Statement on the Cabinet Meeting, 10 November 2010, Cape Town

Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Cape Town on 10 November 2010.

Cabinet welcomed the settlement reached between the Competition Commission and Pioneer Foods that will see the company paying up to R1 billion in fines, penalties and other costs for its role in a price fixing cartel. This cartel was engaged in illegal and uncompetitive practices that saw the price of flour, bread and poultry products soar to the detriment of ordinary South Africans who are battling to make ends meet. This settlement sends a clear signal to all companies that such behaviour will not be tolerated.

Cabinet commends the Competition Commission for the innovative settlement that includes forcing the company to reinvest in activities that will bring new entrants into the industry through a competitive fund and the establishment of a special fund to bring food prices down. These innovative measures address uncompetitive behaviour but most importantly, will benefit consumers, especially the poor, by reducing the price of basic food products such as bread.

Cabinet welcomed the court decision to impose fines against Netcare KwaZulu-Natal for the unlawful surgeries whereby human kidneys were illegally acquired and transplanted at one of the company’s hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal. Cabinet is outraged by the conduct of both the hospital and the doctors who are implicated in the scam. Government will not allow the country to become a haven for syndicates who traffic in human parts. This case also raises serious trust and ethical issues regarding the doctors who are implicated. Cabinet hopes and expects that the health professions body will also act against the individual doctors who are implicated in the ‘ritual’.

Government hopes that the Netcare group and the private health care industry will take all the necessary steps to ensure that this inhumane conduct never happens again. The law enforcement agencies must do all they can to ensure that all those who are implicated in the scam face the full might of the law.

Cabinet approved a six-month extension of the deadline for the registration of customers of mobile cellular operators. Section 62 (6) of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act will be amended shortly to give effect to this decision. Mobile operators will be required to report to government on how they plan to comply with the new deadline.

Cabinet congratulated Banyana Banyana for their outstanding performance in the African Women’s Championship, and urges all South Africans to continue supporting the team until they win this prestigious tournament. You have made the nation proud. A victory against Equatorial Guinea today will not only give the team a passage to the finals but also books them a place at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. Government and the people of South Africa wish Banyana Banyana the best of luck in the game.

The meeting expressed full support for the initiative by the SAPS to launch the Festive Season Campaign that is aimed at dealing decisively with all forms of crime during the festive season. The meeting also called on the public to be vigilant and to work with the law enforcement agencies to root out crime.

Cabinet approved the extension of the revised pension dispensation to cover all members of the Non Statutory Forces (NSF) who are employed in government departments and other institutions that contribute to the GEPF. The current (NSF) pension dispensation was limited to members of the SANDF. This decision will create parity in the pensions dispensation for all former NSF members.

Cabinet noted and supported a hybrid funding solution to enable Eskom to continue with its Build programme to ensure the security of supply of energy. The hybrid solution consists of increasing the guarantee framework from R176 billion to R350 billion to enable the utility to continue with its committed Build Programme up to Kusile Power Station and an equity injection of R20 billion over three years starting in the 2011/12 financial year. The equity injection of R20 billion will be funded through the Minister’s committee on the Budget as part of the budgeting process.

Cabinet approved the fourth edition of the Development Indicators (2010) report. The report shows two major trends i.e. the negative impact of the global recession on employment, poverty and equality and illustrate that there are areas where state performance still requires improvement. The development indicators will sharpen the country’s ability to assess the impact of government policies and improve planning. The report, which will be published shortly, is expected to generate debate on the milestones achieved thus far and the challenges still facing the nation. Minister Trevor Manuel will release the report shortly and lead the public discourse on the measures that need to be taken to address the challenges it raises.

Cabinet resolved to establish an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) to coordinate and support the launch of a national campaign to strengthen measures to combat substance abuse in South Africa. The IMC will also consider the fast tracking of departmental action plans to curb substance and alcohol abuse in our communities. The campaign will raise awareness about substance abuse to strengthen existing programmes to address the scourge of substance abuse in parts of the country. The meeting also supported the convening of a stakeholder summit to develop a nation-wide programme of action in order to strengthen existing measures to combat substance abuse in South Africa. The IMC will comprise of the Ministers of Correctional Services, Science and Technology, Trade and Industry, Basic Education, Health, Higher Education and Training, and Economic Development. The Minister of Social Development will convene the IMC.

