Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Pretoria on Tuesday, 17 July 2012.

1. CURRENT AFFAIRS  

1.1 Celebration

Yesterday marked former President Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday, which is also internationally recognised with the United Nations having declared 18 July (since November 2009) ‘Nelson Mandela International Day’.

Cabinet wished Madiba a happy birthday and called on all South Africans to spend at least 67 minutes doing good work in their communities. 

1.2 Executive Outreach Programme

Cabinet noted that President Jacob Zuma will visit Umzimkhulu, KwaZulu-Natal on 24 July 2012 on a monitoring visit. These visits provide the President with first-hand experience and feedback on how communities experience service delivery.

1.3 Women’s Month/Day

Cabinet noted that the Women’s Month/Day celebrations this year will focus on addressing the challenges faced by women in rural areas and that the celebration of National Women’s Day will take place at the Union Buildings in Tshwane, Gauteng, on 9 August 2012.

1.4 Sports

Cabinet wishes our national teams well and calls on all South  Africans to support Team South Africa during the 2012 London Olympic Games (27 July – 12 August) as well as our national cricket team (Proteas) who are touring England until 12 September 2012.

1.5 Mpumalanga tragedy

Cabinet noted the Presidential message conveyed to affected families after this tragedy occurred. It further sends its condolences to families and all those who lost their loved ones during this tragedy. 

2. International agenda

2.1 President Jacob Zuma visit to China (19-20 July)

Cabinet noted that President Jacob Zuma will embark on an Official Visit to the People’s Republic of China at the invitation of His Excellency, President Hu Jintao from 19-20 July 2012. The visit to China takes place within the framework of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership concluded between the Republic of South Africa and the People’s Republic of China in August 2010.

The two leaders will exchange views on how to further strengthen bilateral cooperation, coordination within the G20, strengthening of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS)  Forum and broader international developments. President Zuma will also attend the opening ceremony of the 5th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), during which he will make an address on 19 July 2012.

2.2 19th International AIDS Conference (22-27 July)

Cabinet noted that Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will attend the 19th International AIDS Conference from 22 to 27 July 2012 in Washington DC, USA. The conference theme: “Turning the Tide Together” captures the global mood of hope and determination that a visible shift in the fight against HIV and AIDS is in sight. 

South Africa’s delegation to Washington, hopes to share the substantial progress in our fight against HIV and AIDS as a nation. 

Cabinet commended the full participation of government, civil society, business and development partners who contributed towards the development of the 2012 Country Report. Cabinet also calls on all South Africans to continue taking personal responsibility for their health and well-being, by getting tested regularly.

2.3 Election of Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma as African Union (AU) Chairperson

On behalf of the government and the people of South Africa, Cabinet congratulates the Minister of Home Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma the new African Union Commission Chairperson.

Cabinet echoes the sentiments of President Jacob Zuma who said “Dr Dlamini Zuma who has served our country with distinction, becomes the servant of the Continent and accountable to the AU”. Cabinet wishes her well as she steers the African Union Commission behind a common vision of unity and championing the African agenda.

Cabinet would also like to thank and appreciate the tireless efforts of the Southern African Regional Ministerial Lobby Group under the leadership of the South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane that worked hard to ensure a successful outcome is realised.

Dr Dlamini Zuma was nominated by the southern Africa region to stand for the position. This is the first time that the region is represented at the level of Chairperson of the Commission. It is also the first time that this position is held by a woman. The election also signals the commitment of African leaders to concretising their resolutions, particularly the resolution to declare the decade between 2010 and 2020 as the Decade of Women.

Equally Cabinet would like to thank all Southern African Development Community (SADC) member-states as well as the entire leadership of the AU for their role and support ensuring a successful election.

The appointment of Dr Dlamini Zuma will build on the work done by her predecessors, including Dr Jean Ping, and ensure a more efficient and effective AU Commission, particularly on the implementation of decisions pertaining to unity, peace, stability, development and the upliftment of women and children.

3. REVISED REMUNERATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONERS

Cabinet approved the revised remuneration paid to Members of the South African Human Rights Commission. Section 13(1) of the Human Rights Commission Act, 1994 (Act No. 54 of 1994) provides that the remuneration, allowances and other terms and conditions of office and service benefits of full-time and part-time members of the Commission shall be determined by the President in consultation with the Cabinet and the Minister of Finance.

The Minister of Finance approved a 5% cost-of-living adjustment to the remuneration level of members of the Commission retrospectively from 1 April 2012. 

4. TWO BILLS APPROVED

4.1 The South African Language Practitioners’ Council Bill, 2012

Cabinet approved the South African Language Practitioners’ Council Bill, 2012 for submission to Parliament. 

The Bill seeks to professionalise language translation services. It provides for the establishment of a council that will register, accredit and train language practitioners. The proposed council will ensure that there are set standards, norms, improved quality and efficiency of language translation services practice.

4.2 The South African Maritime and Aeronautical Search and Rescue Amendment Bill, 2012

Cabinet approved the South African Maritime and Aeronautical Search and Rescue Amendment Bill, 2012 for submission to Parliament.

This Bill seeks to streamline processes, roles and responsibilities as prescribed during the execution of maritime and aeronautical rescue operations. This aimed at an improved response mechanism and turnaround time. It also gives a right for delegation of powers and duties bestowed on the Minister of Transport to the South African Maritime and Aeronautical Search and Rescue office-bearers and department officials. The Bill further widens the scope under which the Minister may regulate search and rescue by way of regulations.

5. KEY ISSUES THAT CABINET NOTED

5.1 Overview of the National Development Plan

Cabinet noted the contents of the National Development Plan. Cabinet members will provide further inputs towards the National Development Plan. This will be finalised at the Cabinet Lekgotla in August 2012.

5.2 Report on the tenth session of the Conference of Parties (COP10) to the convention on the conservation of migratory animal species (CMS) and its related meetings held from 17 to 27 November 2011

Cabinet noted the report on the COP10 to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) and its related meetings held from 17 to 27 November 2011 in Bergen, Norway. The CMS is an International Treaty devoted to protect and maintain migratory species’ populations, ranges and habitats.

5.3 Hosting of the 2012 International Small Business Congress

Cabinet noted the hosting of the 2012 International Small Business Congress (ISBC) in Johannesburg, from 15-18 September 2012.

The ISBC is an annual learning and exchange platform which brings together SMME practitioners and policymakers from around the world. Issues to be discussed at this year’s congress include topics such as e-commerce, systems to boost management capacity, incubation and technology demonstration, innovation and challenges small businesses encounter when assessing new markets. The 2012 event is a milestone for the ISBC and the continent because it will be the first time that the congress is hosted in Africa.

6. APPOINTMENTS

Cabinet approved the following appointments:

6.1 Ms Nolwazi Gasa as the Deputy Director-General: Outcomes Monitoring and Evaluation in the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation.

6.2 Ms Jacqueline Molisane as the Deputy Director-General: Strategic Partnerships in the Department of Public Enterprises.

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

Enquiries:

Jimmy Manyi (Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 082 379 3454

Issued by: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)
19 July 2012

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