Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 3 September 2014
1. Implementation of Key Government Programmes
1.1. Cabinet welcomes the official opening by President Zuma of the Dr Harry Surtie Hospital in Upington, Northern Cape, on 2 September 2014. This comes four days after another new hospital was opened by Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi in Natalspruit, Gauteng. These are amongst many important milestones in government’s national infrastructure programme which will see 43 hospitals and 213 clinics built over the next five years to meet the needs of the National Health Insurance system.
1.2. Cabinet commends the recent arrests and seizures under Project Darling and the arrest of a gang suspected of truck hijackings. Project Darling resulted in the recovery of illegal diamonds and the seizure of R50 million in assets, 15 homes and R43 million in foreign currency.
Later this month the police will release the annual crime statistics. These figures are based on the actual number of cases reported to the Police, and will reflect successes and challenges.
The publication of these figures allows us to engage in informed discussion on how to strengthen the partnerships with society around government’s comprehensive anti-crime strategic interventions. For the country to be successful in fighting crime, Cabinet urges communities to play their part in reporting crime and supporting community safety forums as the fight against crime calls for community-wide effort.
Government condemns the brutal attacks we have seen against members of the South African Police Services while on duty. On Sunday, 7 September 2014 government will honour and pay tribute to these police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. Cabinet invites the nation to pay tribute these officers who died while trying to enforce the law.
1.3. Cabinet welcomes the announcement of a R2 billion aqua-farming facility at the Coega Industrial Development Zone in the Eastern Cape which will allocate 80 hectares to abalone farming by 2020 and create about 2 080 permanent jobs. This project is part of Operation Phakisa that seeks to unlock the economic potential of South Africa’s oceans. The project has a potential to contribute in the economy by about R177 billion and create up to one million jobs by 2033. Cabinet encourages more investors to partner with Government in new economic growth opportunities.
1.4. Cabinet appreciates the presence of a team of South African medical experts in the West African States of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia who are helping to fight the spread of the Ebola Virus. This team of highly trained specialists is equipped with a mobile laboratory and has been there for the past two (2) weeks assisting to diagnose the disease throughout that Region.
1.5. Cabinet welcomes the launch of Phase 1A, project named the Pongolapoort Bulk Water Supply. The venture estimated to cost R1,5 billion will result in the supply of potable water and the installation of bulk water and reticulation networks to 134 864 people within 16 200 households. The project will bring water to the community of Jozini Local Municipality, in KwaZulu-Natal.
2. Key Cabinet decisions
2.1. Cabinet approved the release of the draft Integrated Urban Development Framework for consultation with key stakeholders and for intergovernmental interaction. This will seek consensus on the agenda for urban transformation in South Africa. The Framework responds to President Jacob Zuma’s calls for a national integrated urban development framework to deal with the legacy of apartheid spatial patterns and to assist municipalities to effectively manage rapid urbanisation. The vision of the Framework is to promote liveable, inclusive and resilient cities and towns. It will address the legacy of spatial separation on racial and economic bases and create a more integrated, cohesive cities and towns.
2.2. Cabinet approved South Africa’s National Report on Housing and Urban Development which will be presented to the United Nation’s Conference (HABITAT III) in 2016. The first UN preparatory conference will be held on the 17th and 18th September 2014. This report is expected to generate a ‘New Urban Agenda’ for the 21st century to deal with challenges confronting developing and developed countries, acknowledging the increasingly important role of cities in global issues such as climate change, disasters, economic development and human rights. Preparations for Habitat III come at a time when South Africa is developing its Integrated Urban Policy Framework and commencing preparations for our Green paper on Human Settlements.
2.3. Cabinet approved the establishment of the State Property Management Agency which will oversee the management of the government property. This will be a Government Component entity under the custodianship of the Minister of Public Works. Minister Nxesi will expand more on this issue.
2.4. Cabinet approved the amended Policy on the appointment of Insolvency Practitioners which will be published by notice in the Government Gazette. The focus of the Policy is to promote consistency, fairness, transparency and the achievement of equality for persons previously disadvantaged by unfair discrimination. The biggest change that is being introduced by the amendment is the removal of the system called Requisition with a view to advance transformation. The policy will only apply to appointments made in terms of the Insolvency Act, the Companies Act and the Close Corporations Act.
3.1. Cabinet approved that the Expropriation Bill, 2014 be tabled in Parliament. The Expropriation Act, 1975 predates the Constitution, 1996 making it imperative to align the overarching legislation governing the expropriation of property to the values and provisions of the Constitution. Minister Nxesi will expand more on this issue.
4. Cabinet’s position on current issues
4.1. Cabinet is encouraged by the positive economic growth recorded in the second quarter of the year in spite of difficult economic conditions in the country and abroad. The pace of economic expansion remains too weak to address our challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment. Government is fast-tracking the implementation of the National Development Plan to address our structural challenges, increase permanently our growth potential and create jobs for our people. In this regard, our investment in infrastructure – electricity, transport, water, roads, schools and hospitals - builds a platform for faster, more inclusive economic growth.
The annual volume of capital investment by public enterprises has increased by more than 260 per cent in real terms over the past 10 years. Local government’s annual infrastructure spending has doubled in real terms since the late 1990s. The public sector has invested over R1 trillion in infrastructure since 2009/10. We expect that growth in the second half of the year will be stronger as the mining and manufacturing sectors recover. And government will continue to work with business and labour to create an environment, which is conducive to investment and economic growth.
