Statement on the Cabinet meeting of 9 November 2011

Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Cape Town on 9 November 2011.

1.  CURRENT AFFAIRS

1.1  International Agenda

Cabinet noted the President’s upcoming two-leg visit to the Arabian/Persian Gulf   Region, including the United Arab Emirates and Oman from 12 to 16 November 2011. South Africa’s relations with the Gulf are primarily of an economic   nature and are focussed on increasing trade and investment.

1.2  COP17

The President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Jacob Zuma and his Cabinet call on all South Africans to “Play your Part” in welcoming the world as we approach the COP17 conference and encourage South Africans to wear green to show support for the conference. The President further calls on media to partner with government to mobilise the nation in boosting its “green” economy and reducing the country’s carbon footprint as we count down 18 days to the COP17 Conference in Durban.

1.3  Census 2011

The Cabinet expressed its appreciation to the entire nation who participated in the Big Count which officially ended on 31 October 2011 and commended Statistics South Africa for the success of the monumental undertaking of Census 2011. Cabinet urges individuals who have not been counted to call the Census toll free number 0800 110 248 immediately to make arrangements to be counted before Monday, 14 November 2011.

Cabinet further calls on all individuals in the country to cooperate with Census officials in the next step of Census 2011, where a Post Enumeration Survey will be undertaken from 15 November to 15 December 2011, to determine Census coverage and measure undercount.

1.4   Safety and Security related issues

Cabinet condemns the senseless and brutal acts of criminality that have been coined “corrective rape”. The South African Police Service’s and National Prosecuting Authority’s respective sexual offences and community affairs units are investigating reported cases. Perpetrators who are found guilty will be met with the full might of the law. Victims continue to receive assistance and support from the Department of Justice and the Department of Social Development.

1.5  Labour Force Survey

Cabinet noted the cause for some optimism from the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey which indicates that during the recent economic recession there was an increase in employment. It is reported that this survey shows that unemployment declined to 25% from 25.7%. These findings point to the fact that our economy continues to remain resilient in the face of difficult conditions facing the domestic and world economy.

1.6  National Accords

Cabinet welcomes and supports the various accords that have been signed by business, labour and government on local procurement, basic education and skills development which reflect a national plan of action to meet the goal of creating 5 million jobs by 2020.

2  KEY STRATEGIC DECISIONS INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING:     

2.1   National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS)

Cabinet approved the National Waste Management Strategy for implementation. The NWMS has eight key goals:

  • Promoting waste minimisation, re-use, recycling and recovery of waste;
  • Ensuring effective and efficient delivery of waste services;
  • Growing the contribution of the waste sector to the green economy;
  • Ensuring that people are aware of the impact of waste on their health, well-being and the environment;
  • Achieving integrated waste management planning;
  • Ensuring sound budgeting and financial management for waste services;
  • Providing measures to rehabilitate contaminated land; and
  • Establishing effective compliance with and enforcement of the Waste Act.

An action plan that sets out how to meet the goals and targets is part of the strategy, and the actions include roles and responsibilities for different spheres of government, industry and the civil society.

2.2  Turkey’s proposal for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

Cabinet approved that South Africa advances a mutually beneficial, cooperative and balanced approach to building trade and investment relations with Turkey and avoid destructive competition that could result from ineffective management of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The South African Government has carefully considered how best to build bilateral trade and investment relations with Turkey, which is an increasingly important partner in the global economy. Government recognises that both Turkey and South Africa as emerging economies have similar challenges and trajectories for economic growth and development. It also recognises that current levels of trade and investment are omparatively low, offering scope for growth. In view of this, a mutually beneficial relationship would best be served by collaboration that builds complementarities in our economies and our trade and investment links. These should be structured to support  the priorities of our respective economic development strategies and objectives. An FTA does not allow for such a nuanced mutually beneficial approach to building economic relations and, instead, encourages destructive competition that will undermine our industrial and employment objectives. 

2.3 Hosting of the Annual Meeting of the Global Forum on the Transparency and Exchange of information for Tax Purposes in South Africa during the 2012/2013   financial year.

As part of the fight against corruption, money laundering and aggressive structuring, Cabinet approved the hosting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes in South Africa during the 2012/2013 financial year.

The benefits for South Africa in hosting a meeting of the Global Forum include:

  • Providing South Africa with an opportunity to underscore the importance of tax compliance in support of economic and social development.
  • An opportunity for South Africa and its counterparts to initial or sign Tax Information Exchange Agreements that have been negotiated but not signed as yet.  The signing of these agreements would allow for the sharing of information for tax purposes and counter tax avoidance activities.
  • With the exception of Africa, every geographic region in the world has had the opportunity to host an annual meeting of Global Forum.  South Africa will become the first African country to host a meeting of the global Forum.
  • Hosting may lead to the establishment of greater networks for the exchange of tax information between African countries and their international partners
  • The South African economy will benefit from the presence of foreign visitors.

2.4 South Africa’s chairing of the Southern African Development Community  (SADC) organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation

Cabinet approved the proposed strategy for South Africa’s terms of chairship of the South African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.  South Africa will collectively be responsible for policy guidance and oversee the implementation of decisions between the Summits.

