Statement on Cabinet Meeting of 18 September 2013
1. Cabinet’s position on prominent issues in the current environment
1.1 Under President Jacob Zuma’s leadership, government is rolling out the country’s multitrillion-rand public infrastructure programme aimed at unlocking job opportunities and bringing services to all South Africans.
Through these programmes government is delivering on its commitment to create more jobs. Since the adoption of the New Growth Path employment has increased by 750 000, with just under half of these jobs, having been generated in the public service, especially amongst the ranks of health workers, teachers and the police.
These programmes prioritise small business development which is an important component for unlocking economic opportunities.
Cabinet expresses its gratitude to those sectors who are partnering with government to implement this massive infrastructure development drive and calls for further collaboration in fast-tracking efforts to create employment and transform the economy and our society.
As part of the public infrastructure roll-out President Jacob Zuma will on 20 September 2013 open the Grootvlei Power Station and inspect the railway line construction site in Mpumalanga.
Cabinet welcomed the construction of the new Sol Plaatjie University in Kimberley, Northern Cape which is expected to start before the end of September 2013. This is a major milestone in the growth and development of South Africa’s tertiary education sector. The sod turning event marked the official commencement on construction of the campus.
The development of the new university has been identified and prioritised within the Strategic Integrated Projects (SIP 14) by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Committee (PICC).
1.2 President Jacob Zuma together with his Cabinet will be honouring senior citizens of South Africa at Sefako M. Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Pretoria on 29 September 2013. This forms part of celebrating the contribution by our senior citizens to the development of our communities and country. This will mark the start of the Older Persons Week, ending on 6 October, which is Grandparents Day.
1.3 President Jacob Zuma will address the General Debate of the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA68) in New York on 24 September 2013.
This year’s theme is: “The Post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage!” and focuses on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target date of 2015, as well the Development Agenda going forward.
UNGA68 provides South Africa with a platform to advance our strategic approach towards achieving the MDGs and the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Our participation will also be informed by South Africa’s national interest and priorities, as well as our regional and continental commitments.
1.4 Cabinet condemns in the strongest terms the sabotage to the electricity grid by illegal strikers that resulted in power outages in parts of Johannesburg. Such acts at the time when the country is moving towards stabilising its electricity supply cannot be ignored and must be dealt with to the full extent of the law.
1.5 The release of South Africa’s annual 2012/13 National Crime Statistics reaffirms our conviction that working together we will reach our goal of a society that is free from crime, that attracts investment that ensure peace and stability in our communities.
Cabinet calls on all stakeholders to constructively engage with the findings. Government releases these statistics once a year primarily to provide the public with updated information on the fight against crime in the country, as well as to review of some of the current strategies in tackling crime. Crime statistics are also used daily as a management tool to guide operational plans for the South African Police Service (SAPS).
Cabinet commends the tireless efforts of the South African Police Service and all organised and community bodies which have partnered with government in the fight against crime. Cabinet calls upon all South Africans to join the fight against crime. Working together we will ensure a South Africa were South African feel safe and secure.
1.6 Cabinet expressed its grave concern at the recent spate of gruesome road traffic accidents. Such accidents have left some families destitute and they also have a serious negative impact on the economy. Cabinet calls upon all motorists to ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy and they take responsibility when get behind the wheel. To that extent Cabinet calls upon road traffic authorities to continue to main a zero tolerance towards unroadworthy vehicles and drank driving. Cabinet also calls upon pedestrians to respect the traffic laws.
1.7 Cabinet calls on all South Africans to celebrate Heritage Day, 24 September 2013 by visiting various sites of our rich and diverse heritage across the country in celebrating our 20 Years of Freedom. All South Africans, schools, businesses and communities are called upon to fly our flag high as a symbol of our celebration of 20 Years of Freedom and to support the ‘Freedom Friday’ campaign being launched on 20 September 2013.
1.8 Cabinet congratulates Lucas Sithole for winning the wheelchair quad singles title at the US Open Tennis Tournament in New York. Sithole's world ranking rose one spot to second following the victory, which was the first major International Tennis Federation title for an African and South African.
Cabinet calls on all South Africans to support our disabled athletes who continue to make our country proud by delivering a world-class performance and inspiring all of us to reach greater heights.
1.9 Cabinet welcomes the National Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Summit which will take place from 3 to 5 October 2013 under the theme: “A Decade of Economic Empowerment”.
