Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 7 September 2011

Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Pretoria on 7 September 2011.

1. Current Affairs

1.1 Cabinet applauds South Africans for rallying behind the Springboks and for the vibrant send-off given to the champions as they defend their title in the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. 

1.2 Cabinet congratulates Team South Africa for making the country proud as they dominate the first leg of the swimming competition at the All Africa Games in Maputo, grabbing 11 medals and taking the country’s medal tally to 15.

1.3 The National Heritage Day celebrations will be held on 24 September 2011 in Mpumalanga under the theme: “Celebrating the Heroes and Heroines of the Liberation Struggle in South Africa.” Cabinet calls on South Africans to participate in activities that give expression to the theme of the day and the month.

1.4 Cabinet condemns the recent spate of violent protests and would like to reiterate the President’s pronouncement that law enforcement agencies must maintain law and order in the country and at the same time reaffirms its commitment to protecting the rights of people to protest peacefully without destroying property.

2. KEY STRATEGIC DECISIONS INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING:

2.1 Parliamentary questions

The Deputy President reiterated the call to the Ministers to submit their responses to Parliamentary questions timeously. The Ministers once again reaffirmed their commitment to observe governance and also explained some of the real reasons for the delays.

2.2 Crime statistics

Cabinet commended the Minister of Police Mr Nathi Mthethwa and General Bheki Cele for the southerly trending crime barometer across the various categories of crimes. However, Cabinet expressed its concern on the violent nature of the criminal activities across the various crime categories. Cabinet also expressed concern over the increased incidence of police killings and called upon the Police to always wear their protective clothing on all their call-out assignments. Cabinet also expresses sincere appreciation to the various community groupings including Lead SA that have been assisting police in their efforts to fight crime.

2.3 The International Marketing Council renaming

The International Marketing Council has changed its name to Brand South Africa largely to bring focus to its core mandate which is to strengthen, promote and market the South African brand image to international audiences. The name change is also aimed at distinguishing the IMC from the Inter Ministerial Committees which are also called IMCs, often creating confusion. 

2.4 Growing burden from non-communicable diseases and impact on development

Cabinet noted the growing local and global mortality and morbidity resulting from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and the concomitant concern that the increasing prevalence of these diseases is having a negative impact on development. Preventing NCDs should not be the sole preserve of the health sector. Greater collaboration within the framework of the National Service Delivery Agreements is needed to address this growing epidemic. Cabinet further noted that the South African Summit on the prevention and control of Non-Communicable Diseases will be held from 12 to 13 September 2011 at the Birchwood Conference Centre in Kempton Park. The meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of NCDs will take place in New York from 19 to 20 September 2011. The Minister of Health will partner with research and development institutions and centres of excellence to exchange information and develop methods of reducing and preventing NCDs.

2.5 Policy for the Road Accident Benefit Scheme (RABS)

Cabinet approved the policy for the Road Accident Benefit Scheme (RABS) and   the publication of the policy for public information. 

The RABS will form part of the proposed Comprehensive Social Security System (CSSS) and aims to address disparities regarding access to treatment and benefits. It will entail a fundamental policy shift from a fault based compensation system to one of state funded social security benefits delivered on a no-fault basis. It will provide a safety net to those in need. Social inequality will be addressed as social standing will not determine the level of benefits.

2.6 Criminal Assets Recovery Account (CARA)

Cabinet approved that money assets amounting of R250 million be allocated to   the  departments of Justice and Constitutional Development, Social Development, Correctional Services, the South African Police Services and the National Prosecuting Authority (Asset Forfeiture Unit) to combat crime and assist victims of crime. The Cabinet also approved that the properties and assets forfeited to the State be allocated to the South African Police Service and the departments of Environment & Tourism to enable the departments to combat crime.

2.7 Resolutions taken by the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC)

Cabinet noted the resolutions taken by the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC).  The PCC is a statutory body established in terms of the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act, 2005 which brings together the three spheres of government on matters of common interest and national importance and therefore strengthening cooperative government. In essence, the forum looked at:

  • Mechanisms for monitoring job creation and implementation of the New Growth Path in all spheres of government.
  • Shared experiences in creating an environment for job creation in provinces
  • Specific provincial matters
  • Monitoring and evaluation

2.8 Mandate for the South African delegation: Tenth session of the conference of the parties (COP10) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) to be held in Changwon City, Korea from 10 to 21 October 2011  

Cabinet noted and endorsed the key issues to be negotiated at the Tenth session of the Conference of Parties (COP10) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and approved the mandate of the South African delegation to the UNCCD COP10 meeting.

A brief overview of some of the key issues and the proposed positions for the UNCCD COP10 includes:

  • The 10-year strategic plan and framework to enhance the implementation of the Convention (2008-2018). South Africa will advocate for the strategy to be supported with requisite financial resources complemented by appropriate technology transfer, skills transfer etc.
  • Mechanisms to facilitate regional coordination of the implementation of the convention. These mechanisms would be better placed to attend to and serve African issues and interests.
  • Follow up to report on the assessment of the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD.  South Africa supports the institutional merging of the UNCCD Secretariat and the Global Mechanism. 
  • Programme and budget for the Biennium 2012-2013 and the financial performance for the convention trust funds. South Africa to support the budget proposed by the secretariat as the increase in operational costs represents human and financial resources required to support achievement outcomes under the strategy relating to the UNCCD programme.

2.9 The South African Veterinary Association hosting the World Veterinary Congress in Cape Town, 10-14 October 2011

Cabinet noted that the South African Veterinary Association will host the World Veterinary Congress in Cape Town from 10-14 October 2011. The congress will be the culmination of the 250th Anniversary of the veterinary profession in South Africa. 

