Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 13 June 2012

Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Cape Town on 13 June 2012

1.  CURRENT AFFAIRS

1.1 Executive Public Participation Programme

Cabinet noted that President Jacob Zuma would be conducting a monitoring and evaluation visit to Gauteng, with a focus on public transport. The launch of the last phase of the Gautrain and its integration with the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) in Johannesburg represents one aspect of Government’s integrated public transport system that will be seen and experienced by the President.

Cabinet also noted that the four millionth household electrification connection was symbolically switched on by Minister of Public Enterprises, Malusi Gigaba on 12 June at the Cerhu Location in the Eastern Cape’s Mnquma Municipality.

This event is a key milestone on our way to universal access to electricity and highlights the progress made since 1994. Government and Eskom have played an integral role in ensuring that South African households have access to essential and basic services. The achievements to date provide further motivation for realising our universal access targets.

Members of the media are invited to attend Public Participation events such as those referred to, in order to have a better grasp of how government service delivery impacts on individuals and communities, and of how interaction unfolds between political principals and citizens.

Rio+20

The 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) will take place from 20 to 22 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.The conference will focus on seven critical issues centred around sustainable development; one of them being energy provision. Access to energy forms an important part of poverty eradication and sustainable development. It is Government’s intention that affordable energy be available to every South African.

Cabinet reaffirms the historic and precedent-setting outcome of COP17/CMP7 United Nations Climate Change Conference which took place in Durban at the end of 2011 and which served as a foundation and catalyst for the broader focus on sustainable development at Rio+20. This will also continue to Doha, Qatar, where COP18/CMP8 will be held later this year.

1.2 Governance

Cabinet congratulated the newly appointed members of the Executive and wished them well in their new portfolios. Cabinet also congratulated Ms Riah Phiyega on her new appointment as the Commissioner of Police. Cabinet noted the significance of this appointment being that of the first woman to occupy this position and expressed confidence in her credentials that she would be able to fulfill the role as expected.

1.3 Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP)

Cabinet noted the start of the stakeholder engagement process of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP). Engagements include Business Unity SA on Friday, 15 June; the Road Freight & Care Hire Associations on Tuesday 19 June and the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) on Thursday, 21 June 2012. The other stakeholders will be announced once the dates are confirmed.

1.4 Africa Public Service Day

Cabinet noted that because Africa Public Service Day falls on Saturday, 23 June 2012, the official celebration will be observed on Friday, 22 June 2012. Cabinet noted that the day will be marked by a roundtable discussion led by the Minister of Public Service & Administration.

Public should note that events on this day will also initiate the rollout of the 15 years of the Batho Pele campaign, which in turn will culminate in Africa Public Service Week in September 2012.

Cabinet commends public servants for the good work done and challenges the Public Service cadre to come up with new initiatives and innovations to obtain feedback from citizens on services rendered as part of ensuring that we are a truly responsive government committed to meeting the basic needs of the public.

1.5 Expropriation ruling

Cabinet welcomed a recent Supreme Court of Appeal judgment, which decided that the right to mine in South Africa - in the sense of the right to prospect and mine for minerals and extract and dispose of them - is vested in the State.

The court ruled that this right is allocated by the State in accordance with policies that are determined from time to time and embodied in the applicable legislation.

The court affirmed the Mineral Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 (the MPRDA) as the current expression of that right and ruled as incorrect the contention that all mineral rights that had existed in South Africa under earlier legislation had been expropriated under the 2002 law.

The judgment followed an appeal by the Minister of Justice against an earlier judgment that had awarded AgriSA R750 000 in compensation for an alleged expropriation of coal rights under the MPRDA.

The Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that what constitutes an expropriation must be determined on a case by case basis with reference to: what constitutes an expropriation in terms of section 25(2) of the Bill of Rights; what the rights were that the mineral rights holders were entitled to, prior to the commencement of the MPRDA, and whether such rights had been expropriated in terms of the MPRDA.

The court held that mining rights originated in legislation and not in the common law.

1.6 International Agenda

Government’s international agenda is premised on exploring and using opportunities, and building partnerships in the global arena that will enable us to meet domestic priorities and improve the lives of all South Africans.

