Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 21 August 2012

Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Cape Town on 21 August 2012.

1. CURRENT AFFAIRS

1.1 Lonmin - Marikana Labour dispute tragedy

President Jacob Zuma’s expression of sympathy, somberness and concern over the loss of lives in Marikana reflected the feeling of millions of South Africans and observers around the world.

Cabinet noted that as a result of this tragedy, President Jacob Zuma cut short his participation in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit in neighbouring Mozambique to visit the Lonmin mine area in Marikana to provide a message of hope and to get a first-hand account of what transpired.

Further to the message of support by President Zuma, Cabinet expresses its condolences to the bereaved families and communities and wishes a speedy recovery to all those that are still in hospital as a result of injuries sustained during the conflict situation.

President Zuma declared a national mourning period Monday 20 to Sunday 26 August 2012 during which time all the flags in the country and in missions outside the country will fly at half-mast.

Cabinet fully endorsed President Zuma’s decision to appoint the Judicial Inquiry to investigate the Marikana tragedy.

1.2 Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP)

Cabinet noted the progress report on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) stakeholder engagement led by the Deputy President, Mr Kgalema Motlanthe. The Deputy President will continue with his engagement in seeking amicable solutions.

Cabinet also noted that the Constitutional Court has reserved its judgement on Government’s application to set aside Gauteng North High Court decision on the GFIP.

1.3 Economic Sector

Cabinet noted South Africa’s hosting of (the first in Africa) International Small Business Congress from 15 to 18 September 2012, at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

This conference will reinforce South Africa’s advancement of Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) as a catalyst for economic growth and provides a platform to promote the country’s SMMEs to the international community.

1.4 Sports

Cabinet congratulates Team South Africa on a memorable all-round performance at the 2012 London Olympics Games, wherein the team achieved the country’s best-ever performance at an Olympic tournament.

Cabinet sends its well wishes to the team representing South Africa in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London which will take place from 29 August to 9 September and calls on the nation to continue supporting our national teams.

Cabinet also commends the Proteas on winning the Test series in England and emerging as the No. 1 Test team in world cricket. This indeed is a significant achievement.

1.5 National Arbor Day Preparations

Cabinet noted that the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will launch the National Arbor Week on 1 September 2012 in Galeshewe, Kimberley, under the theme: “Our Forests our Future”.

This year’s event is aimed at celebrating greening achievements in the Northern Cape, specifically in and around the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality, by planting trees to commemorate people who had dedicated their lives to the liberation struggle, nation-building and community upliftment.

Cabinet calls on all South Africans to plant indigenous trees as a gesture of sustainable environmental management.

1.6 International relations

Cabinet conveys its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the Government and the people of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on the passing away of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

Cabinet noted the imminence of two key international forums which will provide South Africa with an opportunity to advance the developmental agenda of Africa and the South.

These are: the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran, Iran, on 30 and 31 August 2012 and the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) which begins on 18 September 2012.

Both platforms will highlight issues in the Middle East, including Palestine; reform of international institutions such as the United Nations (UN); promotion of South-South Cooperation; Climate Change; the global financial and economic crisis; and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Cabinet emphasises the importance of South Africa’s participation in these international forums, which reflect the country’s international standing in advancing the interests of Africa and developing nations.

In addition, South Africa will be hosting the Second Conference of African Ministers responsible for Civil Registration from 6 to 7 September 2012 at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban under the theme “improving Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Institutional and Human Infrastructure in Africa”. The conference will address the challenges caused by the absence of reliable vital-events data such as births, deaths, marriage and divorce on the African continent.

Cabinet notes the importance of keeping reliable data to enable countries across the African continent to use the data for planning and socio-economic development purposes.

1.7 Launch of the Council against Gender-Based Violence

The Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Ms Lulu Xingwana will in this briefing provide more details on this matter.

2 DECISIONS EMANATING FROM THE WORK OF CLUSTERS/LINE DEPARTMENTS    

2.1 Investigation of Hydraulic Fracturing (“fracking”) for shale gas in the Karoo Basin of South Africa

This matter is now at Cabinet and is receiving full Cabinet attention. The Minister will thereafter brief all stakeholders including media.

2.2 Labelling of products or goods emanating from Israeli occupied territories (IOTs)

Cabinet approved that a notice in terms of the Consumer Protection Act, 2008 be issued by the Minister of Trade and Industry requiring the labelling of goods or products emanating from IOTs to prevent consumers being led to believe that such goods come from Israel. This is in line with South Africa’s stance that recognises the 1948 borders delineated by the United Nations and does not recognise occupied territories beyond these borders as being part of the state of Israel.