Cabinet noted that active South African leadership at Executive level is required at the SADC Election Observer Missions (Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zambia, Lesotho and possibly Zimbabwe and Madagascar).  Cabinet further noted that full engagement is required to improve management systems and procedures in the SADC Secretariat and supports the establishment of an interdepartmental core group under the leadership of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).

2.5  Establishment of the South African Council on International Relations (SACOIR)

Cabinet noted the establishment of the South African Council on International Relations (SACOIR) and the terms of reference.

This forum will serve as a consultative forum for South African non-state actors and government experts to interact with DIRCO on development and implementation of South Africa’s foreign policy.  Its main objectives are:

  • To provide a platform for the generation of public debate on foreign policy;
  • To provide a consultative forum for the regular review of South Africa’s foreign policy. And;
  • To advise the Minister of International Relation and Cooperation.

2.6  Feasibility study for the acquisition of new rolling stock for the commuter services of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA)

Cabinet noted the conclusion of the feasibility study for the procurement, financing and maintenance of new rolling stock for the Metrorail services of the Passenger Rail Agency for South Africa (PRASA).  The feasibility study has found that the acquisition of new rolling stock is an economically viable project. 

Cabinet further noted that local industry will be stimulated through involvement in the manufacturing and/or assembly of the new rolling stock. This will be implemented to a progressively greater degree over the procurement period in line with the intention of the second Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP II) to ensure the greatest possible local content.  This acquisition will require the development of local rail engineering skills and capacity to support the substantial number of job opportunities that will be created.

2.7  Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) for interim operations by Transnet Port Terminal (TPT) at the Port of Ngqurha container terminal

Cabinet approved the decision to direct the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to   licence Transnet Port Terminal to operate the Port of Ngqura for a limited period of 3   years, subject to the TNPA beginning a competitive process for the licensing of the Port of Ngqura in accordance with section 56 of the National Ports Act, 2005.

2.8  Implementation plan for the approved Minerals Beneficiation Strategy

Cabinet approved the implementation plans for both the iron and steel value chains and energy commodities value chains. Cabinet further approved the interdepartmental structure that will manage the process.

2.9  Establishment of the National Nuclear Energy Executive Coordination Committee

Cabinet approved the establishment of the National Nuclear Energy Executive Coordination Committee (NNEECC) to implement a phased decision making approach to the nuclear programme. Cabinet further approved the establishment of the nuclear energy technical committee (NETC) to support the NNEECC.

3  BILL APPROVED

3.1 National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Amendment Bill, 2012

Cabinet approved the National Environmental Management Integrated Coastal Management Amendment Bill, 2012 be published for public comment.

The amendment Bill seeks to:

  • Ensure that coastal public property does not impact on assets and operations of other organs of State.  It clarifies the protection of the sea and the sea-bed without limiting the functions of other organs of State in performing their duties, and supporting sustainable management of the coastal environment;
  • Align certain sections of the Act with the provisions in the National Environmental Management Act, 1998.
  • Close the gaps that were identified presented themselves during the implementation of the provisions of the Act and,
  • Make textual corrections and tighten up the offences and penalty provisions.

4 APPOINTMENTS

Cabinet approved the following appointments:

4.1  Prof. Anthony David Mbewu was appointed Chief Executive Officer (Director-General Level) of Government Printing Works.

4.2 Mr Nkosiyethu Henrick Thulani Mkhwanazi was appointed Deputy Director-General: Economic Development, Trade and Marketing in the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

4.3 Mr Oupa Jacob Komane was appointed to serve as a member of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) replacing Mr Nkateko Nyoka.

4.4 Legal Aid Board: Ms Marcella Naidoo, Prof Yousuf Vawda and Ms Nonhlanhla Mgadza were reappointed to the Legal Aid Board for a period of three (3) years.

4.5 South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) Board: Mr Vernon Seymour and Mr Phakamisa Zonke were appointed as Non-Executive Directors to the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) Board for a period of 3 years.

4.6  Adv Catherine Letele was appointed Non-Executive Director to the National Metrology Institute of South Africa (NMISA) Board for a period of three years.

4.7 South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) Board: Mr Steven Thomas Cornelius, Dr Bernard Fanaroff , Mr Joseph Moemise Matjila, Ms Busisiwe Duduzile Ngidi, Mr Thamsanqa Sokutu, Mr Antony Frost, Mr Godfrey Mashamba and Ms Nana Magomola were appointed to serve on the Board of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) for a term of three years.

4.8 iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority (iSimangaliso) Board: Ms Karin Mathebula, Mr Allan Lax, Mr Paul Ndukuzempi Buyani Zwane, Ms Thobile Ethelfrida Mhlongo, Mr Zwelinzima Thwalizwe Gumede, Dr Antonia Thandi Nzama, Ms Poppy Senelisiwe Dlamini and Mr Mavuso Msimang were appointed to serve on the Board of iSimangaliso for a term of three years.

Cabinet congratulatesthe new appointees and wishes them well in their new responsibilities.

Issued by Government Communications (GCIS)

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

10 November 2011

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