Statement on Cabinet Meeting held on 18 February 2015
1. Implementation of Key Government Programmes
1.1. Cabinet welcomes President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address, which afforded South Africans an opportunity to hear government Programme of Action. Government calls on all stakeholders across the country to Work Together on the nine-point plan in order to ignite growth and create jobs. To ensure that South Africans better understand government’s Programme of Action, post-State of Nation Address communication initiatives have been put in place to provide details on the announcements made by the President. These include the Ministerial Cluster Media briefings held from 15 to 24 February 2015.
In addition, the 2015/16 Budget Speech scheduled for the 25 February 2015 will highlight the allocation of resources to the various government programmes as emphasised by the President.
Cabinet condemns the unruly and un-parliamentary conduct of some Members of Parliament during the opening of Parliament.
It is disappointing that these elected public representatives chose to dishonor the sacrifices and struggle made to realise our hard-earned democracy.
1.2 Cabinet was briefed on the progress made with the oceans economy Operation Phakisa. The ‘Lab’ or planning phase took place in Durban during July and August 2014 and resulted in the production of detailed ‘three feet plans’ to grow the ocean economy. The Operation has now entered an implementation phase, which involves the monitoring and project managing the implementation. Delivery units have been established and monitoring and escalation mechanisms and processes are in place.
Briefing was also provided on a second Operation Phakisa led by the Department of Health, focusing on Ideal Clinic Realisation and Maintenance which is underway and was launched by the President on 18 November 2014.
1.3 Cabinet approved the National Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Framework Strategy. The Strategy focuses on the advancement and promotion of health outcomes of which the sexual and reproductive health of young people is central. The strategy will further ensure an improved coordination, synergy and alignment with the programme of government, civil society and development partners that already work in the area of adolescent sexual and reproductive health. The Inter-Ministerial committee for the Population Policy will oversee the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of this Strategy.
1.4 Cabinet approved the publication of the draft Early Childhood Development Policy in the Government Gazette. This forms part of the South African Integrated Programme of Action for Early Childhood Development – Moving ahead 2013-2016, approved by Cabinet on 18 September 2013. The Policy provides a framework for government’s accountability to provide a comprehensive package of quality Early Childhood Development services that would be universally available in sufficient quantities and proximity so that all children enjoy an equal opportunity to access them.
The policy also introduces a number of new services to fill gaps identified in the range of services currently available especially within the first 1 000 days of a child’s life.
Cabinet also approved the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC), which will ensure a coherent and coordinated approach. It will be chaired by the Minister of Social Development.
1.5 Cabinet approved the release of the Draft First Periodic Country report on the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, for public comment for a period of 20 days. The report covers the period April 2012- March 2013.
1.6 Cabinet approved that South Africa participates in the International Map Year in 2015 and 2016 by organising events at a national level with a view to increase the level of map awareness and literacy in South Africa. Maps help to understand problems and possibilities, such as the provision of housing, sustaining natural resources, managing risk and facilitating timely and comprehensive transportation infrastructure. Understanding geospatial information informs planning and decision making for the development of South Africa.
2. Key Cabinet decisions
2.1 Cabinet approved the Directive on the implementation of competency based assessments for member of the Senior Management (SMS), issued in terms of Chapter 4 part II (d) and Chapter 4, part VI of the Public Service Regulations, 2001.
The amended Directive promotes the independent identification of SMS Member’s developmental gaps, introduces the use of technical exercises and provides guidance on how departments can utilize the competency assessment results in conjunction with all other processes of recruitment and selection.
2.2 Cabinet approved the hosting of the National Imbizo Focus Week from 7 to 12 April 2015 under the theme “Together we move South Africa forward”.
The Week will be characterized by door-to-door household profiling; walkabout or project visits; stakeholder dialogues; community engagements; as well as commercial and community media engagements. These provide principals with a platform to interact directly with South Africans, hear community issues first-hand and monitor progress of government programmes.
3.1 Cabinet approved the publication of the draft Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill in the Government Gazette as well as a public consultation process. The primary objective of this Bill is to facilitate the protection of Indigenous Knowledge and the restoration and recognition of Indigenous knowledge relating to and owned by indigenous and local communities in South Africa. It facilitates redress of rights and benefits that indigenous and local communities were deprived off.
3.2 Cabinet approved the publication of the Firearm Control Amendment Bill, 2015 in the Government Gazette for public comments. The Bill amends the Firearm Control Act, 2000 and responds to the Vision of the National Development Plan by seeking to improve the statutory and regulatory framework that will govern firearms. Control of firearms is an important aspect of government’s approach to fighting crime.
4. Cabinet’s Position on Current Issues
4.1 Cabinet urges communities and organized structures to work with government, under the leadership of the Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, to ensure the challenges around Malamulele in Limpopo are resolved. Cabinet condemns the disruption of schooling by some groups as a way of raising grievances. This robbed children of their right to education and denied some the right to register for their Grade 12 supplementary examinations. The establishment of a municipality in Malamulele should be within the confines of the law as prescribe by the Demarcation Board.
4.2 Cabinet condemns attacks on foreign nationals as criminal activity and reiterates that law enforcement agencies will not hesitate to act decisively against anyone found to incite such violence. No amount of economic hardship and discontent can justify criminal activity associated with these attacks. South Africa is a signatory to the Geneva Protocol on Refugees and is committed to protect all foreign nationals in the country. As a signatory to this Protocol, and as a country that cherishes human rights, we will protect the basic rights of every human being within our borders, including foreign nationals.
