Statement on the Cabinet Meeting held 20 July 2010

Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Pretoria on 20 July 2010.

Cabinet welcomed the groundbreaking news that a study that was jointly funded by the South African and United States Governments had established that an antiretroviral microbicide reduces the rate of HIV and Herpes infections in women by 40% and 51 % respectively. The microbicide will arm women to protect themselves against infections. The study was conducted by the Centre for AIDS Programme of Research (CAPRISA) in Durban in partnership with associates from the Columbia University in the United States.

Sexual transmission of HIV is the most common way that HIV is spread and accounts for about 85 % of all HIV infections globally. A key driver of HIV infection in Southern Africa is the high rate of new HIV infection among young women and reducing new infections in this category is key to altering the HIV epidemic in the region. Cabinet noted that the results of the study were announced at the AIDS conference in Vienna today and also published in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal of science this week.

Although the results still need to be confirmed by other studies which will be initiated urgently to enable licensure and subsequent public availability for HIV prevention, Cabinet welcomed the fact that the gel will be manufactured in South Africa for distribution in South Africa, the region and the rest of the world.

Cabinet approved the reactivation of the Programme of Action (PoA) on the government website as a summary of strategic focus areas of government and as a means of reporting progress to the public. The new PoA will allow the public to view progress on the implementation of the government Programme of Action.

The South African Trade Policy and Strategy Framework (TPSF) was approved. The TPSF sets out, among other things, the following:  a framework for trade policy that supports the objectives of the National Industrial Policy Framework (NIPF); outlines the contribution trade policy should make to advancing industrial development; the need for upgrading and diversification along a growth path that addresses structural constraints in the economy, including unemployment and poverty; and outlines the key principles of South Africa’s international trade engagements at bilateral, regional and multilateral trade levels.

The Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) policy framework was approved. This framework provides the basis on which BIT’s could be evaluated and renegotiated.  The Minister of Trade and Industry will convene an Inter-Ministerial Committee comprising of Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation, of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, of Economic Development and of Finance to oversee all matters pertaining to BITs. The Minister of Trade and Industry will also initiate a process to draft legislation in this regard.

Cabinet supported the bid by the South African Transplant Sports Association to host the first World Transplant Games on the African continent. The games are scheduled to be held from 27 July to 4 August 2013 in Durban.

Cabinet endorsed South Africa’s cities’ will bid to host the 2013 World Conference on Doping in Sport. Letters have been written to Mayors requesting them to submit bids to host the conference.

Cabinet approved the amendments to articles VI and XIV. A of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The amendments will be submitted to Parliament for ratification. 
The following bills were approved:

Municipal Electoral Amendment Bill, 2010

  • The Bill seeks to provides for, among other things: set requirements for submission of party lists for an election and material objections to elections results; revises provisions relating to number of party agents voting stations; empowers presiding officers to re-determine and re-demarcate boundaries of voting stations; clarifies the rights and responsibilities relating to assistance to voters; gives members of the police force the right to vote in the voting stations where they are deployed during elections. The Bill will be submitted to Parliament for finalisation

Rental Housing Amendment Bill, 2010

  • The Bill seeks to address certain interpretation and implementation issues that have arisen since the promulgation of the Rental Housing Act of 1999 and to rectify certain technical issues in the Bill. The technical issues to be addressed include: the definition of “Minister” to bring the Act in line with the recent name change from the Department of Housing to the Department of Human Settlements; the application of the provisions pertaining to the establishment of Rental Housing Tribunals and Rental Housing Information Offices; and to extend the powers of the Rental Housing Tribunals to rescind any of its ruling. The Bill will be published for public comment.
  • Merchant Shipping (Safe Containers) Bill, 2009

The Bill gives effect to the International Convention for Safe Containers, 1972 (“the Convention”).

The Convention has two principal objectives which are to maintain a high level safety of human life in transport and handling of containers by providing generally acceptable test procedures and related strength requirements which have proven adequate over the years; and to facilitate international transport of containers by providing uniform international safety regulations, equally applicable to all modes of surface transport.

The Refugee Amendment Bill, 2010.

  • The Bill provides for, among other things, the establishment of the Status Determination Committee to consider and determine applications for asylum.  

The immigration Amendment Bill, 2010

  • The main objectives of the Bill includes the following; provides for the designation of ports of entry; revises the provisions relating to visas for temporary sojourn in the Republic and for the procedures with regard thereto; provides for the mandatory transmission and use of information on advance passenger processing; the transmission of passenger name record information; and revises provisions relating to permanent residence.

The following appointments were approved:

  • Mr Muzamani Charles Nwaila was appointed Director-General responsible for Traditional Affairs in the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
  • Mr Ashraf Mohamed Adam was appointed Chief Operations Officer (DDG Level) at the Department of Public Works.
  • Mr Jacob Basil Hlatshwayo was appointed Chief Financial Officer (DDG Level) in the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
  • Ms Keitumetsi Cathrine Mketi was appointed Deputy Director General in the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
  • Dr O Shisana was reappointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) for a second five year term with effect 1 August 2010.
  • Dr M Motuku was appointed CEO of the National Metrology Institute of South Africa (NMISA) for a period a five years.
  • Mr P Benadé was appointed member of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Board for the remaining term of office of the current board.
  • Messrs G Kelly, M Matete(Chairperson) and Ms S Singh were appointed as non executive Directors to the Cross Border Road Transport Agency (C-BRTA) Board for a period of three years with effect from 1 October 2010.
  • Mesdames N Rapoo (Chairperson) and G Motau and Messrs I Jordaan, M Manzini and T Dickers were appointed non executive members to the Board of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) for a period of three years with effect from 1 August 2010.
  • Messrs M Ratshimbilani (Deputy Chairperson), C de Vos, W Rasool and T Lamati and Mesdames J Barret, M Chauke and T Msibi were appointed as non executive members to the Board of Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) for a period of three years.  Prof H Hermanus, Messrs C Ntumba, W Venter and Mesdames B Madumise (Chairperson) and M Somaru were reappointed as non executives of the RSR board for three years.
  • Messrs S Dietrich and S Patel were appointed non executive Directors to the board of the South African Post Office (SAPO) for a period of three years with effect from 1 August 2010.
  • Dr VZ Msimang and Ambassador LM Gumbi were appointed to the board of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA) for a period of three years.

Enquiries:

Themba Maseko
Cell: 083 645 0810

Issued by Government Communications (GCIS)
20 July 2010

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