Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 19 September 2012

Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Cape Town on 19 September 2012

1 CURRENT AFFAIRS

1.1 National days and campaigns

The main Heritage Day celebrations will be held on Monday 24 September 2012 in Upington, Northern Cape Province, under the theme “Celebrating the Heroes and Heroines of the Liberation Struggle in South Africa”. Cabinet calls on South Africans to participate in activities that give expression to the theme of the day and of Heritage Month.

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) in collaboration with the South African Qualifications Authority has embarked on the ‘Apply Now’ campaign. Cabinet encourages learners to apply for admission to post-schooling institutions of their choice now.

Cabinet noted that the 2012 Annual National Assessment (ANA) is underway. This process started on 18 September and will end on 21 September. The assessment is being supported by a national awareness campaign on how continuous assessment of the impact of the country’s education system prepares learners for effective learning. The Annual Assessment represents one of the most significant, proactive interventions by Government to measure and strengthen the foundational skills of literacy and numeracy among learners.

1.2 Sports

Cabinet wishes the South African national cricket team well as they take part in the fourth ICC World Twenty20 tournament and calls on all South Africans to support them with the same vigour and passion they displayed during the Olympics and the Paralympic games.

2 DECISIONS ON THE WORK OF CLUSTERS/LINE DEPARTMENTS

2.1 Food prices

Cabinet noted a briefing on food prices and approved that an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Food Security urgently discuss proposals on how to proceed and to submit immediate, medium and long term policy proposals. This will amongst other things consider reviewing the Integrated Food Strategy in relation to price fluctuations and the threat of food shortages.

2.2 Lotteries Policy

Cabinet approved the publication of the Lotteries Policy for public consultation.

The draft policy proposes interventions to address the challenges identified in the implementation of the Act, and as identified by various assessments to improve the performance of the distribution of funds raised by the National Lottery. The draft policy also deals with challenges hampering the effectiveness of the National Lottery.

2.3 International Labour Organisation (ILO) recommendation concerning HIV and AIDS and the World of Work (Recommendation 200) as well as the South African Code of Good Practice on HIV and AIDS and the World of Work, 2012 (HIV Code), including its technical assistance guidelines (TAGS)

Cabinet noted the adopted International Labour Organisation (ILO) recommendation concerning HIV and AIDS and the World of Work (recommendation 200).

Cabinet also noted the revised South Africa Code of Good Practice on HIV and AIDS and the World of Work, 2012 (HIV Code), including its technical Assistance Guidelines (TAGS). Cabinet approved the submission of the ILO recommendation to Parliament for noting.

As a signatory of the ILO, South Africa is required to table this recommendation concerning HIV and AIDS and the World of Work, 2010 (No.200) to Cabinet and Parliament for noting. This will enable the effective development and implementation of national tripartite workplace policies and programmes on HIV and AIDS. These include the revised SA Code of Good Practice on HIV and AIDS and World of Work. The recommendations have already been endorsed through the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC).

2.4 Planned detailed inspection and maintenance of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) water transfer delivery tunnels and associated systems during October and November 2012

Cabinet has noted the planned operation and maintenance shutdown of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project between the months of October and November. The operation and maintenance of the tunnels on this system must be inspected at least every 10 years and during the period of such maintenance, no water transfer to the Vaal System will be possible as the tunnels will be drained completely.  

The total volume of water scheduled to be transferred to the Vaal System (780 million m3 for the 2012 calendar year) will however still be transferred. This is due to the fact that over the last few months water transfer was increased to make up for the two months outage or shutdown and provide additional buffer storage in the Vaal Dam. The assurance of water supply to the Gauteng area will therefore not be negatively impacted upon during this planned shutdown.

The Department of Water Affairs is discussing contingency plans with the municipalities along the Liebenbergsvlei and Caledon Rivers should the rivers dry up to such an extent that water supply problems are encountered. Water users along the Ash and Liebenbergsvlei Rivers are advised to use water sparingly during this period. The Department of Water Affairs will issue a full statement in this regard.

2.5 South Africa’s approach to the common market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)–East African Community (EAC)-Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (TFTA) negotiations

Cabinet noted progress in the common market for Eastern and Southern Africa; East African Community and Southern African Development Community Tripartite Free Trade agreement negotiations. These negotiations hinges on three pillars: promoting market liberalisation through a Free Trade Agreement; industrial development and infrastructure development in these regions.

Cabinet approved that South Africa pursues the Free Trade Agreement negotiations within the negotiated principle of engagement.

2.6 Initiatives to streamline the authorisation process for Government’s Infrastructure Build Programme

Cabinet noted the intervention processes recommended by the Department of Environmental Affairs to facilitate the most effective and efficient authorisation of projects associated with Government’s long-term infrastructure build programme.

The interventions involve a number of related departments in planning; authorisation and implementation of the build programme.

2.7 Strengthening retirement and household savings

Cabinet noted the overview paper titled “Strengthening Retirement Savings: Overview of the 2012 Budget proposals”, released for public comment by the National Treasury on 14 May 2012, and will be followed by several technical papers to be released soon for public comment.

Cabinet also noted that some specific papers (e.g. on preservation) will be submitted to NEDLAC for further discussion to facilitate greater consensus between key stakeholders.

