Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 23 November 2011

Cabinet held its last meeting in Cape Town on 23 November 2011.

1.  CURRENT AFFAIRS    

1.1  COP17

Cabinet commended labour, business, community and civic organisations for partnering with government in signing the Green Economy Accord through which the National Climate Change Response Policy strengthens South Africa’s position leading up to the Durban conference next week. With less than five days left to the start of the COP17/CMP7, global attention on South Africa is intensifying.  Cabinet calls on all South Africans and sectors to “Play Your Part” by welcoming visitors with the spirit of Ubuntu and wearing green for the duration of the conference. 

1.2  President Zuma and Deputy President Motlanthe to address the World AIDS Day

Cabinet noted that both President Zuma and Deputy President Motlanthe will officiate at the World AIDS Day under the theme: “South Africa is taking responsibility on a PATH to eliminating the TB and HIV epidemics”. This annual event will be held in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. It is significant to note that this World AIDS Day on 1 December 2011 marks 30 years of existence of HIV/AIDS in the country. During the 2011 World AIDS Day Campaign, emphasis will be on providing universal access to HIV, STIs and TB prevention, treatment, care and support.  This is complementary to the global theme as South Africa will continuously strive to achieve zero HIV infections.

The Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe on this occasion will also launch the South African National Strategic Plan (NSP) which provides goals and strategies for the country’s response to the three diseases (HIV, STIs and TB) during the period 2012 to 2016.

1.3  Economy

Cabinet wishes to express its full support for National Treasury’s response to Moody’s alterations on its outlook of SA’s rating. Government’s response is also supported by the International Monetary Fund.

In response to Moody's, the recently tabled Medium Term Budget Policy Statement spells out the prospects in our economy and the policy choices that government has made as a collective. The policy choices are supportive of growth and increasing the competitiveness of our economy, enhancing greater investment in infrastructure and clearly indicating a credible fiscal policy trajectory which ensures counter-cyclicality and debt sustainability. Political debate and exchange of views is normal in a democracy. The South African government will continue to prioritize higher economic growth, job creation and reduction of property.

1.4  Planning for matric results

As matriculants conclude their exams, Cabinet calls on parents, guardians, principals, teachers and communities to assist Grade 12 learners to use this time to actively plan and prepare for the future and explore all opportunities that are open to the learners whether in higher or further education institutions.

1.5  National Development Plan towards 2030

On 11 November 2011, President Zuma received the National Development Plan  from the National Planning Commission. The President welcomed the   focus on reducing poverty and inequality, and the depth of the proposals.

The President also welcomed the broad public participation process and dialogue that was undertaken to develop the plan. These proposals are now open for public comment, discussion and strengthening. The consultation process will run to the middle of March next year, following which the Commission will be asked to refine the plan and then present it to Cabinet for adoption in late April, early May next year.

1.6  16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children

Cabinet noted that the 16 Days of Activism campaign will be observed from 25   November to 10 December under the theme “from peace in the home to peace in theworld”. 

1.7   International agenda

  • Cabinet in support of the President of the Republic of South Africa Jacob Zuma in his role in the African Union (AU), calls upon all parties in the Democratic Republic of Congo (the DRC) as they prepare for the Presidential and legislative elections (28 November) to commit to free and fair elections. The South African government reaffirms its commitment to assist the DRC in its post conflict reconstruction and development. 
  • The eight session of the Ministerial Conference (MC8) will be held in Geneva, Switzerland from 15-17 December 2011.  South Africa views multilateralism as necessary intergovernmental response to managing globalisation and the deepening interdependence of the national economies.

 2  KEY STRATEGIC DECISIONS INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING:     

2.1  National Evaluation Policy

Cabinet has approved the National Evaluation Framework which aims to assess whether or not government plans are resulting in their intended outcomes and are making an impact. The policy also seeks to standardise evaluation and ensure that all major and

strategic programmes are evaluated periodically. Key elements of the policy include:

a) All large or strategic programmes must be evaluated periodically, particularly in the five key areas of health, crime, jobs, rural development and education.

b) Rolling out three year and annual national and provincial evaluation plans developed and approved by Cabinet and Provincial Executive Councils. These plans identify the minimum number of evaluations to be carried out over the coming period.

c) Improvement plans to address the recommendations from the evaluations must be produced by departments and their implementation must then be monitored.

d) The results of all evaluations in the evaluation plan will be in the public domain, on departmental and DPME websites.

e) The development of guidelines on minimum quality standards for evaluations.