G20 Summit

South Africa will participate in the seventh Group of Twenty (G20) Summit in Mexico on June 18 and 19, 2012.

Government is extremely concerned about increasing uncertainty created by the European crises and is hoping that the decisiveness that the G20 demonstrated in 2009 will be seen again so that the world can be returned to a path of growth and job creation.

World Competitiveness

Cabinet was heartened by the findings of the World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) 2012, published by Switzerland’s Institute of Management Development (IMD). South Africa has moved up two notches and is now rated 50 amongst the 59 countries surveyed. The WCY rankings measure how well countries amongst others use their economic and human resources to increase their prosperity. This is indeed testimony that South Africa’s prudent fiscal policies over the past decade have held the country in good stead despite the continuing global economic uncertainty.

Lesotho Elections

Cabinet congratulated Prime Minister Tom Thabane of Lesotho on his election and commends the people of Lesotho and all political parties for holding peaceful elections. The peaceful vote and transition is evidence of a maturing democracy in Lesotho. Cabinet also reaffirms its commitment to work with the newly elected Lesotho administration to further strengthen relations.

AU Summit/Chairpersonship

Cabinet noted that in preparation for the imminent African Union (AU) Summit, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) extraordinary Summit held in Luanda, Republic of Angola, on 1 June 2012, took a number of important decisions. These include the decision to reaffirm the candidature of the South African Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, for the position of Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

The SADC leadership reiterated their view of a need to strengthen the AU in order to better position the continental body for the multitude of opportunities and challenges facing Africa. SADC has presented a strong candidate who deserves a chance to contribute to the work of the AU.

Since the formation of the OAU in 1963, only two regions on the continent have not had an opportunity to contribute to the work of the AU at the level of Chairperson of the AU Commission. These are the Southern and the Northern regions.

If elected, Minister Dlamini Zuma will become the first woman since the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963 to serve as Chairperson of the continental body. The SADC leadership is confident that Minister Dlamini Zuma will fulfil this role excellently not only because she is an astute and formidable woman but as a leader with proven capabilities.

1.7 Sanctions by United States against foreign banks

Cabinet noted that the United States of America has granted South Africa a 180 day exemption against the Iran Oil sanctions that are due to commence on 1 July 2012.

The USA imposed sanctions against Iran apply in terms of which financial institutions  which continue  to transact with the Iranian banks, and in particular, the Islamic Republic Bank of Iran, risk being cut from the USA financial system. The petroleum based sanctions come into effect on 1 July 2012.

The European Union (EU) followed suit by imposing additional sanctions on Iran.  Of importance to the South African refining sector, the EU put a ban on the provision of insurance and reinsurance by EU insurers to the State of Iran and Iranian owned companies. Furthermore the EU decided to ban new contracts to import petroleum and petroleum products from Iran and to end existing contracts by 1 July 2012.

The sanctions impact negatively on the long term sustainability of South Africa’s refining sector due to increases in both the capital and operational costs to alter the crude diets for the respective refineries.   

Given the impact on the South African refining sector and ultimately the security of supply, South Africa opted to apply for an exemption from the USA government. On 11 June 2012, the USA Secretary of State announced that South Africa, along with countries such as Malaysia, India, Republic of South Korea and Sri Lanka has been grated the exemption by the USA. This means that the sanctions will not apply to South African financial institutions which transact with the Islamic Republic of Iran for the fiscal year 2012. The exemption period is 180 days (6 months) and is potentially renewable, provided there has been a significant reduction of the crude oil from Iran during the period of the exemption. It must be noted that this exemption is only applicable to petroleum based transactions. This followed intense negotiations between South Africa and United States of America.

1.8 Nelson Mandela International Day

The Nelson Mandela International Day which takes place on 18 July annually is aimed at honouring the Former President’s achievements in conflict resolution, democracy, human rights, peace and reconciliation.

Cabinet calls on all South Africans to support the 94+ Projects for Madiba campaign launched by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has embarked on a process to mobilise support from a variety of sectors to enhance the learning and teaching environments of at least 94 schools in poor communities by addressing their infrastructure backlogs. Various principals are pledging their support, by adopting their former school/s or any of the schools identified.

