Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 18 April 2012

Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Pretoria on 18 April 2012.

1. Current affairs

1.1 Infrastructure Plan

Cabinet calls on all sectors of society to Play Your Part in making government’s plans on infrastructure development a reality. The plans are linked to government’s efforts to create employment opportunities for all South Africans in transforming the economy and society.

1.2 Freedom Day

Cabinet calls on all of us in South Africa and our citizens abroad to observe Freedom Day (27 April). This is an occasion to remember and celebrate struggle icons and honour those who continue to be committed to transformation and to building a better life for all of us. Freedom day 2012, is being observed under the theme “Working together to Build Unity and Prosperity for All”. The main national celebration at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, will be followed by the 16th National Orders Ceremony which will take place at the Presidential Guest House. The National Orders are awarded to South Africans as well as friends and associates of South Africa both locally and internationally for extraordinary contributions to our society.

1.3 Workers' Day: 1 May

A further expression of the Freedom Day celebrations is Workers’ Day. Cabinet would like to take this opportunity to reassert the message that it remains committed to ensuring the welfare and conditions of service for workers. Since the democratisation of South Africa after April 1994, the country’s labour laws were among the first areas of law to be amended.

Cabinet reiterates its call on all South Africans – in all sectors – to participate in the amendment of labour legislation through the NEDLAC and parliamentary processes. Government remains committed to an outcome that will advance our economy and the dignity and security of our nation.

1.4 Release of the Mid-Term Review Report

The Minister for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation will soon be releasing the Mid-Term Review Report and the 2011 Development Indicators. The Minister is expected to be accompanied by outcome lead Ministers. The focus of the release will be on the progress government has made in implementing the 12 outcomes and chart the way forward for the remainder of the term.

1.5 International Agenda

Incoming State Visit

At the invitation of President Jacob Zuma, President Pratibha Patil of India will be paying a State Visit to South Africa from 2 – 8 May 2012. President Patil is a ceremonial President, and as Head of State, her visit to South Africa is a farewell tour and a last outgoing State Visit before she leaves office in mid-June 2012. Although the visit will focus on the strengthening of political and economic relations between South Africa and India, much of the programme will be extended to pay pilgrimage on the Gandhi Heritage Sites, where Mahatma Gandhi set a footprint during the years he spent in South Africa. These are mostly located in Johannesburg and Durban.

Deputy President’s visit to Ghana

Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe, is on a planned visit to Ghana from today, 19 April to 21 April. The visit is intended to create a communication platform for the upcoming South Africa-Ghana Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation (PJCC) later in 2012.

Coup in Guinea-Bissau

Cabinet condemns the recent developments in Guinea-Bissau, particularly the military intervention that took place on 12 April 2012, which has led to the imprisonment of several Bissauan politicians and left the country in a state of uncertainty.

In particular, Cabinet is concerned that the Bissauan military chose this course of action despite the joint African Union-Economic Community of West African States-United Nations (AU-ECOWAS-UN) Mission to Bissau that warned the military against any intervention in the political future of Guinea-Bissau.

Cabinet’s position is that no government should come to power through the use of force or unconstitutional means.

Cabinet supports the ongoing Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and AU mediation efforts in Guinea-Bissau to resolve the situation.

1.6 Gang rape of Soweto teenager

Cabinet has condemned, in the strongest possible terms the barbaric act committed to a 17-year-old Soweto girl. Cabinet calls on the law enforcement to ensure that the full might of the law is implemented. Cabinet congratulated the South African Police Service for the decisive and swift action in apprehending the alleged perpetrators.

2 Key strategic decisions included the following:

2.1 Report on the intervention in the Eastern Cape Department of Education in terms of section 100 (1) (b) of the Constitution

Cabinet noted progress on the implementation of section 100 (1) (b) of the Constitution in the Eastern Cape Department of Education. The Minister of Basic Education supported by a team of Deputy Ministers will visit the Eastern Cape next week after which full details of progress made and challenges will be provided.

2.2 Update on the Square Kilometre Array (SKA)

Cabinet noted the most recent development in the adjudication process relating to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). Cabinet noted the Square Kilometre Array Organisation’s statement about the delayed announcement of the decision on the proposed site for the SKA.

South Africa is leading Africa's bid to host the SKA radio telescope.

The SKA will consist of about 3 000 dish-shaped antennae spread over a wide area. If Africa wins the SKA bid, the core of the telescope will be constructed in the Karoo region of the Northern Cape, with outlying telescope stations throughout South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Ghana, Mozambique, Zambia, Kenya, Madagascar and Mauritius.