2.3 South Africa’s Global Aids Response Progress Report 2012 to the United Nations General Assembly

Cabinet noted the Global Aids Response Progress Report 2012 and the submission thereof to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly and approved that all future progress reports should reflect on South Africa’s contribution and investment in the area of research and innovation with respect to addressing the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

The National Strategic Plan (NSP) for HIV/AIDS/STI’s 2007-2011, was the blueprint for the country’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the time frame covered by this report. The report highlights significant progress that has been made in addressing the HIV epidemic. The country response was driven through several stakeholders and sectors led by the South African National Aids Council (SANAC).

The new NSP 2012-2016 will guide the response for the next five years. Country reports are published on the UNAIDS website.

2.4 Impact of the United Kingdom (UK) retailers’ decision to import bulk wine from South Africa and possible remedial action to reduce the impact thereof

Cabinet noted the impact of UK retailers’ decision to switch from importing bottled wine from South Africa to importing bulk wine which is then bottled in the UK.

To reduce the impact of the bulk import, Cabinet approved the development of:

  • A process to develop a five-year Industry Strategy to assist in placing the industry on a sustainable growth trajectory;
  • A programme to reduce the environmental costs of producing wine in South Africa;
  • A consumer awareness programme to improve consumers’ understanding of holistic environmental monitoring indicators;
  • An in-depth cross-sectoral research and analysis of the wine value-chain;
  • A study on the impact of possible bulk imports of whisky from the United Kingdom;
  • An engagement with the wine and packaging industries to develop innovative packaging solutions with an emphasis on sustainable packaging;
  • Initiatives to assist the industry to accelerate export market diversification;
  • Measures to prevent possible job losses as a result of the position adopted by the UK; and
  • A series of engagements to highlight the negative socio-economic costs of the United Kingdom retailers’ demand for bulk wine and interactions with the South African Revenue Services to establish.

2.5 Revised Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Codes of Good Practice

Cabinet noted the revised Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Codes of Good Practice, 2012 and approved that these be published for public comment.

The revised codes will enhance the implementation of the B-BBEE in a meaningful and sustainable manner. The revised codes also contain principles and guidelines that will facilitate and accelerate the implementation of B-BBEE. The purpose of the codes is to assist and advise both the public and private sectors in their implementation of the B-BBEE Act.

Key areas of refinement include:

  • The generic scorecard has been reduced to five elements with Employment Equity and Management Control being consolidated, and Preferential Procurement and Enterprise Development merged to form a Supplier Development Element.
  • The points for ownership have been broadened to include designated groups in the main points;
  • Thresholds for Exempted Micro Enterprises and Qualifying Small Enterprises (QSE) have been adjusted.
  • All companies, except Exempted Micro Enterprises, will be required to comply with the five elements of the B-BBEE scorecard;
  • Revised qualification points for awarding of B-BBEE recognition levels status;
  • The introduction of priority elements: Ownership, Skills Development and Supplier Development, and large enterprises to comply with all three priority elements. The priority scores of entities that do not comply with sub-minimum requirements in each priority will be discounted;
  • Entities that are 100% black-owned will qualify as Level 1;
  • Entities that are more than 50% black-owned will qualify as Level 2;
  • Updated framework for the accreditation of B-BBEE Verification Agencies to include the Independent Regulatory Body of Auditors;
  • Alignment of the B-BBEE Employment Equity elements with the Employment Equity Act;
  • Skills Development Elements has been aligned to the New Skills Development Strategy and to be outward focused; and
  • QSE’s must comply with all 5 elements on the scorecard.

 2.6 Progress report on the Anti Substance-Abuse Programme of Action (PoA)

Cabinet noted the progress made on the implementation of the Anti Substance-Abuse Programme of Action (PoA).

Since the approval of the PoA in September 2011, government departments represented in the Inter-Ministerial Committee including the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and National Treasury have been implementing the programme guided by the following five focus areas:

  • Development of policy, review and alignment of liquor legislation;
  • Education and awareness on substance abuse;
  • Promotion of equal access to resources across South Africa;
  • Response to policies and legislation with regards to drugs and organized crime; and
  • Review of institutional mechanisms to prevent and manage alcohol and drug use in the country.