The policy instrument of Black Economic Empowerment is essentially a growth strategy aimed at broadening the economic base of the country by targeting inequality which remains the weakest point of the South African economy.
The Summit will assess the progress of the implementation of BBBEE following the 10 year anniversary since the enactment of the BBBEE Act in 2003. Corporate stakeholders, trade union representatives, political parties and civil society organisations will participate in charting South Africa’s third iteration of black economic empowerment with the amended BBBEE Act and refined BBBEE Codes of Good Practice.
1.10 Cabinet applauds the Department of Social Development on their new service delivery improvement strategy called Project Mikondzo which will extend the reach of social services to the poor and vulnerable in every corner of South Africa.
During Social Development Month, the Department of Social Development together with its entities, the South African Social Security Agency and the National Development Agency, will continue to roll out Project Mikondzo in the 1 300 poorest wards in 23 District Municipalities as identified and prioritised by Cabinet.
1.11 Cabinet encourages South Africans to participate in the upcoming Imbizo Focus Week between 7 and 13 October 2013.
Following the success of the June 2013 National Imbizo Focus Week, this second Focus Week will provide a platform for the Political Principals to further engage with the public.
This period provides another avenue for citizens to engage face-to-face with Members of the Executive, to celebrate successes and to address challenges on implementation of government programmes. The venues and programme for the Week will be announced closer to the time.
2. Key Cabinet discussions and decisions
2.1 Cabinet approved the National Policy on Food and Nutrition Security, the Household Food and Nutrition Security Strategy and the Fetsa Tlala Food Production intervention.
The National Policy seeks to respond to the many challenges related to food insecurity in South Africa. It is supported by specific intervention strategies to tackle the challenges of household food shortages as well as increase food production, so as to end hunger by 2030. The Strategy and the Fetsa Tlala Food production are Inter-Departmental programmes that underpin the Policy.
A launch will be conducted to unpack the Policy and Programmes.
2.2 Cabinet approved the Framework for South Africa’s engagement with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for the period 2013/14-2016/17.
South Africa seeks to utilise this relationship to achieve three key objectives i) higher, inclusive economic growth, a prerequisite for addressing unemployment, poverty and inequality; ii) a skilled and capable workforce, to support the delivery of the national development targets; and iii) Advancing the African agenda, where South Africa will seek to exert greater influence of the global agenda from which African economies can derive benefit.
OECD countries remain key trade and investment partners for South Africa. It is estimated that OECD countries contributed more than 65% to global GDP in 2011.
The approach provides a framework for government departments to manage their respective engagements with the OECD. This enhanced coordination in government would enable optimal benefits to be derived from the partnership.
3.1 Cabinet approved the Employment Tax Incentive Bill to be released for public comment.
The bill introduces an incentive mainly aimed at encouraging employers to hire young and less experienced job seekers. The incentive is one among many that will fall under the umbrella of Government’s youth employment strategy and will complement existing government programmes.
The youth employment tax incentive targets young people entering the labour market and earning below the personal income tax threshold. In doing so, it targets lower skill, lower wage individuals who have low prospects of finding a job. The incentive will create conditions conducive to job creation and improve employment prospects for such marginalised workers. A planned briefing will be undertaken to unpack the Bill.
3.2 Cabinet approved the Draft Land Management Commission Bill, 2013 to be released for public comments.
Amongst others the Land Management Commission Bill, 2013 seeks to establish the Land Management Commission. The Land Management Commission will be required to adjudicate land ownership disputes in respect of which two or more title deeds may have been issued on the same land parcel.
The Commission will also be required to establish and maintain a government wide database of all state land registered in the name of a department including any surveyed unregistered state land.
3.3 Cabinet approved the submission of the Legal Aid Bill, 2013 to Parliament.
The Bill is intended to repeal the Legal Aid Act, 1969 (Act no.22 of 1969) in accordance with prevailing circumstances, particularly the new constitutional dispensation, and to streamline its application.
The Bill is intended to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of Legal Aid South Africa, which, in turn will have positive knock-on effects for society as a whole. It can be linked to the key targets of entrenching a social security system with social protection for the poor and other groups in need, and the realisation of a developmental, capable and ethical state that treats its citizens with dignity.
3.4 Cabinet approved the publication of the International Health Regulations Bill, 2013 in the Government Gazette for public comments.
The Bill seeks to repeal the International Health Regulations Act, 1974 (Act No. 28 of 1974) as well as to incorporate the International Health Regulations, 2005 into national legislation.