2.2  The Health Data Advisory and Coordination Committee (HDACC) Report

Cabinet noted a report by the Health Data Advisory and Co-ordination Committee (HDACC). This committee was established by the Ministry of Health in October 2010 to improve the quality and integrity of data on health outcomes, establish consensus on indicator values and identify reliable data sources to be used by the health sector. The committee concluded on the following:

  • Overall baseline from 2009, life expectancy of South Africans is 56.6 years (54 years for males and 59 years for females). The committee recommended that the target for 2014/15 should be to increase the overall life expectancy from 56.6 to 58.5.
  • It also acknowledged the huge uncertainty associated with measuring Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR), which is a challenge internationally and
  • The committee further reported that the baseline for Under-5 Mortality Rate of South Africa is 56 per 1000 live births. Although this is lower than the Millennium Development Goal country report (104 per 1000) it must be reduced further.

Cabinet resolved that beyond the improvement of data quality, it is imperative that all government departments that are signatories to the Negotiated Service Delivery Agreement (NSDA) 2010-2014 continue to work together to address cross-cutting issues. These include increasing life expectancy, combating HIV and AIDS and TB and improving maternal and child health. This will require better collaboration and coordination. This must also extend to work involving nutrition and measures to reduce the incidence of underweight and stunted growth among children.  Accurate measurement of these indicators will assist in tracking the extent to which health and socio-economic interventions are reaching the intended beneficiaries.

2.3  Green paper on Higher Education and Training in South Africa

Cabinet approved the publication of the Green Paper on Higher Education and Training for public comments and consultation. The Green Paper provides a vision for the post-school education and training system sets the basis for building a coherent system and a broad policy for:

  • expanding post school provision to improve access
  • strengthening institutions to improve quality
  • to set out a vision and pathways for achieving a coherent post school system with articulation, collaboration and coordination between the different components as well as alignment between education and training institutions and the labour market and
  • a post-school education and training system that is equitable, accessible and affordable to all sections of the population, including free education and training for the poor.

This requires the redress of past and present injustices and continuing disadvantage among people, including overcoming injustices and barriers to progress on the basis of social class, race, gender, geographical location, age, disability and HIV/AIDS status.

2.4  Review of the Medicines Control Council (MCC) and recommendations on the establishment of the new South African for Health Products Regulatory Authority.

Cabinet approved the establishment of the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) as a Schedule 3A Public Entity that will regulate all health products   for humans and animals. 

The regulation of health products is an integral component of the National Health   System of South Africa. The regulation of health products ensures:

  • the availability of quality, safe and efficacious products for the citizens and animals of the country and
  • the integrity of available health products and indirectly the integrity of the health product industry, which includes the pharmaceutical devices and food industries. 

The implementation of the SAHPRA as an entity needs to be expedited to ensure that it is firmly in place and functioning efficiently to support the National Health Insurance System (NHI).

2.5  The South African Mint Company’s Commemorative Coin Designs for 2012

Cabinet approved the design changes for the following coins. Following the approval these coins will be promulgated in a Government Gazette.

i) 2012 Natura series 24 carat gold coins
ii) 2012 R2 (1/4 0z) commemorative 24 carat gold coin
iii) 2012 R1 (1/10 th) commemorative 24 carat gold coin
iv) 2012 R2 Crown size and 2 ½ c (Tickey) silver coins
v) 2012 R2 Crown – Olympics Games
vi) 2012 R2 Crown – Centenary of the Race to the South Pole and
vii) 2012 50c, 20c, 10c and 5c sterling silver commemorative coins.

2.6   Proposed discontinuation of production of the South African 5c denomination coin and replacement of the metal used in the production of the current 10c denomination coin.