Cabinet approved the publication of the draft National Climate Change Response Green Paper and the Second National Communication for public comment. Following public comments, a white paper will be compiled at the beginning of the year for further comments and Cabinet is expected to finalise the policy by the end of the first quarter of 2011.

Cabinet approved a proposal to design and pilot a Performance Assessment Tool (PAT) that will be used to assess the performance of individual departments and other government institutions. This tool will be piloted and tested in selected national departments. The results of the PAT pilot will be presented to Cabinet by the end of April 2011 prior to a complete rollout to all departments and spheres of Government.

Cabinet approved the publication of the Integrated Strategy for the Promotion and Development of Co-operatives 2010 -2020 for public comment. The strategy identifies coops as one of the critical and viable means of alleviating poverty, under-development and unemployment. The strategy identifies the following four pillars as enablers for the success of coops i.e. increasing non financial support services to co-operatives; creating demand for co-operatives products and services; improving the sustainability of co-operatives and to increasing financial support services. The strategy will be implemented by the Department of Trade and Industry.

Cabinet noted the steps taken by the DTI to implement its Export Development and Promotion and Investment Promotion and Facilitation Strategies in order to enhance South Africa’s global footprint. The strategy provides, among other things, a framework on how government and the exporter and investor communities can engage with the global community to ensure that South Africa enters new high growth markets with competitive products; ensure that we keep our levels of trade in conventional markets; and to ensure that an environment is created in South Africa to facilitate the entry of new investors.

The meeting noted and agreed that South Africa hosts the 17th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP 17) which will also serve as the Meeting of Parties at the beginning of December 2011 in the KZN province.

Cabinet noted the report on the outcomes of the Eighteenth Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 18) that took place from 3 to 14 May 2010 in New York that focused on mining; transport, chemicals, waste and sustainable consumption and production.

Military Veterans Bill

This Bill seeks to establish, develop, promote and implement national policy and standards regarding military veterans and their dependants to enhance the well-being and quality of life through progressive realization of their socio-economic rights. It further seeks to establish an advisory council for military veteran’s affairs, military veteran’s appeal board and to provide for benefits and entitlements relating to military veterans.

South African Military Ombudsman Bill

The Bill seeks to establish the office of the Military Ombudsman to attend to complaints emanating from members of the Defence Force and members of the pubic and to ensure speedy resolution of complaints within and against the Defence Force. Currently complaints arising from the Defence Force are dealt with in terms of the Individual Grievance Regulation and by a military investigator embedded in the office of the Public Protector. The Department contends that this arrangement is insufficient and inefficient as a complaints mechanism due to the uniqueness of the defence environment.

The following appointments were approved:

  • Mr Jeff Molobela was reappointed as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Telkom SA for a period of one year.
  • Ms P Nzimande was appointed as chairperson of the Human Science Research Council (HSRC) Board and Dr B Tema and Prof T Pillay were appointed members of the Board for the remaining term of office of the current Board, which ends on 31 October 2013.

The following were appointed to the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP):

  • Ms DA Howitson; Dr T Amanda; Ms LLC Malamba; Ms J Zingu; Ms CP Mazibuko; Dr Z Mkhize; Dr MM Motshedi; Mr DM Nghonyama; Mr A Theron; Mr FA Xaba; Dr M Mabetoa; Mr CM Malaka and Mr Mabizela.

The following were appointed to serve on the Professional Board for Social Work:

  • Ms K Mahlangu; Mr KB Mogadime; Ms M Van Niekerk and Ms T Mhlongo.

The following were appointed to the Board of the National Development Agency:

  • Government representatives will be Ms S Tolashe; Ms L Molema; Ms B Khan; Mr P Thabethe and Ms M Malapane.
  • Civil society organisations will be represented by Mr MF Kekana (Board Chairperson); Ms TA Shange (Deputy Chairperson); Mr A Madela; Ms M Monakali; Ms RL Mdlalose and Reverend MO Xundu.

The following were appointed to the Securities Regulations Panel for a three year period:

Mr A Khumalo; Mr PJ Dempsey; Mr M Brits; Mr JM Damons; Mr RM Loubser; Ms A de Bruyn; Mr NA Matlala and Dr SM Luiz

Enquiries:

Themba Maseko
Cell: 083 645 0810 

Issued by Government Communications (GCIS)
11 November 2010


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