Cabinet Statement on Meeting of 23 October 2013
Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Cape Town on 23 October 2013.
1. Cabinet’s position on prominent issues in the current environment
1.1 Cabinet welcomed the progress we are seeing in the country’s public infrastructure roll-out campaign coordinated by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission. President Jacob Zuma recently launched a number of completed projects as part of the Infrastructure Development programme. These include work on the R81 and R71 roads in Limpopo, the Bridge City train station that will service Umlazi in Durban and the sod-turning ceremony at De Beers’ Venetia Mine in Vhembe, Limpopo.
The President is also due to launch other infrastructure programmes such as the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) in the Western Cape; pay a site visit to the De Hoop Dam, Limpopo, launch the first automotive wagons built in South Africa in the Eastern Cape, and officially open the Ladybrand Hospital in the Free State.
Cabinet also welcomed the progress on the Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town and Rustenburg Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems. This countrywide multi-trillion rand infrastructure programme is reshaping the economy and the transport system in our country.
These projects have had the effect of poising the economy for a higher growth trajectory and will continue to contribute to economic development and job creation.
1.2 Cabinet welcomes the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement presented by the Minister of Finance. Cabinet supports the austerity measures propose for government. These measures will go a long way in reducing any wastage in government spending. Such measures will ensure that government uses its resources effectively and efficiently. Cabinet calls on all national and provincial departments, municipalities, public entities and constitutional institutions to implement these measures.
1.3 Cabinet joined President Jacob Zuma and the South African public in condemning abuse, violence and neglect against children. Cabinet commended the law enforcement agencies for their swift action in recently reported cases.
As we mark National Children’s Day on 2 November, Cabinet urges all South Africans to protect children as they are our future leaders. Cabinet also calls on communities to continue to work with law enforcement agencies in fighting crime within communities.
We should also be mindful that the protection of children is the responsibility of parents and communities. We should offer assistance to mothers who needs help to raise their children.
1.4 Cabinet welcomed the announcement by Umalusi that the country is ready for the National Senior Certificate examinations from 28 October to 29 November 2013. Cabinet wishes all 707 136 candidates, including 130 000 part-time learners, well in their examinations.
Parents and guardians are urged to support their children as they prepare for their examinations. Cabinet calls on the Class of 2013 to make the country proud.
1.5 Cabinet welcomed the launch of Fetsa Tlala (End Hunger) food security programme by President Jacob Zuma in Kuruman in Northern Cape on 24 October 2013. The programme will assist communities to produce food on communal and other under-utilised land. It will support smallholder farmers with infrastructure, development of agro-processing and the development of new markets, including state procurement.
1.6 Cabinet welcomes the inaugural African Maritime Indaba which will take place in Sandton, Johannesburg, on 24 and 25 October 2013. The Indaba will be hosted by the South African Maritime Safety Authority and the maritime industry. The conference will provide a platform for various role-players to craft a development path for Africa’s maritime industries and establish a Pan-African Partnership for the development of Africa’s blue economy.
1.7 Cabinet noted the coming State Visit by President Zuma to the Democratic Republic of Congo on October 29 and 30 2013. The visit will strengthen our bilateral political and economic relations with the DRC and further enhance our commitment to peacekeeping efforts and the Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) programme in that country.
1.8 Cabinet calls on all South Africans to support National Disability Rights Awareness Month from 3 November to 3 December 2013, which also marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The month will be celebrated under the theme: “Break barriers, open doors: for an inclusive society for all”.
1.9 Cabinet noted with concern the resurgence of violence and hostilities in the Republic of Mozambique. Cabinet wishes to underscore that Mozambique has a legitimate government and that any insurgency undermines the sovereignty of the Mozambican government and its people. Cabinet condemns insurgent attacks in the strongest terms.
2. Key Cabinet discussions and decisions
2.1 Cabinet approved the ratification of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol. These amendments form part of the 2013-2020 global gas emission reduction efforts that set out to avert dangerous climate change while protecting the developmental priorities of developing countries.
2.2 Cabinet approved that South Africa’s Combined Initial and Periodic Reports under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights be submitted to the United Nations. The report is an evaluation of achievements and challenges associated with giving effect to civil and political rights contained in the Covenant and our Constitution. It has a particular focus on human dignity and the right to equality since the dawn of democracy in 1994.
