Statement on the Cabinet Meeting held on 12 August 2009
Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Pretoria yesterday, 12 August 2009.
Cabinet approved the moratorium on the disposal of mining assets currently held by the state entities. This moratorium is intended to provide the Minister of Mineral Resources with adequate time to conduct and finalise an audit of mining interests held directly or indirectly by the state. This audit will enable the state to decide whether to consolidate, retain or dispose of such interests. Any exceptions to this moratorium will require discussions with the Minister of Mineral Resources and final approval from Cabinet before finalisation.
The Minister of Finance tabled the first draft report of the Ministerial Task Team on reprioritising spending to increase the impact of the budget. The Task Team’s work is based on the key principle that Government is not attempting to cut public spending, but rather, to reduce wastage and to divert spending to new areas. The objectives of the proposals include: addressing public concerns that Government is ‘living large’ while citizens are feeling the pain caused by the economic downturn; changing the culture towards greater prudence and less extravagance; achieving greater value for money and delivering more and better services with less resources.
The Task Team, which consists of the Ministers of Finance, Monitoring and Evaluation in The Presidency and Public Service and Administration, was given the mandate to develop concrete proposals and guidelines to ensure that all spheres of Government could adopt austerity measures to achieve these objectives. The Task Team is expected to table its recommendations as soon as possible.
The recent spate of violent robberies in parts of the Gauteng province was noted with concern. Cabinet is satisfied that the law enforcement agencies are doing all that is necessary to apprehend the perpetrators. Government will not rest until these bloodthirsty criminals are brought to book sooner rather than later. We call on all communities to be vigilant and to work with the authorities by providing information that will lead to the arrest of these criminals.
The Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) was approved. The programme will seek to achieve social cohesion and development in rural communities and is based on three key pillars namely: coordinated and integrated broad-based agrarian transformation; an improved land reform programme and through strategic investments in economic and social infrastructure in rural areas. The CRDP will be launched by President Jacob Zuma in Giyani, Limpopo on the 17 August 2009.
The meeting noted the spread of the H1N1 flu pandemic in parts of the country. The Minister of Health will make a statement in this regard during the course of this briefing.
Progress reports on the draft green papers on the on the Government-wide Monitoring and Evaluation System and on National Strategic Planning/National Planning Commission were discussed and noted. The two green papers are expected to be finalised and published by the end of August.
The Auditor General’s Report on the conflict of interest in public entities and the Public Service Commission’s State of the Public Service Report were noted. The meeting decided that the Conflict of Interest Framework for the Public Service must be finalised and tabled before Cabinet. The Minister for the Public Service and Administration was mandated to work with the Public Service Commission to strengthen anti-corruption measures in the public service.
The revised Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA) between the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group and its member states, and the European Community member states was approved. This agreement provides, inter alia, for non-reciprocal trade preferences among signatories and contributes to dialogue on political and sustainable development. The CPA will be submitted to Parliament for ratification.
Cabinet congratulated the Springbok Rugby Team “die Bokke” for their convincing victory against the Australians over the weekend. This victory has consolidated our position at the top of the Tri-Nations log and places the “die Bokke” in a better position to win the Tri-Nations Cup. The meeting took the opportunity to the wish “die Bokke” well in the away leg of the tournament.
Cabinet approved South Africa’s participation in the facilitation of the peace process in Madagascar. South Africa will be represented by Mr Charles Nqakula in the facilitation process.
The progress report on the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommendations was approved and will be tabled in Parliament at its next session.
The Protection of Personal Information Bill was approved and will be tabled in Parliament. The Bill was drafted by the South African Law Commission and seeks to protect the constitutional right to privacy as far as processing of personal information is concerned. The right to privacy should be balanced against other rights such as the right of access to information.
The meeting conveyed condolences to the families and friends of Professor Kambule, MEC Pandelani Ramagoma and Victor Moche. Professor Kambule (88) was a well-known and respected mathematician and educationist who taught and simplified mathematics to thousands of South Africans around the country. He was awarded the National Order of the Baobab for his contribution to mathematics, human development and community service.
MEC Ramagoma was a respected community leader who served the people of this country selflessly for many years. The MEC contributed to and provided leadership in the Limpopo Provincial Government’s contribution of no less than 29 000 jobs of the 500 000 national target said by President Jacob Zuma.
Victor Moche, who passed away, last Friday, was also a dedicated citizen who served this country in different capacities. He served as a Chief Representative in Algeria and Canada during his years in exile and on his return; he became a senior executive of at Telkom, CEO of Denel and Chairperson of The Gauteng Economic Development Agency (GEDA).
Their contributions will be missed by many South Africans.
Ms Mary Ellen Metcalfe was appointed to the post of Director General in the Department of Higher Education and Training. Ms Metcalfe brings a wealth of experience into the job and her career highlights include her role as Member of the Executive Committee (MEC) for Education in Gauteng, a renowned lecturer and most recently, she was the Head of the Wits School of Education.
Mr Francois Beukman was appointed to the post of Executive Director (Deputy Director General) to head the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD). Mr Beukman is a qualified attorney who worked in a number of law firms. He has been a Member of Parliament since 2005 where he held several positions including the Chairpersonship of SCOPA.
Mr SV Mkhize was appointed to the post of Deputy Director General (Civic Services) in the Department of Home Affairs. Mr Mkhize is being promoted from within the department after years of loyal service where he served as a Chief Director .
Enquiries: Themba Maseko (Government Spokesperson)
Contact: 083 645 0810
Issued by Government Communications (GCIS)