4.3 Cabinet approved the tabling in Parliament for ratification, the Treaty Establishing the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement and Agreement on the New Development Bank. The Contingent Reserve Arrangement is being established to respond to short-term balance of payment pressures. Further, it will serve as a precautionary measure to help the BRICS countries forestall short-term liquidity pressures, provide mutual support and further strengthen the global financial safety net.
4.4 Cabinet notes the handover of the Chairperson of the South African component of the BRICS Business Council from Mr Patrice Motsepe to Mr. Brian Molefe. Mr. Mostepe was the inaugural chair of both the South African component and the BRICS Business Council as a whole. During his tenure, Mr. Motsepe succeeded in establishing this important body as an integral component of the BRICS architecture and served as chair with distinction. Cabinet thanks Mr. Motsepe for his service and wishes Mr. Molefe well as he takes over this important task.
4.5 Cabinet commends the National Cricket team for their performance at the Cricket World Cup and wishes them well as the entire country rallies behind them for the tournament underway in Australia and New Zealand.
4.6 Cabinet congratulates the flute player Wouter Kellerman who won the Grammy Award for best new age album. Mr Kellerman recorded Winds of Samsara with Indian composer Ricky Kej, which earned them the award for their collaboration.
4.7 Cabinet expresses its gratitude to all energy consumers for responding to the call to decrease the usage of electricity. The process to address the energy challenges is receiving the highest priority attention. The War Room established by Cabinet in December 2014 led by the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is moving to fast-track the implementation of a five-point plan to turn the current situation around.
4.8 Cabinet joins the President Zuma in conveying its condolences to the family and friends of the Afrikaans literary giant Professor André P. Brink. He will be remembered as one of the key Afrikaans authors who used his literary talent to speak out against the apartheid regime.
5. Upcoming events
5.1 Cabinet reiterates the call by President Jacob Zuma for all parties in Lesotho to act in a manner that creates a climate conducive for the holding of elections that are peaceful, transparent, credible, and free and fair, thus reflecting the will of the people.
Cabinet also expresses its confidence in the ongoing facilitation work of the SADC Observer Mission to Lesotho under the leadership of Deputy President Ramaphosa. As part of the decisions of the SADC Troika Heads of State and Government, South Africa will play its part by leading and forming part of the SADC Election Observer Mission to the Kingdom of Lesotho, for the scheduled election on 28 February 2015.
5.2 The Commander in Chief of the South African National Defence Force, President Jacob Zuma will be the main officiating functionary at the Armed Forces Day Celebration under the theme “A professional and capable defence force for the people of South Africa” on 21 February 2015, in Potchefstroom, North West. Armed Forces Day is celebrated annually in honour of the men and women in uniform who selflessly serve the nation at home and abroad.
5.3 Cabinet encourages all employers who have complied with the Employment Equity (EE) Act to enter the Employment Equity Awards 2015 before the closing date of 13 March 2015.
This event hosted by the Commission for Employment Equity, recognises employers who have implemented strategies that ensure employment equity and diversity, while eliminating all unfair discriminatory practices.
5.4 Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom will deliver the opening address at Meetings Africa taking place at Sandton Convention Centre from 23 to 25 February 2015 under the theme: “Advancing Africa Together”. This is the South Africa National Convention Bureau’s premier business trade show, which brings together African exhibitors and prospective international clients.
5.5 Cabinet approved the hosting by South Africa of the World Economic Forum (WEF) - Africa, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTCC) from 3 to 5 June 2015. The theme will be “Then and Now: Reimagining Africa’s future”. WEF-Africa is a regionally focused economic forum that provides an opportunity for local and regional businesses and investors interested in the region, to exchange and even explore possible partnership with governments.
The WEF-Africa meeting will provide South Africa with an added opportunity to actively engage and lobby African leaders, international and regional businesses on possible interventions to integrate the region and enhanced growth in South Africa and the region.
Cabinet approved the following appointments subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance:
6.1 Extension of the contract for three years of Dr Mphathi Philemon Mjwara as the Director-General: Department of Science and Technology.
6.2 Mr Pule Godfrey Selepe as the Director-General of the Department of Transport.
6.3 Ambassador Nonceba Nancy Losi-Tutu as Deputy-Director General: Protocol DIRCO
6.4 Financial Reporting Standards Council:
a) Mr Suresh Kana (Chairperson, reappointment);
b) Ms Christine Ramon (reappointment);
c) Mr Johan Brink (reappointment);
d) Mr Garth Coppin (reappointment);
e) Mr Bruce Mackenzie (reappointment);
f) Mr Khaya Dludla (reappointment);
g) Mr Dumisani Manana (reappointment);
h) Ms Dawn Earp (reappointment);
i) Ms Naidene Ford-Hoon (reappointment);
j) Ms Kim Bromfield (reappointment);
k) Adv Rory Wayne Voller;
l) Ms Matshepo Faith More;
m) Ms Anuradha Sing and
n) Ms Tania Wimberley.
6.5 Mr Coceko Bambihlelo Johan Pakade as the Chief Executive Officer of the Independent Development Trust.
Acting Cabinet Spokesperson Phumla Williams
Cell: 083 501 0139
Department of Communications
19 February 2015