3.1 Cabinet approved publication of the draft Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill, 2013 for public comments. The bill provides a legal framework for investments and addresses the legal protection of all investors in line with Constitutional requirements. The envisioned Act will enhance our ability to attract foreign investment and export growth to promote sustainable growth and development in South Africa. The draft Bill therefore seeks to achieve several balances between the rights and obligations of all investors in South Africa, the need to provide adequate and equal protection of foreign and domestic investors.
3.2 Cabinet approved the introduction of the Rental Housing Amendment Bill, 2013 to Parliament. The Bill addresses certain interpretation and implementation issues which surfaced since the promulgation of the Rental Housing Act, 1999 (Act No. 50 of 1999) (as amended in 2008). The legislation aims to promote a stable and growing market which progressively meets the latent demand for affordable rental housing amongst persons historically disadvantaged by unfair discrimination.
3.3 Cabinet approved the introduction of the Attorney’s Amendment Bill, 2013 to Parliament. The Bill amends the Attorneys Act, 1979 (Act 53 of 1979), as an interim measure, pending the enactment and implementation of the Legal Practice Bill. It addresses disparities in relation to attorneys and candidate attorneys and also does away with law societies created in terms of jurisdictional boundaries of the defunct homeland system (Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Ciskei and Venda). The amendments will ensure the uniform regulation of the attorneys’ profession throughout the country and will strengthen governance of the legal profession in the mentioned areas.
3.4 Cabinet approved the introduction of the State Attorney Amendment Bill, 2013 to Parliament. The aim of the Bill is to amend the State Attorney Act, 1957 (Act 56 of 1957). The amendments provide strategic leadership for the management of and oversight over State Legal Services. It aims to facilitate the appointment of a Solicitor-General who will be in charge of all the State Attorneys and provide for related matters, as an initial step in the implementation of the Policy Framework for the Transformation of State Legal Services.
3.5 Cabinet approved the submission of the Draft Property Valuation Bill, 2013 to Parliament. The Bill makes provision for the establishment of a Valuer-General’s Office. This office will provide a valuation service for property that has been identified for expropriation and land reform purposes, as well as voluntary property valuation service to departments that may request the office to perform such valuations.
3.6 Cabinet approved the revised draft of the Infrastructure Development Bill to Parliament. The Bill establishes in law the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating commission (PICC) and the National Infrastructure Plan as key mechanisms to coordinate and drive infrastructure development in South Africa. The Infrastructure Development Bill provides a legal framework for the build programme and helps improve its developmental outcomes and effectiveness.
3.7 Cabinet approved the Draft Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill, 2013 for tabling in Parliament. The Bill seeks to establish a legislative framework for the values of non-racialism, non-sexism and equality as contemplated in the Constitution. It also seeks to promote the empowerment of women, their equal representation in decision-making structures and their protection and advancement as envisaged in Section9 (2) of the Constitution.
3.8 Cabinet approved the submission of the Public Administration Management Bill, 2013 to Parliament. The Bill is the framework that seeks to provide for the promotion of basic values and principles referred to in section 195(1) of the Constitution in the public administration; provide for the transfer and secondment of employees in public administration; regulate the prohibition of employees to conduct business with the state; provide for ethics and integrity measures which includes the establishment of a Public Administration Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit. The Bill is applicable to public servants in all spheres of government.
4.1 Cabinet approved the following appointments to the Board of Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) for a period of three years:
- Dr Ivor Mzwandile Zwane (Chairperson)
- Dr Tebogo Job Mokgoro (non-executive member)
- Mr Thakhani Makhuvha (non-executive director)
4.2 Cabinet approved the extension of the employment contract of Ms TE Radebe as Chief Executive Officer for the Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI).
4.3 Cabinet noted the extended term of office for 21 members of the South African Council for the Natural Scientific Professions for a period of six months:
- Dr CJ Augustyn
- Mr N Baloyi
- Prof ELJ Breet
- Prof NH Casey
- Dr F Dilika
- Dr MM Dyasi
- Dr JF Eloff
- Dr I Gledhill
- Mr OSD Garegae
- Mr P Govender
- Mr TP Govender
- Dr G Henry
- Dr BH Koch
- Mr BS Maloka
- Dr P Matutu
- Dr S Naidoo
- Prof BK Reilly
- Prof HJ Siweya
- Dr ME Stalmans
- Prof C Van der Westhuizen, and
- Dr G Botha
Phumla Williams (Acting Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 083 501 0139
Issued by: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)
24 October 2013