The International Health regulations (2005) is international law which helps countries collaborate to save lives and livelihoods from events caused by the international spread of diseases and other health risks.
3.5 Cabinet approved the introduction of the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill, 2012 to Parliament.
The Amendment Bill amends the Medicines and related Substances Act, 1965 (Act No. 101 of 1965) as amended by Act 72 of 2008. Access to quality, affordable and safe medicines and medical devices is a critical pillar of public health and contributes to the attainment of Government’s goal of increasing the life expectancy of South Africans.
3.6 Cabinet approved the publication of the Control of Marketing of Alcoholic Beverages Bill, 2013 in the Government Gazette for public comment.
Alcohol is a major impediment to reaching government’s outcome of a long and healthy life for all. The Bill seeks to reduce alcohol related harm through control of marketing of alcoholic beverages.
While government cannot ban alcohol it also cannot ethically permit encouragement of alcohol consumption by allowing the public and especially the youth to believe that their life will be enhanced when in fact for many it will have the opposite impact. This intervention should not be seen in isolation but as part of comprehensive measures by government to reduce alcohol-related harm.
A planned briefing will be undertaken to unpack the Bill.
3.7 Cabinet approved the gazetting of two Bills, which both amend the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005) as amended by Act 41 of 2007 in terms of Section 75 of the Constitution and Section 76, for public comment.
The bill seeks to insert a definition of sexual offence to ensure that any person convicted of any sexual offences as defined in the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related matters) Amendment Act, No. 32 of 2007, is deemed unsuitable to work with children.
The Bill also aligns the Act with a Constitutional Court judgment to provide for judicial review of a decision to remove and place a child in temporary safe care with or without a court order within a specific period of time.
The Children’s Second Amendment Bill, 2013 aims to ensure that all children enjoy services and benefits aimed at facilitating access to social care and safety and to create an effective social welfare system. It also seeks to provide a safe and protective environment for the placement of children who are found to be in need of care and protection.
4.1 Cabinet approved the following appointments at the Department of Water Affairs:
a) Mr. Johannes David Mahlangu to the post of Deputy Director-General: Corporate Services
b) Mr. Anil Bijman Singh to the post of Deputy Director-General: Regulations and Compliance
c) Ms Deborah Gabaakelwe Mochotlhi Deputy Director-General: Planning and Information
4.2 Cabinet approved the following appointments at the Department of Labour:
a) Ms Agnes Moiloa to the post of Chief Operations Officer.
b) Mr Thobile Maxin Lamati to the post Deputy Director General: Inspection and Enforcement Services
4.3 Cabinet approved the appointment of the following persons to the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) Board of Directors:
a) Dr Anna Mokgokong
b) Adv Mantshare Beatrice Matlejoane
c) Adv Thabani Masuku
d) Mr. Zukile Nomvete
e) Ms Seadimo Chaba
f) Mr. Ganelang Zeth Malele
g) Mr. Graeme Alvan Victor
h) Ms Nozipho January-Bardill
i) Ms Sindi Mabaso-Koyana
j) Ms Vuyokazi Felicity Mahlati
k) Mr Stadi Mngomezulu
l) Ms Michelle Oddette Williams
m) Mr David Clephane Niddrie (Representative from Communication)
n) Nkhangweleni Walter Mudau (Representative DPSA)
o) Mr Geoffrey Rothschild
4.4 Cabinet approved the reappointment of the following members to the Financial Services Board.
a) Ms Jabu Mogadime
b) Ms Hilary Wilton (Deputy Chairperson)
c) Professor Phillip J Sutherland
d) Ms Zarina Bassa
e) Ms Di Turpin
f) Mr Ismail Momoniat
g) Mr Olano Makhubela (Alternate)
h) Ms Dudu Msomi
i) Mr Abel Sithole (Chairperson)
4.5 Cabinet notes the reappointment of Ms Hlonela Lupuwana as the Chief Executive Officer of the Small Enterprise Development Agency for a period of five years.
4.6 Cabinet noted the re-appointment of Dr Prins Nevhutalu as the Chairperson of the Board to the National Metrology Institute of South Africa.
4.7 Cabinet approved the appointment of the following persons to the Defence Force Service Commission on a part time basis for a period not exceeding three years:
a) Ms Magirly Rebecca Mokoape;
b) Ms Lindiwe Daphney Zulu
c) Ms Dipuo Mvelase
Phumla Williams (Acting Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 083 501 0139
Issued by: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)
23 September 2013