2.7 Areas of collaboration between the Departments of Water Affairs and of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA)

Cabinet noted the areas in which the Departments of Water Affairs (DWA) and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) will collaborate in working towards improving water delivery at municipal level.

Although government has made good progress in eradicating basic water supply backlogs there are serious risks threatening the ability of local government to meet the 2014 target for access to basic water supply.

A task team with sub-teams has been formed to work on an appropriate funding model for the water sector. This will involve alignment of grants, a review of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) policy and improved monitoring and evaluation of infrastructure programmes. Such a model will look at the whole value chain, including debts owed by municipalities to water boards; and pay specific attention to infrastructure requirements in the 21+ 2 districts.

The Department of Water Affairs has identified 30 water services authorities where repeated interventions of different types have been made at municipal level with little or no noticeable improvement. These water services authorities also face significant governance problems, lack of adequate revenue or sufficient financial resources to maintain and operate water services infrastructure. Urgent complete turnaround in these municipalities is required. Close cooperation between DWA, COGTA and the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency is being put in place to effect turnaround in these municipalities.

2.8 Second report on progress made to date on the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) initiatives

Cabinet noted the second Report on progress made to date on the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) Initiatives.

South Africa, represented by the Department of Energy (DoE), was invited to participate in the first Clean Energy Ministerial hosted by the United States’ Department of Energy in June 2010. The Ministerial meeting recommended and approved 11 initiatives considered strategic in the acceleration of the global transition to clean energy. 

South Africa supported initiatives that would derive benefit not only for South Africa but have a potential for regional integration in line with the rest of the continent.  In subsequent meetings, the CEM member countries committed to further drive the clean energy initiatives in an effort to strengthen the deployment of cleaner energy technologies worldwide in collaboration with all the relevant stakeholders, which is government(s), business/industry, Utilities, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and public entities.

The CEM also focuses on the role of women in the clean and alternative energy drive through the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment Women's Initiative (C3E).  South Africa was designated as a C3E ambassador for Africa. The focus of the programme is to attract women to participate and benefit through studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as well as being investors and entrepreneurs in the new energy drive.

2.9 Draft treaty between the Republic of South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on the development of the Grand Inga (Hydropower) Project of the DRC

Cabinet approved the Treaty between the Republic of South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for the development of the Grand Inga Project.

The Grand Inga Project has the potential to supply clean and cost effective hydroelectric power to meet the needs of the DRC and surrounding or nearby countries including South Africa. This project entails the development of approximately 40 000MW of hydropower on the Congo River in the DRC which may be developed in several stand-alone phases.

The purpose of the treaty is to develop an enabling framework, linking the DRC and South Africa into the Grand Inga Project, and allowing for the two countries to jointly explore different economically feasible options for the development of the Project. The two countries should also engage and source support for the project from other countries in the continent especially those in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The project will form part of South Africa’s government strategy to promote renewable energy in the region, contribute to a reduction of carbon emissions, ensure security of supply and to develop energy infrastructure on the continent and the SADC region in particular.

3 BILL APPROVED

3.1 Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Draft Bill, 2012
Cabinet approved the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Draft Bill for publication in the Government Gazette for public comments.

The draft Bill seeks to:

  • Provide the Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities with the necessary authority to monitor, review and oversee gender mainstreaming and integration of gender equality considerations into all programmes of government and other sectors;
  • Promote the protection and advancement of women as envisaged in section 9 (2) of the Constitution.

4 CABINET APPOINTMENTS

Cabinet approved the following appointments:

4.1 Dr Samuel Senzangakhona Vilakazi as Deputy Director-General: Administration in the Department of Communications.

4.2 Mr Matsobane Themba Matlou as Regional Executive Manager: South African Social

Security Agency (SASSA): Limpopo

4.3 Ms Koleka Lubelwana as Regional Executive Manager: South African Social Security Agency (SASSA): Northern Cape.

4.4 The following members were appointed to the Board of the National Library of South Africa for three years: Ms Ellen Remona Tise (Chairperson); Mr Liaquat Alli Omar Ebrahim; Ms Esther Michele Josias; Ms Rachel Kalidass; Mr Kepi David Madumo; Dr William Peter Rowland; Dr Daisy Selloane Selematsela; Ms Mmathobo Abigall Sukati and Prof Lesiba Joseph Teffo.

Enquiries:

Jimmy Manyi (Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 082 379 3454

Issued by: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)
22 August 2012

 

 

 

 

 

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