Statement on the Cabinet Meeting, 12 October 2011

Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Pretoria on 12 October 2011.

1. Current affairs

1.1 Cabinet noted that President Jacob Zuma is scheduled to host the 5th IBSA Summit Head of State and Government Summit from 17 to 18 October 2011. The realisation of a trilateral alliance between India, Brazil and South Africa stems from three commonalities between the countries, namely: all three are vibrant democracies; they share common views on various global issues; and they are substantial emerging economies within their sub-regions. The engagement processes takes place on three levels namely:

  • Heads of State and Government level (Global political and Multilateral issues)
  • Trilateral Government-to-Government level (Sectoral Cooperation)
  • People-to-People cooperation (Non-Governmental)

Prior to the government-to-government meeting of the, approximately 17 civil society (people-to-people) working groups will hold meetings in preparation for the 18th October summit. These people-to-people working groups will make 5-8 presentations to the Heads of State highlighting key recommendations on the areas of co-operation (Social inclusion and equality, the promotion of food security, health, social assistance, employment, education, human rights and environmental sustainability).

1.2 The IBSA Editors Forum meeting will take place on the 17th October 2011 to debate and agree on key recommendations that will be presented to the Heads of State on the 18th October 2011. The Editor's Forum is part of the people-to- people relations established by IBSA. The South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) and the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) will participate in these deliberations.

1.3 Cabinet noted that Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe is scheduled to undertake a tri-nation working visit to the Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden and Denmark) from 18-24 October 2011. This visit will further strengthen political and economic relations. Communication on the South-South dialogue will be augmented by the outcome of this visit.

2. Report back on two major Cabinet projects (Census 2011 and Cop17)

2.1 Cabinet noted that the Census 2011 is on track and continues until 31 October 2011. In the spirit of building our nation, everyone must be counted, thus providing accurate information that will be used in planning for service delivery, decision-making and other key determining factors that will chart the course of your community. Those who have already participated have reported their satisfaction with the process and professionalism of the enumerators. A comprehensive plan to prevent and combat crime and corruption was implemented to promote your safety. Know your enumerator who will be wearing a yellow bib and satchel with the Census and Statistics South Africa logo, and look out for their posters placed in your community. For any queries call the government toll free information hotline on 0800 110 248.

2.2 Cabinet noted a report on the status of preparations for the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the seventh Conference of Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol, to be hosted in Durban from 28 November to 09 December 2011.

Cabinet is hopeful that the COP17/CMP7 in Durban will produce an outcome that is fair, balanced and equitable. High-level consultations are on-going and a pre- COP informal ministerial consultation will be hosted in Stellenbosch on 20-21 October 2011.
Among the many issues that the COP17/CMP7 will have to address, the following are of particular importance:

  • Operationalisation of the Cancun Agreements, including the establishment of the key mechanisms and institutional arrangements agreed to in Cancun, Mexico, at COP16/CMP6 in 2010. The Green Climate Fund represents a centre piece of a broader set of outcomes for Durban.
  • Address outstanding political issues remaining from the Bali Roadmap. This means finding a resolution to the issue of the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and agreeing on the legal nature of a future climate change system.
  • Adaptation is an essential element of the outcome in Durban as it is a key priority for many developing countries, particularly Small Island developing states, least developed countries and Africa.

Based on the report, Cabinet expressed satisfaction that South Africa and, in particular, the host city of Durban, is ready to welcome about 20 000 delegates representing 194 governments and representatives of Non-Governmental Organisations. All logistical arrangements are in place, from venue, security, transportation, accommodation and communication technology.

3. Key strategic decisions Included the following:

3.1 The Auditor-General tabled his report to Cabinet. It focused on government's progress on financial and non-financial matters. The report will be made available to the public during November 2011. It was, however, noted that the overwhelming majority (67%) of the national departments received unqualified reports albeit with findings. Cabinet was encouraged to progress from this position towards a clean audit.

3.2 Mandate for the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the Basel convention on the control of the movement of hazardous waste and disposal.
Cabinet approved the South African mandate for the 10th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP10) to the Basel Convention on the control of the Movement of Hazardous Waste and their disposal, Cartagena, Colombia from 17 to 21 October 2011.
The South African positions on key issues include:

  • New strategic framework for the implementation of the Basel Convention. South Africa was part of the development and consultative process that reviewed the New Strategic Framework.
  • The need to address challenges faced by the Basel Convention Regional Centres (BCRCs)
  • An integrated approach to financing for the Multilateral Environmental Agreements and streamlining of Global Environmental Fund (GEF) assistance for Africa.
  • Continued support for a synergy process that is a cost neutral process.