The aim of these is to assist and incentivise South African households to save more, particularly for their retirement, and to better preserve and grow their pensions. Final proposals will only be made after the consultation processes are completed, and will also consider how best to protect vested or accrued rights of current retirement fund members. These urgent interim retirement reform measures will complement the more fundamental and comprehensive social security reforms.

The National Treasury will provide further details as the various technical papers are released very shortly.

2.8 Victim satisfaction survey final report 2011

Cabinet noted the Victim Satisfaction Survey Final Report 2011 and approved the publication of the report. The findings have reflected a need for an improved victim support system. This will enhance the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster’s efforts to build a victim friendly criminal justice system. It was further recommended that the 2011 report be used as a baseline for future surveys every two years and that the sample for future surveys is expanded.

2.9 Green paper on the National Environmental Management of the Oceans (NEMO)

Cabinet noted the ocean ecosystem services as important in directly and indirectly impacting on human livelihood, food security and agriculture trade and industry. It approved the draft National Environmental Management of Oceans policy to be released for public comment.

Once approved, this policy will enable South Africa in the next five years to complete the move from sectoral ocean management planning towards a coordinated sectoral environment management.

The policy responds to the primary mandate of developing and implementing policies that protect and conserve South Africa’s oceans environment and towards creating an open governance regime that facilitates and promotes sustainable development.

2.10 Outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 20 to 22 June 2012

Cabinet noted the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 20-22 June 2012.

This conference was aimed at securing renewed political commitment to sustainable development, assessing progress and implementation gaps and addressing new challenges.

Cabinet agreed that the relevant cluster realign the current National Green Economy Strategy that will integrate all National Green Economy initiatives.

Cabinet also approved that South Africa will be represented in the Working Group to be established by the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly to consider the development of the Sustainable Development Goals.

2.11 Submission of the Integrated Draft Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) Strategy, an overview of the salient outcomes of the 4th BRICS Summit to be hosted by South Africa

Cabinet approved the draft BRICS strategy which builds on the 4th BRICS Summit outcomes. The strategy is to guide the engagement of South Africa by identifying objectives and opportunities within this group of member countries. It unpacks the three levels of engagements at a domestic, regional and international level.

Cabinet further approved an Inter-Ministerial Committee to provide direction on the preparation for hosting the 5th BRICS Summit in South Africa in March 2013.

2.12 Approval of the mandate for the South African Delegation to the 11th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Sixth Meeting of the Conference of Parties serving as a Meeting of the Parties (COP/MOP6) of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

Cabinet noted and endorsed the key issues for South Africa to be considered at the Eleventh Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP11). It also endorsed South Africa’s position to the Sixth Conference of the Parties serving as a Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP/MOP6)

South Africa’s participation at the conference is invaluable given its status as one of the mega-diverse countries in the world. South Africa will give effect to Rio+20 outcomes and in particular, to the call for full implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity of 2011 to 2020.

Cabinet directed that a coordinated awareness and communication strategy be developed and implemented in order to inform South Africans about the importance of biodiversity and South Africa’s participation. The CBD will hold its 11th meeting in Hyderabad, India, from 08-19 October 2012.

2.13 Outcome of the Global African Diaspora Summit held from 23 to 25 May 2012.

Cabinet noted the outcome of the Global African Diaspora Summit held from 23 to 25 May 2012 in Sandton, South Africa. The Post-Summit Implementation Strategy is being finalised. Cabinet will be apprised of developments including progress on the way forward on the commitments to convene the African Diaspora Business Conference by the end of 2012.

Key achievements of the Summit were the adoption of the Summit Declaration which commits the African Heads of State and Government to a continuous dialogue with the African Diaspora and the adoption of the Legacy Project.

2.14 123rd International Olympic Committee Session held from 4 to 9 July 2012

Cabinet noted the report on the 123rd International Olympic Committee (IOC) session held in Durban from 4 to 9 July 2012.

This was an historical event for South Africa as it was the first time that the IOC hosted an event in Africa since its inception 117 years ago. The event attracted a lot of attention as the hosts of the 2018 Winter Olympics were announced as part of the programme for the session.

2.15 Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention: 26-28 September 2012, Gauteng, South Africa

Cabinet approved that South Africa host the International Conference on 26-28 September 2012 as part of the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the World Heritage Convention in Africa.

Taking place around the National Heritage Day, this conference will afford a unique opportunity to the African State Parties to develop an African Strategy and position with regards to world heritage and development.

3 BILL APPROVED

3.1 Employment Service Bill, 2012

Cabinet approved the Employment Service Bill, 2012 for tabling to Parliament.

This Bill seeks to repeal all the employment services provisions contained in the Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act No.97 of 1998).

These provisions are incorporated into the Bill and strengthened in order to provide a re-invigorated legal basis for the provision of public employment services.

The Bill repositions public employment services to play a major role in employment promotion and employment preservation and will assist employers and workers to adapt to changing labour market conditions.

The Bill also provides a legal basis for the establishment and functioning of Productivity South Africa and the Protected Employment Enterprises.

4 Appointment

4.1 Mr Lambona Ferdinand Aphane was appointed Deputy Director-General: Policy and Planning at the Department of Energy.

Enquiries:

Phumla Williams (Acting Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 083 501 0139

Issued by: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)
21 September 2012

 

 

 

 

 

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