Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas has come out in full support of the head of the provincial Department of Health, Steven Jonkers.

Health MEC, Fufe Makatong, wrote to Lucas raising her dissatisfaction about Jonkers’ performance and asking her to intervene.

Jonkers has also come under fire from the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), who have accused him of being instrumental in the department’s failure to provide adequate health services in the province.

Lucas, however, believes that Jonkers has brought some positive changes to the ailing department.

“Historically, the Health Department has a lot of challenges. About three months after Mr Jonkers started there, the National Portfolio Committee says that indeed they can see that there has been progress. So you must take into account all those issues. You cannot just sleep tonight and wake up tomorrow and decide that you want to fire the MEC,” states Lucas.