3.3 Report on the United Nations World Water Day 2011 held in Cape Town on 22 March 2011
Cabinet noted the outcomes of the United Nations World Water Day event which was co-hosted by the Department of Water Affairs (DWA), African Minister's Council on Water (AMCOW) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme in Cape Town on 22 March 2011.

This event provided South Africa with an opportunity to play a leading role in the implementation of its commitments on water and sanitation in Africa. It also strategically positioned South Africa high on the World and UN map of the countries that promote access to clean water and sanitation for all.

3.4 Endorsement of the International Atomic Energy Agency's Code of Conduct of the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources
Cabinet noted the recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Advisory Mission on South Africa's controls of import and export of radioactive sources. In this regard Cabinet endorsed the IAEA Code of Conduct on the Safety of Radioactive Sources (Code of Conduct) and the associated Guidance.

3.5 National Climate Change Response Policy White Paper
Cabinet approved the National Climate Change Responsive Policy, having noted the policy development process since Cabinet approved the publication of the Green Paper in November 2010. Issues from the public consultation process and the approach employed in addressing these issues were also noted. The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Minister Edna Molewa will update the media about this policy next week after gazetting. This evolving policy must be seen as the embodiment of our commitment to a fair contribution to the stabilisation of global greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere and the protection of the country and our people from the impacts of unavoidable climate change.

4. Social cohesion and National Call

4.1 Cabinet expressed appreciation for the heartfelt assistance given by South Africans to victims of the tornado that recently struck parts of Gauteng and the Free State. These natural disaster occurrences demonstrate the effectiveness of South Africa's emergency response mechanisms.
 
4.2 Cabinet expressed appreciation to all South Africans for the support shown to the national teams, Springboks and Bafana Bafana, and encourages people to "Play your Part" by continuing their support for national teams. South Africans showed their patriotism to their country by displaying support even when the national teams did not progress during the IRB rugby World Cup and African Nations qualifier respectively.

4.3 Cabinet calls on all South Africans to support the Class of 2011 as they prepare to write their matric exams. There are eleven days to go to the 2011 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations commonly known as "matric" examinations. These have become an annual event of major public significance in our county. The examination not only signifies the culmination of twelve years of formal schooling, but is also one of the key barometers that indicate the state of health of our education system. A total of 512 000 full time candidates that have gone through 12 years of nurturing and guidance under the supportive watch of their teachers and parents have registered, and will sit for their final examinations as from October 24, 2011. A further 108 000 part time learners will also sit for the examination. These learners are the cornerstones of the future of this country, and as a nation we collectively wish each and every Grade 12 learner well, as they embark on the writing of this crucial examination.

5. Appointments

Cabinet approved the following appointments:

5.1 Mr Eliakim Mokoditloa Moemi, Director-General, Department of Sports and Recreation South Africa.

5.2 Dr Thibedi Ramontja Director-General, Department of Mineral Resources

5.3 Ms Judy Beaumont, Deputy Director-General: Climate Change , Department of Environmental Affairs

5.4 Mr Job Stadi Mngomezulu, Deputy Director-General: Corporate Services, National Treasury

5.5 Ms Shanaaz Majiet, Deputy Director-General: Provincial & Municipal Government Support, Department of Cooperative Governance

5.6 Board of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA):

  • Ms Thembisa Dingaan, Prof Omar Latiff , Mr Andrew Boraine, Dr Claudia Manning and Ms Wendy Elizabeth Lucas-Bull were re-appointed for a period of three years
  • Ms Albertinah Kekana, Ms Busisiwe Abigail Mabuza, Ms Mary Vilakazi, Ms Dawn Marole and Dr Lungile Bhengu-Baloyi were appointed for a period of three (3) years

5.7 Cabinet concurred with the extension of the term of office of the Chief Delegate and Permanent Representative of Lesotho Highlands Water Commission (LHWC), Dr Zodwa Dlamini, for a period of five years.

5.8 The Public Service Commissioner, Mr Mashwahle Diphofa has been transferred to the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) as Director- General with immediate effect.

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

Enquiries
Jimmy Manyi (Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 082 379 3454

www.gcis.gov.za; www.gov.za
Issued by Government Communications (GCIS)

13 October 2011

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