Cabinet noted the discontinuation of production of the South African 5c denomination coin and the replacement of the current 10c denomination coin with a new 10c denomination coin with effect from 1 April 2012. The new proposed 10c denomination coin will remain the same size. The metal content will change from previous bronze-plated steel to copper-plated steel. This will result in the reduction in cost of producing these coins.

2.7  National Strategy for sustainable development (NSSD1) 2011-2014 and action plan   for implementation

Cabinet approved the final National Strategy for Sustainable Development (NSSD1) 2011-2014 and the action plan for implementation. The aim of the  NSSD1 is to direct the development path towards sustainability; change behaviour, values and attitudes; and effective governance system and build capacity. The National Framework for Sustainable Development (July 2008) signalled a new wave of thinking aimed at promoting effective stewardship of our social and economic resources. The NSSD1 builds on the NFSD and a number of initiatives that government, businesses, NGOs, civil society, academia and other role players have put in place to address sustainability issues in South Africa. The strategy calls for an interdependency approach across sectors as well as action on sustainability. 

2.8  Assessment on the transformation of the judicial system and the role of the judiciary in a developmental state to be carried out with a reputable research institution

In the main, this assessment is three fold: firstly, to ensure the judiciary conforms to the transformation mandate as envisaged in the Constitution of the Republic in terms of non-racialism, gender, disability and other transformational variables. Secondly, access to justice on all levels of the courts from lower courts through to Constitutional Courts. Thirdly, to affirm the independence of the judiciary as well as that of the executive and parliament with a view to promoting interdependence and interface that is necessary to realize transformation goals envisaged by the Constitution.

Cabinet agreed to the following approach to the transformation of the judicial system:

  • That the assessment of the decisions of the Constitutional Court be undertaken by a research institution to establish how the decisions of the court have impacted on the lives of ordinary citizens and how these decisions have influenced socio-economic transformation and the reform of the law.
  • The Judicial Education Institute be used as a vehicle for transformation through aspirant and serving judicial officers may acquire the requisite legal skills to contribute to the evolving local and global constitutional jurisprudence;
  • Measures be taken to enhance the efficiency and the integrity of the Judicial Service Commission and the Magistrates Commission in the execution of their Constitutional mandate of facilitating the racial, gender and other Constitutional prescripts in the judiciary.
  • An appropriate framework be established for the regular monitoring of the implementation of the court decisions by all State Departments.
  • The mandates and compositions of the South African Law Reform Commission and the Rules Board of Law to be reviewed with a view to enhance the research capacity of the State to be able to lead transformation in the fields that have greater impact on the lives of the people, such as socio-economic transformation, land reform, mining, aviation and many more.
  • Appropriate mechanisms be developed to facilitate for regular interface between the three spheres of the State to enhance synergy and constructive engagement among them in pursuit of common transformative goals that are geared to benefit the society at large.

 2.9  African Court of Justice and Human and People’s Rights: Establishment of the Criminal Law Section

Cabinet approved the South African position that while the African Court of Justice and Human and People’s Rights is being institutionalised to progressively achieve the realisation of extending its jurisdiction to cover international crimes which include core crimes (genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes of aggression), the court should adopt an incremental approach and focus on building its capacity fully to realise its mandate.

2.10  An approach for the restructuring of State Legal Services

Cabinet noted the approach relating to the restructuring of State Legal Services broadly and the immediate and medium term interventions that will be undertaken within the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. The need for this restructuring has arisen out of a critical analysis of how the State is serviced by various State components and units rendering legal services.  The end result envisaged from the restructuring is a unified, development-driven public sector legal practice that is founded on a vision underpinned by principles espoused in the Constitution.

2.11 Management of immigration in South Africa

Cabinet noted progress made in responding to immigration challenges in South Africa.  The project plan covers following areas:

  • Comparative research to consider the status of the application of international protocols relating to immigration in South Africa.
  • Research on the extent and nature of the involvement of illegal and other immigrants in the illicit economy, including illegal mining, unregistered businesses of immigrants and tax evasion.
  • Reviewing the minimum rights of immigrants, including the right to work and study, currently granted under section 22 of the Refugees Act, 1998
  • Training and sensitisation programmes for judges, magistrates and prosecutors on immigration and refugee legislation and on the rights of immigrants relative to the obligations of the state.

