) May 4, 2018
Faleni said the party urged the people of the North West to work with administrators from the national government to restore the normal provision of health services to the province, "especially to poor and vulnerable people".
Earlier on Friday, News24 reported that time was running out for Mahumapelo after President Cyril Ramaphosa met with him on Thursday to communicate the ANC national working committee's (NWC's) verdict that he must resign or be recalled.
This reportedly came on the back of an NWC meeting on Wednesday, where the majority of members said Mahumapelo should step down.
He reportedly faced the ire of the party's national executive committee if he remained defiant and refused to voluntarily step down.