Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 7 August 2013
1. Cabinet’s position on prominent issues in the current environment
1.1. Cabinet congratulated the people of Zimbabwe and political parties on holding successful harmonised parliamentary and local elections.
Cabinet commended the efforts of President Jacob Zuma as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Facilitator on the Zimbabwe Dialogue in ensuring that all political parties were committed to peaceful elections.
1.2. Cabinet condemned the bomb attack on a building housing the Turkish Embassy staff in Mogadishu, Somalia, and expressed condolences to the Governments and people of Somalia and Turkey.
1.3. On the eve of our 20 Years of Freedom, Cabinet joins the nation in celebrating Women’s Month under the theme “A Centenary of Working Together towards Sustainable Women Empowerment and Gender Equality”.
The centenary honours the struggles waged by women since the distinguished activist, Charlotte Maxeke, led a group of women on a march in Bloemfontein against pass laws in 1913.
The contribution made by women in fighting pass laws and in other facets of the liberation struggle is an important part of the inspiration behind the recently launched Smart ID Card. As the nation celebrates women, Cabinet also calls on all South Africans to take a stand against any abuse of women and children and to respect the rights of women as enshrined in our Constitution.
1.4. Cabinet reiterated President Jacob Zuma’s earlier thank you to the nation and the international community for making Nelson Mandela International Day the biggest Madiba birthday celebration to date. On July 18, thousands of people around South Africa and the world took time to roll up their sleeves and help less fortunate people.
Cabinet called on South Africans to support the inaugural Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, on 17 August. The Springboks will play Argentina, Bafana Bafana will take on Burkina Faso and a South African Masters football side will play Italy, followed by a star-studded music concert in the evening.
All proceeds will go to the Nelson Mandela children’s hospital project.
Cabinet reiterated the call to South Africans to “Take Action; Inspire Change (and) Make Every Day a Mandela Day”.
Cabinet continues to call on all South Africans to continue keeping former President Nelson Mandela in their thoughts and prayers as he responds to medical treatment.1.5. Cabinet is saddened by the passing of former Chief Justice Pius Langa who was laid to rest on 3 August 2013 during a Special Official Funeral. Cabinet offers condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
Former Chief Justice Pius Langa will be remembered for his contribution to the liberation Struggle, his defence of our constitutional democracy and, more recently, his work in the Press Freedom Commission.
1.6 Cabinet recognises the positive developments in the education sector, in particular the strengthening of the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) and the continued support from teachers in its implementation. Cabinet welcomed the establishment of the Task Team assigned to manage the implementation of the South African Sign Language (SASL) curriculum in 2014 from Grades R to 12, in line with the President’s call to have the sign language declared as official. The new curriculum will provide greater access to education opportunities for all.
1.7 Cabinet calls on the 2013 matriculants to register now at tertiary institutions for 2014 in line with the Department of Higher Education and Training’s Apply Now! Khetha campaign.
Learners are encouraged to carefully consider their career choices and assess their financial requirements. Learners are reminded about government’s National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) which provides financial aid to academically deserving and financially needy students.
1.8 Cabinet congratulates the launch of the 24-hour television news channel by the South African Broadcasting Corporation which responds to the ever-increasing demand for up-to-date news broadcasts on events of national and international importance and gives a voice and platform to all South Africans.
1.9 Cabinet congratulates swimmers Cameron van der Burgh, Chad le Clos and Giulio Zorzi who made the country proud by winning medals at the 15th International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Championships in Barcelona.
1.10 Cabinet extended its well wishes to the Muslims of South Africa as they celebrate Eid. Cabinet also wishes the South African Jewish Community a happy month of Elul.
2 Key Cabinet discussions and decisions
2.1 Cabinet approved the commencement of the consultation process for the National Water Policy Positions by the Department of Water Affairs.
The purpose of this policy review is to determine and rectify any unintended consequences and gaps in current water policies.
This is aimed at achieving Government’s objective of equitable and sustainable access to water.
The revised policy positions will assist in reallocating water to amongst others previously disadvantaged water users. It will also ensure that no water infrastructure circumvent communities, especially rural communities without water resources.
2.2 Cabinet approved the publication of the National Intellectual Property Policy, for public comment for a period of 30 days.
The Policy aims to holistically align and address the various issues relating to intellectual property, which cut across various disciplines, including: trade, science, agriculture and health. There is therefore a need for a one-policy approach at national and international level from Government.
2.3 Cabinet approved the policy framework for citizen-based monitoring titled “A framework for Strengthening Citizen-Government partnerships for Monitoring Frontline Service Delivery”.
Government departments involved in service delivery to the public, are required to, adjust their monitoring and evaluation frameworks to include mechanisms for incorporating the views and experiences of citizens on service delivery. This lays the foundation for incorporating citizen-based monitoring into government’s monitoring approach.