 2.12 Amendment to the Special Investigation Units and Special Tribunal Act 74 of 1996

Cabinet noted the overall performance of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) over the past year.

The President has placed a significant amount of trust in the SIU to conduct a large number of investigations into allegations of corruption and maladministration involving public funds.  During the 2010/11 financial year the SIU:

  • Recovered cash to the value of R74 million
  • Saved government R185 million
  • Prepared evidence for 2814 disciplinary hearings of government officials
  • Worked with SAPS on 4179 cases
  • Prepared evidence for 52 192 other remedial actions such as cancelling fraudulent drivers licences and social grants.

 3  FIVE (5) BILLS APPROVED

3.1  Proposed amendments to the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act (B- BBEE)

Cabinet approved the publication of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act (B-BEE) Amendment Bill for public comment.

The proposed amendments to the Act intend to achieve the following objectives:

(a) Align the Act with other legislation impacting on the B-BBEE and with the codes

(b) Establish the B-BBEE Commission to establish an institutional environment for monitoring and evaluation broad-base black economic empowerment

(c) Provide for the regulation of the verification industry by the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors

(d) Deal with non-compliance and circumvention by introducing offences and penalties

The proposed changes to the B-BBEE codes of good practice:

(a) Enterprise Development (ED) and Procurement to be elevated with each requiring sub-minimum and enhanced recognition for ED targeted at key sectors in IPAP and the New Growth Path

(b) Penalty provision for non-compliance with Enterprise Development and Procurement elements of the B-BBEE scorecard, and discount from overall score

(c) The points of ownership element should be broadened to include designated groups in the main points, creating greater incentives for genuine broad-based ownership such as employee share ownership, co-operatives and community ownership

(d) Setting sub-minimums/threshold for each element of the scorecard save for the adjusted ownership element

(e) The Qualifying Small Enterprises scorecard will be adjusted and certain elements made mandatory. The thresholds for Exempted Micro Enterprises will be reviewed

(f) The Employment Equity element to receive adjusted recognition and to be aligned to the Employment Equity Act (targets, Reporting and Definitions).

(g) Skills Development Element to be aligned to the New Skills development Strategy and the New Growth Path and

(h) Targets in the Ownership Skills Development Procurement and Enterprise Development will be adjusted.

3.2  Special Economic Zones Bills, 2011

Cabinet approved the publication of the Special Economic Zones Bill, 2011 for public comment. 

This Bill seeks to:

  • provide for the designation, development, promotion, operation and management of Special Economic Zones;
  • to provide for the establishment of the Special Economic Zones Board;
  • to regulate the application and issuing of Special Economic Zones operator permits; and
  • to provide for the establishment of the Special Economic Zones Fund.

 3.3  National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Bill, (NEMLA) 2011

Cabinet approved the National Environmental Laws Amendment Bill, 2011 for submission to Parliament.

This Bill was approved by Cabinet on 26 July 2011 for public comments.  As a result of public comments, new provisions were included providing the Minister with a legal mandate to decide on an application for an environmental authorisation in cases where MECs fail to take decisions within the timeframes prescribed in the Act. The revised NEMLA will also increase the fines for non-compliance with the duty of care directive and the control of emergency incidents directive.   

3.4  Sheriffs Amendment Bill, 2011

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

The Amendment Bill, 2011 aims to amend a number of sections of the Sheriffs Act, 1986 (Act 90 of 1986) that have been identified as giving rise to challenges in the sheriffs’  profession, relating mainly to the functioning and composition of the South African Board for Sheriffs as well as the functioning of and entry into the sheriffs’ profession.

3.5 Judicial Matters First Amendment Bill, 2012

Cabinet approved the Judicial Matters First Amendment Bill, 2012 for submission to Parliament.

The Bill seeks to amend:

  • The Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunal Act, 1996 to further regulate the litigation functions of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU); provide for the secondment function of the SIU; empower the SIU to recover fees and provide for funding of the SIU.
  • The National Prosecuting Authority Act, 1998 in order to do away with the requirement for the Minister to consult with the National Director of Public Prosecutions (the NDPP), the Minister for the Public Service and Administration and the Minister of Finance in the event of ordinary cost-of-living remuneration increases for Deputy Directors of Public Prosecutions and prosecutors and provide for the appointment, continued employment and conditions of service of persons employed in the National Prosecuting Authority as financial investigators and analysts.

