Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 24 March 2010, Cape Town
Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Cape Town on 24 March 2010.
Cabinet discussed the violent protests taking place in some parts of the country. Government acknowledges that citizens have the democratic right, as contained in the Bill of Rights, to express their grievances. However, this right is accompanied by the responsibility to ensure that the rights of others are not infringed upon. No one has the right to attack others, to destroy public and private property or to embark on any criminal activity in the name of service delivery protests. Communities must express their discontent in a responsible and constructive manner. The violent and destructive nature of some of the protests is unacceptable.
Government accepts that the protests are a symptom of accumulated discontent about a range of issues pertaining to the delivery of basic services. Many of these issues raised during these protests are already receiving attention at the highest level in government. We remain committed to addressing issues of service delivery through the implementation of the Local Government Turnaround Strategy, whose primary objective is to ensure that local government is strengthened to urgently attend to the service delivery concerns of all communities.
The Minister of Transport gave an update on the interaction between government and the taxi industry on the integrated public transport system. While Government is committed to addressing the concerns of the industry, violence against law-abiding citizens as a means of highlighting their grievances is unacceptable and will not be tolerated, especially at a time when government is engaged in constructive discussions with industry leaders. While we are seeking lasting solutions with the industry, the right of citizens to have access to fast, reliable and safe public transport will remain paramount.
Cabinet approved the new outreach initiative, which will be known as the Public Participation Programme, previously known as Izimbizo programme. The new approach seeks to reinforce accountability to citizens through continuous public participation events throughout the year. Every member of the Executive will undertake at least ten public engagements per annum to interact directly with communities and stakeholders throughout the country, instead of limiting this interaction to just one week.
This initiative will close the gap between Government and the citizens and allow a two-way information flow. Members of the Executive will be required to undertake a visit to a community and/or meet with stakeholders at least twice a year to ensure that there is direct feedback on all issues raised by communities. At least 4250 community events will be held around the country every annually. This decision will be tabled at the next Presidential Coordinating Council to ensure that there is buy-in from the provincial and local government spheres.
Cabinet has extended the term of office for Directors-General from three to up to five years. The decision applies to Directors-General who will assume duty on the 1 April 2010. The existing contracts continue and will only be reviewed and renegotiated when they come to an end. The decision follows a 2008 study conducted by the Public Service Commission entitled ‘The turnover-rate of Heads of Department and its implications for the public service’. The study found, inter alia, that the high turnover rate had a negative effect on productivity, service delivery and a loss of organisational knowledge. The five-year contracts will be renewable based on performance. The Minister for Public Service Administration will also review the existing professional programmes to improve performance in the public service. The existing provisions regarding the management of exit of heads of departments were noted.
The meeting noted that the Department of International Relations and Cooperation is conducting an international road show to promote the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This road show covers all regions of the world with a particular focus on nations that have qualified to participate in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals. The positive response by South Africans to the ‘Fly the Flag’ and the ‘Football Friday’ campaigns was welcomed as a clear sign that the country is getting ready to welcome and host the world.
Cabinet discussed and noted the naming of the new airport at La Mercy in KwaZulu-Natal north coast as the King Shaka International Airport. The airport is scheduled to start operations on 1 May 2010.
The Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between the Governments of the Republic of South Africa and Zimbabwe on the promotion and reciprocal protection of investments was noted and will be submitted to Parliament for ratification. The agreement was signed on 27 November 2009 in Harare at a Trade and Investment seminar that was attended by more than fifty senior executives from South African companies and over 200 Zimbabwean business leaders.
Cabinet has endorsed the proposal to hold weekly media briefings on the activities of government. These briefings will enable Ministers to interact regularly with the media on policy issues, programmes and current affairs. They will take the form of presentations and Question and Answer sessions with the media by individual Ministers. GCIS is finalising the processes and systems to ensure that this decision is effectively implemented as soon as possible. The starting date will be announced as soon as the systems are in place.
The following appointments were approved:
- Mr Elroy Africa was appointed to the post of Director General in the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
- Mr Mkuseli Apleni was appointed to the post of Director General in the Department of Home Affairs.
- Professor Lekoa Solomon Mollo was appointed to the post of Director General at the Public Administration, Leadership and Management Academy (PALAMA)
- Dr Sean Douglas Phillips was appointed to the post of Director General: Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Administration in the Presidency.
- Ms Virginia Lenore Petersen was appointed to the post of Programme Manager: Independent Tribunal for Social Assistance Appeals in the Department of Social Development.
- Mr Marthinus Stefanus Albertus Barnard was appointed to the post of General Manager: Financial Services at the Government Printing Works.
- Cabinet noted and concurred with the appointment of Mr Miller Matola as Chief Executive Officer of the International Marketing Council (IMC)
- Concurred with the placement of Mr K Todani and Ms V Vumendlini-Schalk to the position of Senior Advisor: International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Senior Advisor: World Bank respectively for a period of three (3) years with effect from the date to be agreed by the relevant Executive Authority and candidates.
- Approved the appointment of Mr S Khumalo as the Chief Executive Officer of the Cross-Border Road Transport Agency, for a period of five (5) years, with effect from 1 April 2010.
- Approved the appointment of Ms M Janse van Rensburg as an additional Non-Executive Director to the Board of the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) for a period of three (3) years, with effect from 1 April 2010.
- Approved the appointment of Mr T Ngcobo as a Non-Executive Director of the Board of the South African Post Office (SAPO), for a period of three (3) years with effect from 1 April 2010.
- Approved the appointment of Mr Q Patel, Ms Z Hlatshwayo and Mr M Dhlamini in addition to the reappointment of Mr T Leeuw and Ms N Sihlali to the Board of Sentech, with effect from 1 April 2010, for a period of three (3) years
- The following were appointed to the Board of the State Information and Technology Agency (SITA): Ms SV Bvuma; Mr P Kgame; Ms K Mdlulwa; Prof M Mphahlele; Ms N Ntsinde; Ms J Shibambu and Ms FC Potgieter-Gqubule; They join the following existing Board Members: Ms Zodwa Manase (Chairperson); Mr MA Luthuli; Mr C Kruger; Ms R Sekese;. The alternate members are: Mr R Mabena; Ms BM Malongete; Ms NM Mhlakaza; Ms K Mthimunye; Ms T Moloko; Mr D Niddrie and Mr G Pillay. (This list replaces the list that was in the Cabinet statement of 11 March 2010)
The following Bills were approved and will be submitted to Parliament:
- Transport acts repeal bill, 2009
- Defence Amendment Bill, 2010 (Reserve Force members to serve during peacetime) and establishment of the National Defence Force Service Commission.
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Issued by Government Communications (GCIS)
25 March 2010