In this framework, citizen-based monitoring describes an approach to monitoring government performance that focuses on the experiences of ordinary citizens in order to strengthen public accountability and drive service delivery improvements.
2.4 Cabinet approved the Principles of Public Administration and Financial Management Delegations.
The Principles provide a guide to how the powers of an Executive Authority are delegated to an Accounting Officer and further to lower structures as prescribed in the Public Service Act (PSA) and the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA).
The Principles make the process of delegating powers easier, which will promote more efficient and effective service delivery.
The Minister of Public Service and Administration will further unpack the Principles and its implications at a later stage.
2.5 Cabinet has approved the following treaties to be assented to Parliament in terms of Section 231 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa: Firstly, South Africa’s accession to the Agreement for the establishment of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), Secondly the Convention for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) and; Thirdly the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Port State Measures Agreement to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing.
The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has also joined this briefing to elaborate on the value that this would bring to both the fishing industry and its contribution to growing our economy.
2.6 Cabinet endorsed that South Africa will host the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Abidjan Convention in Cape Town from 24-28 March 2014.
The Abidjan Convention is one of the 18 Regional Seas Conventions where action plans were created by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as part of the implementation of the 1972 Stockholm Agenda.
The Convention provides a legal framework for regional cooperation amongst States concerned to undertake collaborative actions towards solving interlinked problems of the coastal and marine environment that they share.
The highest decision-making organ of the Abidjan Convention is the Conference of Parties (COP), a biennial meeting that brings together the Ministers of Environment and technical experts from Contracting parties, as well as observer states, other United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations.
2.7 Cabinet was briefed on the report of the South African delegation’s participation at the 57th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, held from 4 to 15 March 2013.
The 57 session was held at the UN Headquarters in New York, and the priority theme was “Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls”.
Several commitments were made and adopted as resolutions by the participants on ending violence against women and girls. Cabinet called on all government departments to contribute towards the implementation of these commitments.
2.8 Cabinet approved the submission of the South African Mid-term Global AIDS Review progress report to the United Nation General Assembly. The report responds to the Political Declaration on 10 HIV/AIDS targets derived from a set of core indicators. Cabinet commended the department of Health for a report that shows South Africa is on track to achieve the majority of the core indicators by the set 2015 deadline.
2.9 Cabinet was briefed on the implementation of Section 100 (1) (b) intervention in the Limpopo Province. They were apprised on the key findings on the diagnostic report, the proposed interventions made and progress made to date. They were further apprised on the outstanding matters that still require finalization.
As of 31 July 2013 the credit balance was R3.3bn compared to an overdraft of R1, 7b when it went under administration in December 2011.
Having appreciated the corrective measures put in place in the five departments that are under administration, Cabinet approved that the Ministerial Committee can commence the six month transitional process of handing over the administration of Limpopo to the Premier and his new Executive.
Cabinet agreed that further investigations should continue on matters that seek to establish irregularities and where people are found to have flouted procurement procedures the due disciplinary process will take effect. A fuller briefing by the Ministerial Committee will take place at an appropriate time.
3.1 Cabinet approved the introduction of the Legal Metrology Bill to Parliament.
The Bill is meant to guide all measurement made by industry when trading using scales, meters and other measuring equipment are accurate. The Bill aims to promote fair trade, and to protect public health and safety and the environment. This Bill will further address the inconsistencies of the current Trade Metrology Act (1973)
The Bill is a key element in the optimization of the South African technical Infrastructure comprising of Standards, Quality Assurance, Accreditation and metrology System (SQAM).
3.2 Cabinet approved the introduction of the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill, 2012 to Parliament.
The Bill amends the Medicines and related Substances Act, 1965 (Act No. 101 of 1965) as amended by Act 72 of 2008. The Bill seeks to establish a strong, efficient and effective medicine regulatory authority.
Cabinet approved the following appointments:
4.1 Professor Edith Veronica Vries appointed as Director-General (DG) at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
4.2 Ms Duduzile Charity Baby Mbongwa appointed as Deputy Director-General (DDG): Strategy and Operations in The Presidency.
4.3 Ms Loraine Elzabe Rossouw appointed as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
4.4 Cabinet concurs with the recommendation to the President to appoint Professor Fiona Tregenna as a part-time member of the Competition Tribunal for a period of five (5) years from 1 July 2013.
4.5 Cabinet noted the following appointments to serve on the Board of the Small Enterprise Development Agency (seda) for a period of 3 years with effect 1 September 2013 to 31 August 2016.
a) Dr Ivor Zwane (re-appointment)
b) Dr Marius Venter (re-appointment)
c) Mr Mojalefa Mohoto (dti representative)
4.6 Cabinet noted the appointment of Ms Thabang Sophie (Peppy) Kekana as a member of the National Lotteries Board for a period of 5 years with effect from 1 September 2013 to 30 August 2018.
Phumla Williams (Acting Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 083 501 0139
Issued by: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)
12 August 2013