Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 6 November 2013
1. Cabinet’s position on prominent issues in the current environment
1.1 Cabinet welcomed the Goldman Sachs report, Two Decades of Freedom, which is a detailed account of 10 areas in which South Africa has made structural advances since 1994 and 10 areas in which the country has to take decisive action.
The report is welcome confirmation of government’s own assessment of the performance of the country and it affirms the priorities for the future set out in the National Development Plan.
The report is a source of hope and inspiration and is an important contribution to public discourse at a time when South Africa has begun celebrating 20 Years of Freedom.
Government urges South Africans to work together and work hard to make South Africa even more successful and to concentrate their energies and conversations on these issues.
1.2 Cabinet welcomes the establishment of two new universities in the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga, the first to be built since the advent of democracy.
The Mpumalanga University will open in January 2014. This achievement reflects the importance government and all South Africans attach to education as part of the nation’s development. The new campus will also make it possible for Mpumalanga students to study close to home and will generate a range of economic activities centered on servicing the university and its population.
South Africa has made great advances in providing services and new institutions to the marginalized and needy communities. The destruction of these institutions reverses the significant gains we have all achieved during our new democracy.
1.3 Cabinet further welcomes the announcement that Eskom’s power plants Kusile and Medupi will deliver electricity in 2014.
The generating of electricity next year by Kusile and Medupi power plants will be another major milestone for the country’s development and will demonstrate government’s success in implementing a large-scale infrastructure development programme which is reshaping our economy and society.
Sustainable energy is vital for domestic and industrial customers and opens up new possibilities for growing the economy – which has been a priority for this administration since 2009. With so many projects of this kind in progress around the country, South Africa has taken a number of important steps along its new growth path, and all South Africans should celebrate our accomplishments.
1.4 Cabinet lauds the signing of the Treaty on the Grand Inga Hydropower Project, during the recent State Visit by President Jacob Zuma to the Democratic Republic of Congo. This project will extend energy access in Africa and present immense benefits for agriculture, mining and other sectors in the SADC region.
Once all the phases are complete, the project will bring renewable energy to half of the African continent. This project will stimulate job creation, skills development and technology transfers in participating countries and will benefit domestic and industrial users. This is vital for economic growth and competitiveness throughout the SADC region.
1.5 Cabinet encourages all South Africans, especially young and first-time voters, to exercise their democratic right by taking the first step of registering to vote on 9 and 10 November 2013
Our struggle for freedom secured the right for every South African to be active participants in our democratic system. We call on all South Africans to honour our history and to continue to strengthen the legitimacy of our democracy.
Cabinet calls all voters to ensure the 2014 elections achieve a large voter turnout, as we have seen in every election since 1994. All the offices of the Home Affairs will be open on the dates of registration to facilitate the process of registration with the necessary documentation.
1.6 Cabinet commends the more than 3,6 million taxpayers who have filed their tax returns to date, helping government to provide much-needed services to improve the lives of all South Africans. South Africa is a much better place today than it was in 1994, due to the growing number of individuals and companies who are willing and able to contribute to the public purse from which services and amenities are funded.
Cabinet reminds taxpayers who still have to submit their tax returns that the 22 November 2013 deadline for electronic filing of individual tax returns for the 2012/13 tax year is fast approaching.
1.7 Cabinet condemns the recent spate of violence, destruction of private and public properties and looting of goods in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and Western Cape. Cabinet commends the police for intervening and quelling the situation.
The destruction of public property deprives communities of much-needed public services and creates the additional burden of resources being diverted to restore and replace these services.
Government will not allow criminals to destroy structures and amenities where vital services are rendered. Vandalism helps no-one, and there is no logic to destroying one service in the course of demanding another.
Communities should fight all attempts by criminal elements to take the education of our children hostage by threatening to disrupt examinations.
We should build communities where we respect and help each other, rather than fear one another.
1.8 Cabinet expressed concern about the statements in the public regarding the South African Jews. Cabinet recognises the right of Palestinian people for self determination and the right of Israel to exist along side a Palestinian state.
Their endeavour to find a solution to the conflict which will be just should continue. The South African Jewish community should have nothing to fear. Government has not imposed a ban on travel to Israel by government officials.
1.9 Cabinet salutes the achievements of the South African athletes who competed in the recent New York City Marathon, where Paralympian Ernst van Dyk won second place in the wheelchair division, while Lusapho April came third in the men’s elite category. In addition, Don Oliver and Abraham Mouton finished in the top 60 in the hand cycle division.
2. Key Cabinet discussions and decisions
2.1 Cabinet approved that the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) host together with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) the 1st African Aerospace Medicine conference in February 2014. It will bring together regulatory authorities and Health Practitioners in the aerospace environment to discuss challenges confronting the sector.
Hosting the event will help to promote awareness and encourage African States to share information regarding aircrew performance, the safety of aircrew and passengers in flight as well as safety management.
Cabinet approved the following appointments:
3.1 Ms Kholofelo Glorious Sedibe to the post of Deputy Director-General: Leadership and Management Practices in the Office of the Public Service Commission (OPSC).
3.2 Board of the Human Sciences Research Council.
a. Ms Nasima Badsha (Chairperson)
b. Prof Relebohile Moletsane
c. Dr Botlhale Octavia Tema (re-appointment)
d. Prof Shireen Abdool Aziz Hassim
e. Prof Lulama Qalinge (re-appointment)
f. Prof Adebayo Olukoshi (re-appointment)
g. Prof Amanda Lourens (re-appointment)
h. Prof Enrico Orlando Uliana (re-appointment)
i. Adv Roshan Rai Dehal
j. Dr Mark Bussin
Phumla Williams, Acting Cabinet Spokesperson
Cell: 083 501 0139
Issued by: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)
07 November 2013