Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 5 May 2010, Cape Town

Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Cape Town on 5 May 2010.

Cabinet approved the proposed targeted interventions to better anticipate and manage service delivery protests in various parts of the country. These interventions are part of the local government turn-around strategy that seeks to address the challenges confronting local government. These interventions include the establishment of rapid response teams at all levels of government; the utilisation of disaster management centres and the joint operations centres to act as early warning mechanisms; strengthening of ward committees and community development workers (CDWs).

Cabinet discussed the Civil Justice Reform Project that seeks to improve the efficiency of the civil justice system. The primary objective of the project is to provide a speedy, affordable and simple process for resolution of civil disputes. The terms of reference for the project will entail investigation of the following elements: increasing the effectiveness of the civil courts; the impact and effectiveness of the current legislation on the civil justice system; affordability and cost effectiveness; integration of the alternative dispute resolution mechanism and a mandatory referral system; simplification of court procedures and processes; modernisation of the courts system; effective case management; and harmonisation of the court rules.

Cabinet noted the Public Protector’s report on the breach of the Executive Code of Ethics by President Jacob Zuma. In the report, the Public Protector found that President Zuma did not comply with the requirement to disclose his financial interests within the stipulated period. The report also acknowledges that certain aspects pertaining to the President’s obligations to declare need to be clarified, for example, who should give the President permission to accept gifts in excess of R1 000, and which office must deal with instances where the President is the subject of non-compliance with the Code of Ethics.

The report indicates that the President regrets the delay in declaring his interests. Cabinet decided that The Presidency and the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development will review the Code to address the gaps that have been identified in the Public Protector’s report. The Public Protector’s report and the President’s response to the findings will be submitted to the Speaker of Parliament shortly for finalisation.

The Minister of Sports and Recreation tabled the fortnightly report on the state of readiness for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) was noted. The MoU assigns additional tasks to SAPS, which include rendering security to world cup teams and their base and training camps. 

R54 million has already been allocated to the disaster management project. The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has established a task team to rationalise the emergency numbers during the World Cup and beyond.

Cabinet noted reports suggesting that Ministers and other members of the LOC were in line to receive large bonuses after the World Cup. However, Minister Tokyo Sexwale, who chairs the remunerations’ Committee of the LOC, clarified that there was no such decision by the LOC Board. Cabinet resolved that even if there was a decision to pay bonuses to the LOC Board members, no Minister will accept any form of payment for their role in the LOC.

Child Protection Week will take place on 26 May – 2 June to raise awareness about the need to protect children against any form of abuse. During this period, the Department of Social Development will launch the National Action Plan aimed at protecting children during the World Cup and beyond. Social workers and foreign language interpreters will be deployed at all the public viewing areas and all the host cities to provide counselling and other forms of support to children should the need arise.

The meeting welcomed the appointment of members of the National Planning Commission who were announced last week. The Commission will be tasked with making recommendations to Government on South Africa’s long term planning and development trajectory. In addition to a Vision 2025 and developing a strategic plan for the country, the commission will also produce plans on cross cutting issues such as climate change, water security, food security, long term defence capabilities, human resources development, technology and innovation. The Commission will hold its inaugural meeting on 10 - 11 May 2010. 

Cabinet noted that at least 12 African Heads of State, including President Jacob Zuma, and about a 1 000 business leaders from all corners of the African continent are attending the World Economic Forum Africa which is taking place in Dar es Salaam on 5 - 7 May 2010. The theme for this year’s conference is “Rethinking Africa’s growth strategy”. The forum will provide an opportunity for African leaders to discuss the continent’s developmental and economic priorities.

Cabinet paid tribute to the late anti-apartheid veteran, Ms Sheena Duncan, who passed away on Tuesday, 4 May 2010. She was a principled campaigner for peace and justice. She will be missed by millions of South Africans whose lives she touched in many different ways throughout her life. Cabinet would like to convey its condolences, on behalf of all South Africans, to her family and friends.

Cabinet conveys condolences to the families and friends of the 28 commuters who died in the tragic bus accident that took place outside Cape Town in the early hours of 5 May 2010. Reports indicate that up to 50 people are still in hospitals with serious injuries. Anyone found to be responsible for this accident must and will face the full might of the law. Law enforcement agencies must show zero tolerance and punish all those who break the laws.

Cabinet noted the Auditor-General’s report on the Municipal Finance Management Act Audit Outcomes for 2008/09 and agreed to consider the criteria that can be used to provide incentives to those municipalities and municipal entities that have shown improvement in their audit outcomes.

Cabinet approved the policy on the nomination, election and appointment of candidates to international organisations. The policy seeks to strengthen coordination among the various departments regarding appointments to international bodies. A committee on candidatures will be established in the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to consolidate all vacancies in international bodies and to make recommendations to Cabinet on proposed names for consideration.

Cabinet approved the amendments to the Protocol Document on the Principles and procedures for the appointment of national Directors-General (DGs) and Deputy Directors-General (DDGs). These amendments will align the protocol document to the recent Cabinet decision that the contract period for DGs be extended from three to five years subject to performance and the discretion of the Cabinet. These amendments will also clarify the composition of selection panels for the appointment of DGs and DDGs. The interviewing panels for DG posts will consist of three Ministers and a DG and two Ministers and, or, a Deputy Minister and a DG for a DDG post.

The Minister of Trade and Industry briefed Cabinet about the forensic investigation into the affairs at Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO) following a report from the Auditor-General (AG). The forensic report found some irregularities in the procurement of services.  Cabinet noted the report and supported the Minister’s plan to take action against all those who are implicated in the AG and forensic reports.

Cabinet approved the Constitution Amendment Bill. The Bill provides for, among other things, defining the role of the Chief Justice as the Head of the Judiciary; to change the name of ‘magistrate’s courts’ to ‘lower courts’; provides for a single ‘high court of South Africa’ comprising of various divisions; establishes the constitutional court as the highest court of the land on all matters and to further regulate the jurisdiction of the constitutional and the supreme courts; and to regulate the composition and functions of the Judicial Services Commission. The Bill will be published shortly for public comment.

The Superior Courts Bill was approved for submission to Parliament. This Bill aims to rationalise, consolidate and amend the laws relating to the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court of Appeal and the High Court in a single Act of Parliament. It incorporates existing specialist courts that are similar in status to the High Court such as the Competitions Appeal Courts, Electoral Court Income Tax Court, Labour Courts and the Land Claims Court, as specialist divisions of the High Court of South Africa.

The Legal Practice Bill was approved for submission to Parliament. The purpose of this Bill is, among other things, to provide for the creation of a unified body for the legal profession, to be known as the South African Legal Practice Council, to regulate the affairs of the profession including setting norms and standards; introduces community service for the candidate legal professionals; provides for the establishment of a Legal Services Ombudsman; and provides for a Transitional Council to oversee the implementation of the Bill.

The Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Bill, 2010 was approved for submission to Parliament. This Bill provides, among other things, for the establishment of uniform and consistent systems and procedures for municipalities. The absence of common standards has created an untenable situation that made it possible for municipalities to adopt desperate human resources practices, remuneration and conditions of service.

The following Appointments were approved:

  • Mr Blake Keith Mosley-Lefatola was appointed to the post of Director-General in the Department of Public Service and Administration.
  • Mr Thomas Swahibi Moyane was appointed to the post of National Commissioner in the Department of Correctional Services.
  • Mr Nkhumeleni Victor Tharage was appointed to the post of Deputy Director-General in the Department of Tourism.

Enquiries: Themba Maseko
Cell: 083 645 0810        

Issued by Government Communications (GCIS)
6 May 2010

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