Statement on the Cabinet Meeting held on 16 March 2011

Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Cape Town, on 16 March 2011

1. Approvals

1.1 Cabinet considered, deliberated and approved the Policy Adjusted IRP2010 for promulgation by the Department of Energy and that as the basis for the South African power generation programme for the next 20 years. Cabinet was informed by the need to diversify the energy mix, with specific emphasis  on broadening energy carriers to include gas, imports, nuclear, biomass, renewable (wind, solar and hydro), as well as the efficient use of the existing resources such as coal, whilst ensuring that we continue investment in clean coal technology.

The IRP2010 will also place significant emphasis on the intensification of our Energy Efficiency Strategy. The IRP2010 is aligned to the objectives set in the Long Term Mitigation Scenarios and the commitments made to the Climate Change imperatives, especially the Copenhagen Accord.

Cabinet approved the tabling of the Independent System and Market Operator (ISMO) Bill to Parliament.  Cabinet encourages stakeholders in the power generation sector to engage on this bill as part of the parliamentary process. The establishment of ISMO is a key imperative to a more disciplined, open and transparent electricity sector and will assist in facilitating the participation of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in electricity generation.

IPPs will minimise the financial burden on the state in relation to the building of new generation capacity and they will spread the burden and risk relating to providing power capacity necessary to grow the economy and to create jobs.

1.2 Cabinet approved South Africa’s approach to the second Southern African Development Community-East African Community-Common Market of East and Southern Africa (SADC-EAC-COMESA) Tripartite Summit and T-FTA. Cabinet is of the view that there are compelling reasons to pursue the SADC-EAC-COMESA T-FTA because the market potential is considerable as it combines a market of 26 countries with a population of approximately 700 million people. A larger, integrated and growing regional market would enhance industrial development and investment, and provide a basis for enhanced intra-African trade. 

1.3 Cabinet approved the submission of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) decision on the implementation of Paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement on Public Health to Parliament for ratification and that an instrument of ratification be deposited with the WTO.

1.4 Cabinet approved the three year Industrial Policy Action Plan for 2011/12 – 2013/14.  It builds on the successes and achievements of its predecessor in cross-cutting areas such as Industrial Financing; Leveraging Public Procurement; Developmental Trade Policies, Competition and Regulation; and Skills and Innovation initiatives.

2. Cabinet noted the following

2.1 The introduction, under the leadership of the Department of Home Affairs, of the Refugees Amendment Bill 2010, which aims to clarify procedures for dealing with applications for refugee status.

The Bill seeks to ensure that asylum applications are handled efficiently, promptly and in a manner that balances their human rights against national security considerations. 

2.2 The Business Summit planned for 18 March 2011 provides government with a key platform to communicate critical partnerships with the Business sector which will accelerate achievement of government’s focus on job creation. 

2.3 Implementation of the Consumer Protection Act 2008, from 31 March 2011, exhibits government’s commitment to ensure that consumers’ rights are entrenched by the new legislation. 

2.4 Implementation of the Cabinet-approved National Tourism Sector Strategy will be communicated within the context of tourism’s increased contribution towards the GDP as well as job creation as one of the five key priorities. In addition the focus on domestic tourism and regional tourism will be strengthened.

2.5 As the local government elections approach, there have been some sporadic protests which have been accompanied by damage to property. Government will adopt zero tolerance to violent and disruptive behaviour as electioneering intensifies. 

Together we have worked hard to build a democratic local government that gives communities a voice and the opportunity to be active agents in the development of localities in which they live. Registered voters are encouraged to participate in the forthcoming elections and elect representatives who will promote their community’s interests.Cabinet calls on all South Africans to work together to ensure that the elections are conducted in a free and fair manner. The election day (18 May 2011) will be a public holiday.

2.6 South Africa, under the leadership of the Department of Water Affairs, will celebrate National Water Week from 20 to 27 March. Since our democratic dispensation government has worked tirelessly to realise the constitutional right to water by all South Africans. Government calls on all South Africans to be responsible and play their part in guaranteeing water security and sustainability by conserving water and complying with water laws.

2.7 Cabinet noted the recommendations of the Black Economic Empowerment  (BEE) Advisory Council to improve the state of BBBEE performance in the economy and to address some challenges in the implementation of the policy. The recommendations by the council will be discussed further by the cluster.

2.8 Cabinet noted with sadness the tragic loss of life caused by the earthquake which struck northeast Japan last week and generated devastating tsunamis. On behalf of the people of South Africa, Cabinet would like to extend the nation’s collective sympathy and our prayers and thoughts are with the people of Japan, especially those who have been affected by this tragedy. Cabinet further commends those courageous South Africans who have gone to assist the people in Japan.

3. Announcements

3.1 Government, under the leadership of the Department of Health, will launch the “Kick TB campaign” which coincides with World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on 24 March 2011. This campaign aims to build broad public awareness while focusing on involving learners in the fight against TB and in promoting healthy lifestyles.

World TB Day commemoration will be held at the Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital and Catherine Booth which will be characterised by visible communication on Government’s Intensified Case Finding initiative. Cabinet calls on the public to work with government in combating the TB challenge in our society. We are still one of the countries in the world with a high TB prevalence given the HIV and TB co-infection and we must work together to tackle this challenge.

3.2 The country will be celebrating Human Rights Month and Day (21 March), under the leadership of the Department of Justice. The main national event on Human Rights Day will be held at the Athlone Stadium in Cape Town on Monday, 21 March 2011. Cabinet calls on all South Africans tounite in protecting and respecting people’s human rights and dignity. 

3.3 Following the confusion and misinformation about the construction and renovation work that is or will be taking place at the Bryntirion Estate, Cabinet wishes to announce that there will be a media briefing next week by the Minister of Public Works and the Acting Director-General on the matter. The date and venue will be communicated in due course.

3.4 Following the announcement we made at the last post-Cabinet briefing, Cabinet wishes to confirm that the meeting between the Public Protector, the Minister of Justice and the Secretary of the Cabinet has taken place. At that meeting, it was agreed that the Public Protector be allowed to conclude the Durban leg of the investigation first so that a report covering all areas of this investigation can be considered.

4. Appointment

4.1 Cabinet endorsed the appointment of Ms Nombulelo (Pinky) Moholi as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Telkom SA Limited. Cabinet is also celebrating this appointment especially as this is the first time a woman executive is appointed to lead this major information and communication technology (ICT) entity.

Enquiries:
Jimmy Manyi
Cabinet Spokesperson
Cell: 082 379 3454

Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)
17 March 2011



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