Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 2 February, 2011

Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Pretoria yesterday, 2nd February 2011.

Cabinet took the opportunity of the meeting, since the hospitalisation of the former State President Nelson Mandela to wish him well and a speedy recovery. Cabinet appeals to all South Africans to continue supporting him and thanked everyone who took the opportunity to pray for his recovery and send the family messages of support during this time.

Cabinet noted the impact that the floods in a number communities and re-affirmed its commitment to providing assistance and support to all affected communities. An Inter-Ministerial Committee is coordinating government’s response and is tasked with the responsibility to ensure that all the three spheres of government provide assistance and support to our communities in a coordinated manner.

The National Disaster Management Centre, located at the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), is monitoring the situation country-wide and provides regular reports to the IMC and other relevant institutions. The National Joint Operations Center (NATJOINTS) was activitated to coordinate the response by the security cluster. The NATJOINTS coordinates with the disaster management centre to ensure prompt deployment of security forces in all the affected areas.

The GCIS has re-activated the 24-hour operations room (Ops room) to facilitate the speedy flow of information regarding flooding to keep the government and the public informed.

Cabinet commends all members of the security forces, emergency services, civil society organisations and members of the public for supporting communities and families that are in distress as a result of the floods. The public must be assured that government is doing everything to mitigate the impact of the floods.

Cabinet welcomed and supported the initiative by the departments of health and basic education to introduce and implement voluntary HIV testing in schools. This initiative is part of a campaign aimed at ensuring that all South Africans know their HIV status and receive treatment if necessary. A task team consisting of the South African National AIDS Council Secretariat, SANAC Childrens sector, social workers from the Department of Social Development and representatives from the national and provincial education departments has been set up to ensure that the campaign is properly implemented.

The task team will formulate guidelines on how the campaign will be implemented and provide support to schools that require support. A workshop has been held the Foundation for Professional Development to prepare all the professionals and NGO’s that will be involved in the testing of learners. Parents must be assured that care will be taken to ensure that the testing is done in a professional and responsible manner. We urge all teachers and learners to participate in the campaign.

Cabinet noted that President Jacob Zuma will be delivering his State of the Nation Address on the evening of the 10 February. The address will be followed by a debate in the National Assembly and a series of media engagements by the Ministers. The Minister of Finance will deliver his budget speech in Parliament on the 23rd February 2011.

Cabinet calls on all South Africans to register for the upcoming local government elections. The registration will take place on the 5-6 February 2011. 

Cabinet discussed the current challenges in a number of countries on the Continent and re-affirmed its commitment to the active promotion of democratic values and practices in which governments constantly strive to deepen ties with their people and address the real concerns and problems facing them. Cabinet supported the position taken by the African Union to establish a panel to deal with challenges in the Ivory Coast.

Cabinet approved that South Africa hosts the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Summit and the Second Tripartite Summit of the Southern African Development Community – East African Community-Common Market of East and and Southern Africa (SADC-EAC-COMESA) in February and March 2011 respectively.

Cabinet also noted and endorsed the outcomes of the Clean En3 February 2011ergy Ministerial Meeting that held in Washington DC on 19 – 20 July 2010. The  meeting endorsed a number of low carbon technologies including the following initiatives:  Super-efficient Equipment and Appliances Development (SEAD); International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN); Continuous Energy Performance Improvement (CEPI); Renewables such as wind, solar, Biofuels; Carbon Capture Use and Storage (CCUS); Electric/Advanced Vehecles and ‘C-3E Women’s Initiative and Clean Energy, Education and Empowerment.

Cabinet noted and welcomed the Minister of Energy, Ms Dipuo Peters’s nomination as Ambassador of Energy for Africa.

Cabinet noted and supported the appointment of Dr Sandile Malinga as the Chief Executive Officer of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA).

Cabinet noted that Mr Themba Maseko was to be redeployed to the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) with immediate effect. Mr Maseko will be replaced by Mr Jimmy Manyi as the new Government Spokesperson and Chief Executive Officer of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS).

Enquiries:

Themba Maseko
Cell:  083 645 0810 

Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)
3 February 2011

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