Statement on Cabinet Meeting of 8 December 2010
Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Pretoria yesterday, 8 December 2010
Cabinet commends all South Africans for participating and supporting the 16 Days Campaign Against the Abuse of Women and Children which comes to an end on Friday, 10 December 2010.
Cabinet regrets that some despicable incidents of abuse against women and children took place and were exposed during the campaign period. These include the shameful incident of sexual intercourse in a school yard in Johannesburg, the uncovering of the alleged child pornography involving toddlers at a house outside Pretoria, and the cold-blooded murder of Ms Anni Dewani in Cape Town.
Cabinet commends the police for acting swiftly in all these cases and ensuring that the suspects were apprehended and brought to court promptly. The importance of prosecuting of the suspects in the Dewani case cannot be over-emphasised as the case had drawn global attention and damaged South Africa’s reputation. The South African government will leave no stone unturned in the fight against the abuse of women and children and the perpetrators of the abuse must expect no mercy from the law enforcement authorities. All South Africans must stand up against abuse of any kind and report all incidents to the authorities to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.
Cabinet welcomed the initiative by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development to launch an awareness campaign to discourage the practice of kidnapping and abduction of women and young girls for marriage under the guise of “Ukuthwala” cultural practice. In some instances, this practice is linked with the misguided belief that sexual intercourse with a virgin cures HIV and AIDS. The abduction of women under any circumstances is unlawful, unjustified and punishable by the law.
Despite all these issues, Cabinet concluded that the 16 Days campaign was a success as we managed to raise awareness about issues of abuse of any kind. The Ministry of Women, Children and People with Disabilities will develop programmes to address all forms of abuse throughout the year.
Cabinet decided to terminate the Electricity Distribution Industry (EDI) restructuring and to discontinue the process of creating the Regional Electricity Distribution (REDS) with immediate effect. Although the Electricity Distribution Industry Holdings (EDIH) had made significant progress in establishing the REDs, Cabinet approved the recommendation that the Department of Energy takes over the programmes previously executed under the EDIH mandate. The department will review the whole electricity value chain with a view to developing a holistic approach to revitalise electricity infrastructure, energy security as well as the financial implications. An administrator will be appointed to attend to the winding up of EDIH. The EDIH Board will remain accountable until the end of the 2010/11 financial year.
The Draft Carbon Tax Policy was approved and will be published for public comment. The tax policy presents the environmental and economic rationale for carbon tax measures to address climate change. It focuses on the merits for carbon taxes to price carbon and seeks to, inter alia, influence consumer and producer behaviour through a price mechanism. The draft policy tables 3 carbon emissions tax options for consideration i.e. direct tax on actual measured emissions, fossil fuel input tax based on carbon content of fuels and output tax that could be applied to emitters where fuel is burnt. The draft paper will be published shortly for public comment.
The festive season is upon us and government is already concerned about the deaths on our roads due to reckless driving. Cabinet appeals to all South Africans to drive with care and to obey the traffic laws. The law enforcement authorities will be out in full force to ensure that everyone obey the laws. This is the period for families to enjoy quality time together. Cabinet wishes all South Africans a happy festive season.
Cabinet approved the new slogan for Brand South Africa to replace ‘Alive with Possibility’. The new country slogan is ‘more than you imagine’ (see attached).This decision follows a lengthy consultative process that was spearheaded by the International Marketing Council (IMC) which involved various stakeholders including the Departments of Tourism, Trade and Industry, International Relations and Cooperation, SA Tourism, NEDLAC, the ICTS cluster, provinces and Trade and Investment SA (TISA). Research was also conducted which included a number of focus groups and an international survey.
Cabinet welcomed the announcement by Mercedes Benz to invest a further R2 billion in South Africa to produce the next generation of the C-class vehicle at its plant in East London. This investment will reportedly increase the East London plant’s capacity from 50 000 to 65 000 units per annum and create up to 1 500 urgently needed jobs. We commend the Mercedes Benz SA management, staff and workers for running one of the most successful and world-class production plants that has demonstrated capacity to compete with any production line in the world.
At the public release of the New Growth Path, Cabinet undertook to provide an opportunity for South Africans to contribute to the vision and to its implementation. Cabinet was pleased to note that its New Growth Path has gained wide support for the goal of five million new jobs by 2020. The document has generated the desired debate and discussion about how best to achieve this goal and the contribution required of each South African, of workers, businesses and government. Government welcomes the public discussion, as a common national vision needs to be forged through public involvement and debate.
We have convened the first meeting with social partners recently, drawing in leaders of business, organised labour and community organisations. Government is now hosting information sessions on the New Growth Path. Detailed discussions are also taking place with a number of public agencies to align their work to the goals of the New Growth Path.
We will, early in the New Year, engage in further formal discussions with a range of stakeholders to respond to the various comments, suggestions and concerns. This process will take account of the numerous public contributions that are being made. The Cabinet Lekgotla in January 2011 will discuss steps that can be taken immediately to address the challenges outlined in the New Growth Path and will take account of the numerous contributions that are being made.
Cabinet approved that the African Exploration, Mining and Financing Corporation (AEMFC) currently a wholly owned subsidiary of the Central Energy Fund (CEF) be separated from the CEF. AEMFC will become a stand-alone entity that will constitute the nucleus for the State owned mining company. The Departments of Mineral Resources and have Energy will develop modalities for separating the AEMFC from the CEF Group of companies.
Cabinet noted the draft second annual report on the implementation of the Programme of Action (PoA) on the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) to be considered by the Heads of State and Governments of participating countries in the African Peer Review. An urgent Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) will be convened by the Department of Public Service and Administration to finalise the report.