Veterinary research in Southern Africa had its origin in the 1896 outbreak of the rinderpest pandemic which is a highly fatal disease to cattle and which threatened food security. During that outbreak, South Africa developed in a very short period of six weeks the essentials of what proved to be the first effective vaccine against rinderpest. Since then, South Africa has been amongst the world leaders in veterinary services and research.

3. INTERNATIONAL AGENDA

3.1 Deputy President’s working visit to New Zealand

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will conduct a working visit to New Zealand to meet Prime Minister John Key. During his visit, Deputy President will attend the opening ceremony and first match of the Rugby World Cup tomorrow, 9 September 2011, in Auckland.

3.2 Fourth SA-EU Summit

President Jacob Zuma will head the South African delegation to the fourth South Africa-European Union (SA-EU) Summit taking place from 14-15 September 2011 at the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga.  The Summit will focus on strengthening the strategic dialogue between the EU and South Africa and addressing issues of mutual interest.

3.3 Libya

Cabinet reconfirmed its commitment to the African Union (AU) roadmap as the best option to resolve the conflict in Libya. Furthermore Cabinet is of the firm view that the roadmap should lead to an inclusive interim government. South Africa will work within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) structures and other multilateral formations to eventually culminate into an urgent high level AU meeting.

3.4 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)

The next UN General Assembly will open on September 13, 2011 with debates taking place between 21-23 and 26-30 September 2011. This year’s general debate is preceded by a United Nations high-level meeting on the theme of the “Role of mediation in the settlement of disputes by peaceful means”.

4. BILLS

4.1 Rental Housing Amendment Bill, 2011

Cabinet approved the Rental Housing Amendment Bill, 2011 for submission to Parliament.

The Bill seeks to amend the Rental Housing Act, 1999, so as to substitute certain definitions; to require the MECs and local authorities to establish Rental Housing Tribunals & Rental Housing Information Offices, respectively; to extend the powers of the Rental Housing Tribunals to rescind any of its rulings; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

4.2 Plant Breeders Rights Amendment Bill, 2011

Cabinet approved the publication of the Bill for public comment. 

The Bills aims to strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights related to new varieties of plants.  Such protection contributes to economic growth as it has a positive impact on the competitiveness of South Africa’s agriculture sector.

4.3 The Fertilisers and Feed Bill, 2011

Cabinet approved the submission of the Bill to Parliament.

The Bill seeks to modernise the regulation and regulatory framework of fertilisers, animal feeds (farm feeds) and sterilising plants in order to support the animal welfare, food safety, food security and environmental management objectives.

4.4 Amendment of the Veterinary and Para-veterinary Act, 1982 through the Veterinary and Para-veterinary Amendment Bill, 2011.

Cabinet approved the amendment of the Bill.

The Act is being amended to cater for, amongst others, the performance of compulsory community service by newly qualified veterinarians. This will help to address the shortage of veterinarians throughout the country, and more specifically the shortage in rural areas.

4.5 South African Weather Service Amendment Bill, 2011

Cabinet approved the South African Weather Service Amendment Bill, 2011 for submission to Parliament.

The Amendment Bill provides for further objectives and functions for the South African Weather Service pertaining to the ambient air quality information service. The Amendment Bill further aligns the provisions pertaining to the Weather Service Board with the Public Finance Management Act, 1999.

5. APPOINTMENTS

Cabinet approved the following appointments:

5.1 Mr Gwebinkundla Felix Qonde was appointed Director-General of the Department of Higher Education and Training

5.2 Mr Kgabo Elias Mahoai was appointed Deputy Director-General: Human Resource Management at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).

5.3 Ambassador Vusi Bruce Koloane was appointed Chief of State Protocol at the   Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).

5.4 Ms Morongoe Christine Ramphele was appointed Deputy Director-General: Tourism Development in the national Department of Tourism.

5.5 Ms Aneme Wilna Malan was appointed Deputy Director-General: Tourism Growth in the national Department of Tourism.

5.6 Mr Nkululeko Andrew Stephen Poya was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) for a period of five (5) years.

5.7 Mr Dumisa Hlatshwayo was appointed Non-Executive Member to the Board of the Road Accident Fund (RAF), for a period of two (2) years with effect from 1 October 2011.

5.8 Appointments as members to the Board of South African National Energy   Development Institute (SANEDI): Ms Nothemba Mlonzi, Mr John Marriott, Ms   Mokgadi Mathekgana, Prof Edson Leroy Meyer, Dr Elsabe Steyn, Dr Velaphi   Msimang, Dr Diane Hildebrandt and Mr Mawethu Vilana.

5.9 The following were appointed to the National Research Foundation Board for a period of three (3) years: Dr Khotso Mokhele (Chairperson), Prof Peter Clayson, Prof Ben Cousins, Profession Robin Crewe, Dr Andre Fourie, Prof Murray Leibbrandt, Dr Peliwe Lolwana, Dr Namane Magau, Prof Sunil Maharaj, Dr Mala Singh, Prof E Tyobeka and Ms Tryphosa Ramano.

5.10 Cabinet noted the renewal of the contract of Dr Sibusiso Sibisi as the Chief   Executive Officer (CEO) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for a third five-year term with effect from 1 October 2011 until 30 September 2016.

Cabinet congratulates the new appointees and wish them well in their new responsibilities.

Enquiries:

Jimmy Manyi (Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 082 379 3454

Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)
8 September 2011


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