Statement on Cabinet Meeting of 15 April 2009
Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Pretoria on Wednesday, 15 April 2009. This was the last meeting prior to the general elections to be held on 22nd April 2009.
Cabinet observed a moment of silence in honour of the memory of the late Dr Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, the Minister of Communications. Her warm and measured contributions to the work of government, especially in the field of education, development and strengthening of the telecommunications industry, will be missed by her colleagues and the country. Cabinet conveys its condolences to her family and friends. May her soul rest in peace.
The meeting noted that preparations for the inauguration of the next President of the Republic were at an advanced stage. The inauguration will take place on Saturday 9 May 2009 at the Union Buildings. Heads of State and Government have been invited to join the nation in witnessing and celebrating the inauguration of fourth democratically elected President of the Republic. Members of the public are invited to attend the ceremony at the Union Building lawns. The theme for the event is ‘Together, celebrating a vibrant democracy and building a better life for all’.
The planning for the transition is proceeding accordingly with all ministerial ‘end of term’ reports due by 24 April 2009. These reports are aimed at facilitating a smooth transition to the next administration. Government is satisfied with the implementation of the programme of action and electoral mandate during its term of office. The lives of ordinary people have indeed improved.
Cabinet was pleased to note that campaigning for the general elections has proceeded very well with only a few and isolated reports of violence. Cabinet calls on all South Africans to come out in their millions to vote in the general elections to strengthen our democracy. Government calls on everyone not to allow any attempt to prevent free, fair and peaceful elections in every corner of our country. No amount of intimidation and or violence will be tolerated. Security personnel will be ready to deal with anyone attempting to prevent South Africans from exercising their hard earned right to vote. Government also welcomes the SADC Observer Mission which has been launched in South Africa.
The proposal for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to support the South African Police Services with borderline control for the duration of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals was approved.
A report on the consultation processes with the communities of Moutse 1, 2, 3 (Limpopo), Matatiele (Eastern Cape) and Ga Ba Mothibi (North West) regarding their choice of provinces was discussed and noted. The meeting agreed that further consultations need to take place with the affected communities before government makes a final decision on the matter. Although Cabinet was willing to review the decisions on provincial boundaries, further consultation was found to be necessary to ensure that a measure of consensus is reached in the affected areas to prevent further divisions in the communities. The matter will be finalised by the next administration and the new Parliament at the end of the consultation process. The change in provincial boundaries will require changes to the constitution.
The meeting noted the report on the Zimbabwe Humanitarian and Development Assistance Framework (ZHDAF), which is the mechanism adopted to channel all SADC assistance to Zimbabwe. As part of this mechanism, an Implementation Working Committee was established to ensure that aid reaches the targeted beneficiaries. The participants in the working committee were the SADC Secretariat, the Government of Zimbabwe, United Nations agencies (UNDP, FAO, WFP, WHO,UNICEF), donor representatives, religious organisations, organisations of farmers and South Africa. In addition, all SADC Ambassadors in Harare acted as monitors of the programme.
The aid included seed and fertiliser which will go a long way to ensure that large volumes of food are produced. Small scale farmers, old resettlement farmers and communal farmers were the main recipients of this aid package. All land and farm owners who benefited from the 2000 Zimbabwean government’s Fast Tracked Land Reform Programme, the 2008 Champion Farmers Programme and the 2008 Presidential Programme were excluded from SADC aid package. The meeting noted that some media reports failed to distinguish between the SADC aid package and the various initiatives of the Zimbabwean government.
The monitoring teams conducted field inspections and were satisfied that control measures were put in place to ensure that the SADC aid package was delivered in a non-partisan. Cabinet is satisfied that the aid has been delivered properly and that it will help to alleviate food shortages in Zimbabwe.
Cabinet endorsed the South African Rugby Union’s bid to host either the 2015 or the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Hosting the Rugby World Cup will provide the opportunity to build on the momentum generated by our hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The meeting approved and welcomed South Africa’s selection to host the Indian Premier League from 18 April-24 May. This development, together with the forthcoming British Lions Rugby Tour and the International Cricket Council’s Champions Trophy, will go a long way towards cementing South Africa as a venue of choice for hosting international sporting events ahead of the FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. These events present endless opportunities to market South Africa as a tourism and investment destination of choice.