4.2. Cabinet condemn the recent acts and statements that incite violence which go against our constitutional values and threaten to erode the gains that we have made as a country. The recent spate of the vandalising of buses in the Western Cape is also condemned in the strongest terms.
Cabinet commends parents who took it upon themselves to ensure that children go back to school in the Northern Cape. Cabinet thanks parents for intervening on the future of their children and appeals that the interest of the children should never again be compromised or be used to bargain for community issues. Cabinet encourages South Africans to safeguard the country’s reputation on its ability to engage in constructive dialogue and to resolve issues irrespective of who is involved so as to move South Africa Forward.
4.3. Cabinet welcomes the decisive actions by the SADC organ on Peace and Security in the recent Lesotho political crises and reiterates its unconditional support for the SADC position that rejects all attempts to unconstitutional changes of government. Cabinet therefore calls on all role players to work together to restore democratic order in Lesotho and fully implement the Road Map agreed with the SADC organ.
4.4. Cabinet noted the resignation of the Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Advocate Pansy Tlakula. Her resignation comes against the backdrop of a successful 2014 General Election which she managed. She contributed immensely to ensure our democracy remains strong. Cabinet express its gratitude to the contribution made by Adv Tlakula and extends its thanks for her selfless contribution to our democracy and wishes her well.
4.5. Cabinet welcomes the judgment by the Constitutional Court which is an affirmation that the government’s affirmative action policy is correct. Government remains steadfast in its programme to redress the social inequalities especially within the working environment. This ruling also confirms that indeed affirmative action together with other employment equity laws promote transformation and empower the previously disadvantaged.
5. Upcoming events
5.1. The Department of Basic Education will conduct the fourth Annual National Assessments (ANA) from 16 to 19 September 2014 to track progress of learning outcomes among Grades 1 - 6 and Grade 9 as part of the efforts to improve the quality of education. This year (2014) the Department of Basic Education will also pilot the assessment of a sample of learners in Grades 7 and 8 and the decision on this assessment will be taken in 2015.
The ANA generates standardised evidence to monitor the success of various Government interventions to improve literacy and numeracy among learners and also enables teachers to identify areas that require additional support. Cabinet encourages parents and guardians to support their children and to ensure that the results are used to address any development areas. The ANA timetable and resources for 2014 is on available on: www.education.gov.za
5.2. The Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Gugile Nkwinti will host the 2014 Land Tenure Summit at Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre, Boksburg from 4 to 6 September 2014. The Summit will focus on measures to reverse the country’s colonial and apartheid past which caused more than 75 per cent of the black population to be landless, property-less, unskilled and without secure tenure rights. Cabinet urges stakeholders to work with Government and to implement commitments to address the issue of secure tenure rights.
5.3. The Public Service Month programme from 1 to 30 September 2014 under the theme “Reinventing the Way Public Servants Work: Batho Pele ‘Putting People First’”, will focus on intensifying especially frontline service delivery. Cabinet calls on South Africans to honour exceptional public servants or Government institutions by nominating them for the National Batho Pele Excellence Awards before the closing date of 30 September 2014.
5.4. Heritage month is celebrated from 1 – 30 September 2014 under the theme “Celebrating 20 Years of Democracy: Tell Your Story that Moves South Africa Forward”. Cabinet encourages South Africans to celebrate our rich natural and cultural heritage, diverse beliefs and traditions as a people united in pursuit of a shared identity. This year’s Heritage Month takes place against the backdrop of our 20 Years of Freedom celebrations which also reinforces our collective memory of the struggle towards promoting a national identity.
Cabinet encourages South Africans, in particular the youth to embrace South Africa's common heritage and use our diverse cultural heritage to foster nation building, inclusive citizenship and social cohesion. South Africans are also urged to explore our natural heritage by visiting national parks free of charge from 8 to 12 September 2014 as part of the 9th annual South African National Parks (SANParks) Week. Cabinet also supports the call by Parliament for all South Africans to protect our national heritage.
5.5. Cabinet wishes the Bafana Bafana well ahead of the two crucial games against Sudan on 05 September in Khartoum which is a qualifier for next year’s continental showpiece and Nigeria on 10 September 2014 in Cape Town. Cabinet also congratulates Banyana Banyana and Amajita and wish them well ahead of the major tournaments they will be playing. Banyana Banyana will be playing in the 9th edition of the African Women’s Championships which will be staged in Namibia during the month of October, and are also on the verge of qualifying for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. While Amajita, the under 20 National team have qualified for the 2015 African champions in Senegal. Cabinet urges South Africans to rally behind this teams in their quest for glory.
Cabinet welcomes participants from across the world who will be attending the 4th Kyokushin Karate World Cup tournament to be held on 6 September 2014 at the Luthuli International Convention Centre, Durban. The tournament will be officially opened by President Jacob Zuma and seeks to promote karate as a sport to the youth given its benefits in instilling self-discipline, self-defence, focus and also in promoting social crime prevention.
5.6. The Competition Commission will convene the Eighth Annual Conference and Fifteen-Year Celebration from 4 – 5 September 2014. The conference will be officially opened by Minister Ebrahim Patel welcoming delegates, including those from competition agencies around Africa and one regional competition agency, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Competition Commission.
6.1. Cabinet concurred with the appointment of Mr Attwell Sibusiso Makhanya as the Chief Executive Officer of Mhlathuze Water.
Phumla Williams, Acting Cabinet Spokesperson
Cell: 083 501 0139
Issued by: Government Communications
04 September 2014