Cabinet noted that all South Africans have been invited to join millions of learners in singing the Mandela Birthday Song at 08h00 on Wednesday, 18 July 2012.

1.9 Condolences

Following on the condolences and accolades from President Jacob Zuma, the Executive also wishes to convey its sympathies to the family and friends of Phillip Vallentine Tobias, a renowned South Africanpaleoanthropologist, who was one of the world’s leading authorities on the evolution of humankind and was instrumental in having the remains of Sarah Baartman returned to South Africa from France. 

2. DECISIONS EMANATING FROM THE WORK OF CLUSTERS

2.1 Revision to the Performance Evaluation System for Heads of Department

Cabinet approved amendments to the system for assessing the performance of Heads of Department of national and provincial departments. These amendments include a stronger role for the Presidency and the Offices of the Premier in the assessment process. The aim is to ensure that all Heads of Department enter into performance agreements timeously and that all Heads of Departments are assessed every year.

The evaluation will be directly linked to the performance of the department with regard to among others the auditor-general’s report; the fulfilment of performance delivery agreements commitments and Management Performance Assessment Tool (MPAT).

2.2 National Evaluation Plan

In November 2011, Cabinet approved the National Evaluation Policy Framework. The Policy Framework makes provision for the development of national and provincial annual and three year evaluation plans.

Cabinet has now also approved that 55 evaluations will be conducted over the next three years and approved the first annual National Evaluation Plan which identifies the following evaluations to be undertaken over the next year:

  • National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) and Grade R under the Department of Basic Education;
  • Integrated Nutrition Programme under the Department of Health;
  • Comprehensive Rural Development Programme and Land Reform Recapitalisation and Development Programme under the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform;
  • Business Process Services Incentives Scheme under the Department of Trade and Industry;
  • Integrated Residential Development Programme (IRDP) and Urban Settlements Development Grant (USDG) under the Department of Human Settlements.

All these evaluations will be undertaken by the relevant line function departments in partnership with the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, using standardised evaluation guidelines. Improvement plans will be developed to address the findings of each evaluation. The evaluation reports will be made public on the DPME website.

2.3 Twenty Year Review

Cabinet approved proposals from the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation for a Twenty Year Review. The review will be broad, including progress towards building a democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa and progress with socio-economic development, as well the performance of government programmes.

The review will build on existing research, including that done for the National Development Plan. The process of producing the review will be overseen by an Inter-Ministerial Committee led by Minister Collins Chabane. A reference group of prominent academics will be established to ensure that the review is rigorous.

The review is due to be completed by the end of 2013.

2.4 Management Performance Assessment

Cabinet noted the report on the results of management performance assessments of national and provincial departments for the 2011/12 financial year. Based on the government’s commitment to improve its performance and service delivery, Cabinet had previously mandated the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) to assess the quality of management practices in national and provincial government departments. Cabinet considered the first set of assessments of 103 national and provincial departments which were carried out during the 2011/12 financial year.

Performance is assessed against good management practice standards related to strategic management, human resource management, supply chain management and governance. Departmental assessments are discussed and agreed at senior management level in departments as well as verified by departmental internal audit units. This approach promotes ownership by senior management of the assessment process, leading to senior management action to address identified weaknesses. The assessment methodology was informed by a review by DPME of how these management assessments are carried out in other countries, including Canada, Kenya, New Zealand, India, Turkey and Russia.

In all of the management areas, there are some departments which were found to be performing well. Where areas of excellence were identified, case studies are being developed and these will be made available to other departments to emulate. However, the assessments also identified areas that need improvement and further attention in many departments, which include:

  • the use of monitoring and evaluation to inform improvements to policies, programmes and service delivery
  • service delivery improvement through setting service delivery standards and developing charters and implementing improvement plans
  • managing financial disclosures of senior managers and ensuring awareness of the code of conduct
  • human resource management
  • diversity management (gender and disability equity in the public service)
  • the management of information technology systems
  • supply chain management and procurement.