Cabinet re-affirmed government’s commitment to build an integrated public transport system for the benefit of all South Africans. Government will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure that the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) programme which will provide access to fast, regular, high quality, safe, affordable and reliable public transport. Recent reports on the reaction of some taxi associations to the introduction of the BRT system has created the wrong impression that there is idespread resistance to the initiative. On the contrary, the majority of South Africans want a better and more improved public transport system that they deserve.
The proposal to allocate government’s 20% shareholding in the National lottery to the National Empowerment Fund and the South African Post Office was approved. The 20% shareholding will be split equally between the two entities.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development was approved and will be submitted to Parliament for ratification.
The proposals for South Africa to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the upcoming 15th anniversary of the ratification of CEDAW by South Africa were approved.
The meeting approved the extension of the deployment of members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) who were deployed in the DRC to provide training to the armed forces. This extension will be until March 2010. The extension of the deployment of members of the SANDF in Burundi was also approved.
The Revised Non-Statutory Forces pension dispensation for the SA National Defence Forces was approved. This dispensation creates parity in pension benefits between the integrated statutory and non-statutory forces.
The military strategy and force structure entitled ‘SANDF 2010-2030’ was noted and endorsed.
The National Youth Policy for 2009-2014 was approved following consultation with all the relevant stakeholders.
The revised National Energy Efficiency Strategy was approved and will be published for public comment.
The proposal for South Africa to join the Association of African Diamond Producing Countries was approved.
The Convention on International Liability for Damage caused by Space Objects of 1972 (Liability Convention) and the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space (Registration Convention) were approved and will be submitted to Parliament for ratification.
The following bills were approved:
- Protection from Harassment Bill (for public comment)
- Prevention and combating of trafficking in Persons Bill(for public comment)
The Constitutional Seventeenth Amendment Bill was approved and will be gazetted for public comments prior to submission to Parliament. This bill vests national government with new powers of intervention at local government level to facilitate service delivery and to achieve regional efficiencies and economies of scale at local government level. The Bill will also facilitate the restructuring of the electricity distribution industry and possible regionalisation of other municipal functions when necessary.
The following appointments were approved:
- Mr Themba Maseko’s employment contract as the Chief Executive Officer of Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) and Government Spokesperson was extended for a three year period with effect from 1 July 2009.
- Mr TH Matona’s employment contract as Director General in the Department of Trade and Industry was extended for a three year period with effect from the 1st July 2009.
- Ms P Williams was appointed to the post of Deputy Chief Executive Officer in the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)
- Mr AM Mphela was appointed to the post of Chief Land Claims Commissioner at the Department of Land Affairs.
- Mr TA Maphoto was appointed to the post of Regional Land Claims Commissioner, Limpopo province in the Department of Land Affairs
- Mr VP Madonsela’s employment contract as Director General in the Department of Social Development was extended for a three year period with effect from the 15 May 2009.
- Mr Setlakalane Molepo was appointed as the Managing Director of Khula Enterprise Finance for a period of five years.
- Ms Lupuwana was appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA)
- Mr N Manoim, Mr M Madlanga, Ms YT Carrim, Mr AA Wessels, Ms MM Mokuena, Ms MG Holden, Mr T Madima and Ms AT Ndoni were appointed as members of the Competition Tribunal for a period of five years
- Ms S Maziya, Adv DJ Block, Ms FA Melato, Ms SE Moolman, Ms D Ndaba, Prof S Perumal, Mr NMW Vermeulen, Mr S Zikode and Mr M Moeletsi were appointed as members of the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) Board for a period of 5 years
- Dr T Ramontja’s nomination as Chairperson for the Pan African Mineral Development Corporation (PAMDC) was endorsed
- The following were appointed asTechnology Innovation Agency (TIA) board members: Dr M Ramphele (Chairperson) Ms H Brown, Ms C Carolus, Dr S T Cornelius, Prof S Harrison, Mr A Lax, Dr NS Msomi, Dr P Ngwenya, Mr RHR Norton, and Mr GC Venter.
- The following were appointed to the Council of Freedom Park: Dr EM Dikotla; Ms ES Mabusela; Mr V Mchunu; Mr SSD Mdanda; Mr PR Mnisi; Mr KP Mokwena; Mr O Phillips; Ms N Ramdhani; Mr II Van Niekerk.
Themba Maseko (Government Spokesperson)
Cell: 083 645 0810
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)