2.3 National Estuarine Management Protocol

Cabinet approved the National Estuarine Management Protocol for public comment. The Integrated Coastal Management Act (ICM Act) requires that estuaries of South Africa be managed in a co-ordinated and efficient manner, and in accordance with a National Estuarine Management Protocol. The implementation of the Protocol will assist in the integrated and efficient management of the estuaries of the Republic of South Africa.

Estuaries are among the most productive biological ecosystems in the world. They are the focal points for communities and business activities along the coast as they provide a wide range of goods and services. Among others local households can use estuary goods such as fish and plant fibres, directly. Services include waste treatment, floodwater control and erosion control.

They are also an important location for cultural and recreation activities for both coastal residents and visiting tourists.

The ability of the estuaries to provide these natural resources are directly linked to their conditions. Poor conditions lead to the provision of limited natural resources.

2.4 Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) 2012 Leaders Conference in South Africa

Cabinet approved the hosting of the 2012 Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) Leadership Conference in South Africa at a date to be announced by the Minister.

Hosting the CAPAM conference in South Africa will maximise the sharing of good practices and lessons learned among Public Sector Institutions in management and delivering of learning programmes for public servants. It will further promote the interchange of experts among public sector institutions through exchange programmes and work assignments post the conference, contributing to the sector knowledge base. In addition, it will promote collaboration in the design and refinement of new programmes particularly in the topics of values, ethics, gender issues and cross cultural sensitivity to support the growth and encouragement of democratic governance.

2.5 Progress on the Kimberley Process certification scheme and the hosting of the 10th year anniversary meetings

Cabinet noted progress relating to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) and South Africa’s selection by the KPCS Plenary as Vice Chair in 2012 and Chair in 2013. South Africa will be hosting the KPCS 10th anniversary meetings in 2013.

South Africa plays an important role in the KPCS process and its continued participation ensures that the interests of the South African diamond industry are safeguarded. With a membership of 50 participants representing 76 countries (including the European Union), the KPCS meetings are convened to review the KPCS statutes.

In 2002 Southern African countries led by South Africa convened several meetings with diamond producing countries, NGOs and relevant constituencies within the diamond industry. The purpose of the meeting resulted in the establishment of the KPCS.

2.6 International Geological Congress (IGC)

Cabinet noted that the International Geological Congress (IGC) will be hosted by South Africa, 27 August 2016 to 4 September 2016 in Cape Town and that from August 2012, South Africa will take over the role of Secretariat of the International Geological Congress Committee from Australia.

The hosting of the IGC will generate much needed renewed interest in the geology of South Africa, and trigger innovation in earth sciences and mineral development. The IGC will also provide an opportunity to:

  • Showcase the geology of South Africa and the extensive mapping exploration and research work already being undertaken.

  • Encourage increased flows of investment to support further mapping and exploration necessary for mineral discovery and development.

  • Share in international best practice and geoscientific knowledge

  • Build geoscientific capacity of the continent, especially amongst young, previously disadvantaged geoscientists.

2.7 Annex VI to the protocol on environmental protection to the Antarctic Treaty: Liability arising from environmental emergencies

Cabinet approved Annex VI to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to Antarctic Treaty: Liability arising from Environmental Emergencies and its submission to Parliament for ratification.

Annex VI creates a framework for Parties to require organisations/entities (government and non-government), that plan activities in the Antarctic Treaty area, to develop and implement contingency plans to reduce the risk of environmental emergencies and to respond to environmental incidents when they occur. The key focus on the Annex VI on environmental emergencies arising in the Antarctic areas is primarily for South Africa to ensure compliance of its operators and secondly to enable the South African government to claim expenses arising from clean-up operations launched from other countries. Without a system of compensation in place, the South African Government would have to take such actions without any certainty that its expenses would be reimbursed by the responsible parties.

3 Appointments

3.1 Ms Thandeka Mxenge was appointed Deputy Director-General: Corporate Management in the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities.

3.2 Mr Vussy Sunnyboy Mahlangu was appointed Deputy Director-General: Land Reform and Administration in the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.

3.3 Ms Leona Cassandra Archary was appointed Deputy Director-General: Rural Infrastructure Development in the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.

3.4 Ms Mabel Matieho Rantla was appointed Deputy Director-General: Military Veterans Socio-Economic Support Services in the Department of Military Veterans.
Cabinet congratulates the new appointees and wishes them well in their new responsibilities.

Enquiries:

Jimmy Manyi (Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 082 379 3454

Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)
19 April 2012

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