 4  APPOINTMENTS

Cabinet approved the following appointments:

4.1 Cabinet approved the extension of the contract of Mr Tshediso Matona as Director-General of Public Enterprises for an additional three (3) years until 2015.

4.2 Dr Sam Makhudu Gulube was appointed Secretary of Defence (Director-General) in the Department of Defence for five years.

4.3 Mr Maxwell Sirenya was appointed Director-General in the Department of Water Affairs.

4.4 Ms Olga Nthabiseng Vuyokazi Fundakubi was appointed as Chief Financial Officer at the Department of Water Affairs.

4.5 Cabinet approved the extension of Mr PS Hadebe’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer of the Land Bank and Executive Director on the Land Bank Board for a further two (2) years.

4.6 Cabinet approved the re-appointment of Dr L Makuleni as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the South African Weather Services (SAWAS) for a fixed term of three (3) years.

4.7 Cabinet noted the appointment of Ms Nomsa Lorna Lindiwe Motshegare as Chief Executive Officer for the National Credit Regulator (NCR) for a period of five (5) years.

4.8  Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Board:  Prof Eugene Cloete, Ms Bajabulile Tshabalala, Mr Ghandi Badela, Prof T Nyokong, Dr Philip Hugh Goyns, Ms Malebo Mabitje-Thompson, Mr Phillip Benade, Mr Mclean Sibanda, Prof Francis Petersen and Prof Mike Wingfield were appointed as members of the CSIR Board for a period of three (3) years.

4.9Takeover Regulation Panel: Mr Andile Macpheson Nikani, Mr Zwelibanzi Malinga, Mr Christopher Haig Ewing, Mr Ebrahim Aboobaker Moolla, Mr Sandile Bubele Siyaka and Mr Ntshengedzeni Anthony Michael Tshivhase were appointed members to the Takeover Regulation Panel for a period of five (5) years.

4.10 Companies Tribunal: Adv Simon Lebala (Chairperson), Adv Matshego Jacqueline Ramagaga (Deputy Chairperson), Mr Petrus Albert Delport, Mr Randall Mervyn Williams, Mr Maake Francis Kganyago, Mr Khashane Mmapowana Manamela, Mr Sathie Gouden, Ms L Glass, Ms Segopotje Sheila Mphahlele, Ms Aurelia Nomcebo Zondi and Ms Khatija Tootla were appointed as members to the Companies Tribunal for a period of five (5) years.

4.11 Special Risk Insurance Association (SASRIA) Board:  Cabinet approved the appointment of the following members to the SASRIA Board for a period of three (3) years: Ms Angela Lesiba Mhlanga, Mr Stephanus Hermanus Schoeman and Mr Ranti Mathapo. Mr Mohamed Adam Samie was reappointed as Non-Executive director for a further period of three years and as the new Chairperson of the Board.

4.12 Financial Services Board (FSB): Mr Abel Sithole’s term of officer was extended for a further two years as Chairperson of the Board. Ms Zarina Bassa was reappointed as member for a further period of three years. Mr Dube Tshidi was reappointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for a further period of three years.

5.  ANNOUNCEMENTS

5.1 Cabinet calls on all South Africans and organisations to take responsibility in securing safe, happy and peaceful holidays.

5.2 Cabinet congratulates Minister Dipuo Peters for being selected member of the Zayed Future Energy Prize Jury. The Zayed Future Energy Prize is recognised as the world’s preeminent award driving innovation, leadership, long-term vision and impact in renewable energy and sustainability.

5.3 Cabinet conveys its good wishes to the African National Congress as it celebrates its centenary in 2012 and also to the Mkhonto we Sizwe as it celebrate its 60th year.

5.4  Cabinet noted that the launch of the Campaign for African Cultural Renaissance for the SADC member state will take place in Pretoria on 30 November 2011.

Enquiries:

Jimmy Manyi (Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 082 379 3454

Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)
24 November 2011

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