Departments are required to put in place improvement plans to address these areas, and the assessments will be repeated annually to check and assist departments to monitor improvement. In addition, DPME, DPSA, National Treasury are implementing support initiatives to assist departments to address these weaknesses.

Cabinet noted that the management of departments had generally assessed their departments objectively, as borne out by the high level of correlation between the assessment results and the findings of oversight institutions such as the Public Service Commission and the Auditor General. Cabinet insist that all 156 national and provincial departments are to participate in the assessment process in future. The assessment of municipalities will commence soon.

2.5 National Strategy for Developing an inclusive and cohesive South African Society

Cabinet approved the National Strategy for developing an inclusive and cohesive South African Society and supported the hosting of the National Social Cohesion and Nation Building Summit to be held from 4 to 6 July 2012 in Kliptown, Johannesburg.

While South Africa has made significant progress in institutionalising the principle of an inclusive citizenship, there are still challenges of poverty, unemployment, homelessness, landlessness and race, class and gender that still continue to be defining features of how society relates.

The Draft National Strategy on Social Cohesion and Nation Building is intended to encourage and contribute towards the on-going national project of developing a just society which upholds the principles and the values of an inclusive South African society.

The theme for the Summit is Working Together to Create a Caring and Proud Society”. The Summit will lead the discussions on the national strategy and programme of action on social cohesion and nation-building.

3. KEY ISSUES FOR NOTING

3.1 Progress reports on the implementation of Delivery Agreements

Cabinet noted the fourth-quarter progress reports on the implementation of Delivery Agreements for the various Outcomes governing the programme of action for government.These reports will be unpacked and elaborated through a series of Ministerial cluster media briefings which will take place in the near future. The briefings will relay progress, challenges and plans to South Africans.

4. TWO BILLS APPROVED

4.1 Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill, 2012

Cabinet approved the Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill, 2012 for submission to Parliament.

The Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill seeks to limit circumstances in which the full record of proceedings of the trial court has to be made available to the judges of the Supreme Court of Appeal. Currently, judges of the Supreme Court of Appeal to consider a petition on the refusal of the trial court to grant leave to appeal from the High Courts to the Supreme Court of Appeal. This gives rise to an intolerable situation, resulting in huge delays in finalising appeals and unnecessary costs, to the detriment of the administration of justice.

4.2 Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Amendment Bill, 2012

Cabinet approved the Commission of Gender Equality (CGE) Amendment Bill, 2012 for submission to Parliament.

The Commission for Gender Equality:

  • Promotes gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality;
  • Has the power, as regulated by national legislation, necessary to perform its functions, including the power to monitor, investigate, research, educate, lobby, advise and report on issues concerning gender equality; and
  • Has additional powers and functions prescribed by national legislation.

The proposed amendments are purely technical in nature and seek to:

  • align the Commission on Gender Equality Act (Act 39 of 1996) with the wording of and reference to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
  • substitute the reference to the Exchequer Act (Act 66 of 1975) with reference to the Public Finance Management Act (Act 1 of 1999)

 5. APPOINTMENTS

5.1 Cabinet approved the appointment of Dr Wolsey Otto Barnard as Deputy Director-General: Energy Programme and Projects at the Department of Energy.

5.2 Cabinet approved the appointment of Mr Zizamele Smodeni Mbambo as Deputy Director-General: Nuclear Energy at the Department of Energy.

5.3 Directors to the Board of the Land Bank: Mr Bafana Mathidi and Ms Nomavuso Patience Mnxasana were reappointed to the Land Bank Board for another term of three (3) years. Mr John Luscombe Purchase and Mr Lebogang Serithi were appointed to the Land Bank Board for a term of three (3) years.

5.4 Cabinet approved the appointment of Mr Zakhele Thwala as Director to the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), for a period of five years with effect 1 July 2012.

5.5 Cabinet approved the appointment of Ms Berlina Mxakwe as a member to the Legal Aid Board of South Africa in terms of section 4(1)(g) of the Legal Aid Act, 1969 (Act No.22 of 1969), for a period of three (3) years.

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

Enquiries:

Jimmy Manyi (Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 082 379 3454

Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)
15 June 2012

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