On the international front, the meeting expressed concern about the recent developments in the Ivory Coast that pose a threat to the peace and stability in the region. Cabinet is hopeful that an amicable solution that reflects the will of the people would be found sooner than later. South Africa will continue to work with the African Union and ECOWAS to ensure that the situation does not lead to violent conflict.
On the 9 January 2011 South Sudan is scheduled to hold a referendum on self-determination. We hope that all parties involved will do everything possible to achieve a peaceful settlement.
The meeting noted that His Excellency, President Dos Santos of Angola will be visiting South Africa on an official visit on 14 December 2010. The visit will strengthen bilateral and economic ties between the two SADC nations.
The meeting welcomed the positive response by Zimbabwean nationals to the call to regularise their stay in South Africa. Home Affairs offices have been inundated by thousands of Zimbabweans wishing to take advantage of the remaining window to get their documents. The South African and Zimbabwean governments will continue to do all they can to increase capacity in the various offices to meet the demand for legal documents. Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has met with her two counterparts from Zimbabwe in an attempt to address ongoing challenges including Zimbabwe’s capacity to issue passports timeous. In the meantime, South Africa has set a stakeholder forum with a view to encouraging more Zimbabweans to take advantage of the offer and submit fraudulently acquired passports, identity documents and permits.
The Zimbabweans who have submitted their applications but have not yet received the new documents have nothing to worry about as their information is already in the system. All those who have not yet applied for legal documents are urged to do so before the deadline expires to avoid any inconvenience in the New Year.
Cabinet endorsed South Africa’s participation in the 16th Replenishment of the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA). The IDA provides low interest loans and grants to low income countries, defined as those with a per capita income of less than $1135 a year. Of the World Bank's 185 member countries, 79 countries (of which 39 are in Sub Saharan Africa) qualify for IDA funding.
Cabinet received and noted the Auditor-General’s Report which highlighted the improved compliance by national and provincial institutions with regard to timeous tabling of their 2009/10 annual reports. Cabinet reiterated that the accounting officers should take corrective action to address the problems highlighted the Auditor-General’s management letters, including the payment of suppliers within 30 days.
The publication of the Reports on Standards and Codes (ROSC) by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank as part of the 2010 ROSC assessment conducted in accordance with the Financial Sector Assessment Programme was noted. The meeting noted and welcomed the report’s balanced assessment of South Africa’s financial regulatory framework.
Cabinet decided to lodge an appeal against the state in the matter between the South African Defence Union and The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans. The Pretoria High Court held that the notices that were served on members of the defence force following the rampage at the Union Buildings in August last year were unlawful and unconstitutional. Cabinet is of the view that the court decision could have a negative effect on the discipline in the defence force. The Constitutional provision requires that the defence force must be structured and managed as a disciplined force.
The meeting noted that planning for the release of the matric results on 6 January 2011 is at an advanced stage. The Minister of Basic Education will be visiting various marking centers shortly to observe the marking process and to provide moral support to all the educators and officials who are involved in the marking process.
The meeting approved that the Government of South Africa ratifies the African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
The following bills were approved:
- Constitution Amendment Bill, 2010 (for public comment)
- Land Tenure Security Bill, 2010 (for public comment)
- Labour Relations Amendment Bill, 2010 (for public comment)
- Basic Condition of Employment Amendment Bill, 2010 (for public comment)
- Employment Equity Amendment Bill, 2010 (for public comment)
- Employment Services Bill, 2010 (for public comment)
- Superior Courts Bill, 2010 (for submission to Parliament)
- State Liability Amendment Bill, 2010 (for submission to Parliament)
- Muslim Marriages Bill, 2010 (for public comment)
- Legal practice Bill, 2010 (for submission to Parliament)
The following appointments were approved:
- Mr Elias Masilela was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Public Investment Corporation limited (PIC) for a period of five years. He is currently the Head of the Policy Analysis unit at Sanlam
- Mr MXA Mtyhuda was appointed to the post of Deputy Director-General: Corporate and Financial Services in the Department of Cooperative Governance
- Mr RB Hansby was appointed to the post of Deputy Director-General: Infrastructure and Economic Development in the Department of Cooperative Governance
- Mr TB Fosi was appointed to the post of Deputy Director-General: Research and Knowledge management in the Department of Cooperative Governance
- Ms PB Gamede was appointed Deputy Director-General (DDG): Corporate Services in the Department of Mineral Resources
- Dr DC Mamphiswana was appointed Deputy Director-General (DDG): Integrity and Anti-Corruption at the Office of the Public Service Commission
- Ms JE McCourt was appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the Department of Environmental Affairs
- Mr EN Ragimana was appointed Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the Department of Mineral Resources
- The following were appointed to the Transnet Board: Mr M Mkhwanazi (Chairperson), Mr P Malungani, Mr I Skosana, Ms N Moola, Mr M Fanucchi, Ms D Tshepe, Mr D Mkhwanazi, Ms T Mnyaka, Ms E Tshabalala, Mr I Sharma, Mr H Gazedam and Prof J Schrempp, Mr P Moyo, Ms N Gcaba and Ms N Ntshingila will be retained from the outgoing Board
- Mr S Mzolo and Dr M Venter were appointed Non-Executive Directors of the Board of Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA)
- Concurred with the recommendation for Mr ST Tsengiwe’s re-appointment as the Chief Commissioner at the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) for a term of three years
- Mr SP Mngconkola, Mr R Morar and Ms T Matshazi were appointed as Non-Executive Directors of the Public Investment Corporation Limited (PIC).
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)
9 December 2010