Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Cape Town on 26 October 2011.
1. CURRENT AFFAIRS
1.1 Cabinet noted that Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, will lead a delegation of Ministers and Deputy Ministers in a meeting between Cabinet and the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) on 28 and 29 October 2011. This is a strategic annual meeting aimed at ensuring that Government and the media remain relevant in their robust contributions towards the national developmental agenda in the public discourse.
1.2 The Deputy President will also engage members of the Press Gallery Association (PGA) on 8th November 2011 in a bid to further enhance and strengthen relations with the media.
2. GOOD NEWS
2.1 Cabinet congratulated Cape Town for winning the prestigious status of Design Capital of the World 2014 which bodes well for South Africa’s competiveness for tourism and investment. Cape Town is the fourth city to receive the award from the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. Dublin in Ireland and Bilbao in Spain were the other two finalists for the 2014 award.
2.2 Cabinet noted that there are 14 days left for South Africans to vote Table Mountain, one of only two African nominees in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition, into the history books and onto the travel itinerary of millions. Table Mountain is one of 28 finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition, in which the world’s top natural sites are being whittled down to seven winners in an exercise of global democracy that is expected to draw over a billion people. South Africans are encouraged to support Table Mountain by sending an sms with the word, “Table” to 34874 without delay.
2.3 Given the current global economic turmoil, South Africa’s move by one place to rank 35 out of 183 economies in the World Bank’s 2012: Doing Business in a Transparent World report, is an international recognition of government measures to signal economic growth.
3. INTERNATIONAL AGENDA
3.1 Cabinet noted that the government of South Africa will be engaged in a few international platforms which will be used to position the country more effectively to meet our developmental agenda. These include the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth from 28 to 30 October and the Group of 20 (G20) Summit from 3 to 4 November 2011 in Cannes, France.
3.2 Cabinet calls on all sectors to engage with the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) State of World Population 2011 People and Possibilities report, which was launched on the 26 October 2011. This report assists in sensitising policy makers, planners and community leaders on the priority issues affecting the structure and dynamics of the global population.
3.3 Cabinet wishes to commend the people of Tunisia for claiming their democratic right during the country’s first election since the ‘Arab spring uprisings’.
3.4 Cabinet also conveys its condolences to the families and friends of those killed in the recent Turkey earthquake.
3.5 Cabinet noted and supported the comments by President Jacob Zuma following the developments in Libya.
4. SOCIAL PROTECTION
4.1 Cabinet noted that South Africa will celebrate National Children’s Day on 5 November 2011 at the Union Buildings under the theme: “We are the World, Plant a Tree and Get a Life”. This theme provides one of the most practical ways of educating and involving children in issues of climate change and sensitising them towards the COP 17 conference due to take place in Durban later this year.
4.2 Cabinet noted progress on engagements between government and civil society organisations regarding reports of threats against foreign nationals. These engagements are continuing. Cabinet is however, pleased with the presence of officials and security forces to maintain peace and order. Cabinet re-iterated its non-tolerance towards violence.
4.3 Cabinet wishes to re-emphasize that government will not be held to ransom by vigilante activities but will bring the full might of the security and justice system against those found conducting or partnering in criminal activities. Cabinet calls upon all citizens in the Human Settlement programme to desist from the illegal practice of selling houses.
Cabinet once again condemns all forms of xenophobia and urges all citizens to uphold the rights enshrined in our Constitution.
5. CENSUS 0800 110 248
5.1 The Big-Count ends on 31 October 2011. Cabinet wishes to remind the nation that there is only 5 days left to participate in Census 2011 which is one constructive way of ensuring that people’s needs and life circumstances better inform Government’s planning and Programme of Action. For all enquiries on Census, the toll free number to call is 0800 110 248.
5.2 Cabinet noted that leading up to World Aids Day (1 December), November is also Red Ribbon Month which provides government an avenue, under the leadership of the Department of Health, to intensify public awareness and progress of the government programmes such as the HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) campaign and TB related programmes.
6. KEY STRATEGIC DECISIONS INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING:
6.1 Cabinet supports the Department of Correctional Service’s cancellation of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the Construction of Prisons. Cabinet also endorsed that the current PPPs in the Department of Correctional Services be reviewed. The Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula will issue a separate statement in this regard. Furthermore, Cabinet will review the PPP models across government.
6.2 Progress on the COP17
Cabinet noted progress towards South Africa’s hosting of the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Conference of Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties (CMP7) to be hosted in Durban from 28 November to 09 December 2011.
Cabinet remains confident that the conference will produce a package of outcomes that is fair, balanced and equitable. For Durban outcomes to be fair, balanced and equitable, the 194 state parties to the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol have identified three key areas which include the following:
· Operationalisation of the Cancun Agreements, including the establishment of the key mechanisms and institutional arrangements agreed to in Cancun, Mexico, at COP16/CMP6 in 2010. The Green Climate Fund represents a centre piece of a broader set of outcomes for Durban.
· Address outstanding political issues remaining from the Bali Roadmap. This means finding a resolution to the issue of the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and agreeing on the legal nature of a future climate change system.
· Adaptation is an essential element of the outcome in Durban as it is a key priority for many developing countries, particularly Small Island developing states, least developed countries and Africa.
6.4 Development of the National Strategic Plan (NSP) for HIV, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and Tuberculosis (TB): 2012-2016
Cabinet approved the National Strategic Plan (NSP) for HIV, STIs and TB,
2012 – 2016. This strategic plan is a culmination of extensive review of documentation, consultation and deliberation over several months with priorities in dealing with the dual epidemics of HIV and TB in South Africa. This is a critical document to enable the country to coordinate and build efforts to control HIV, STIs and TB.
6.5 Merger of Khula Enterprise Finance, the South African Micro Enterprise Apex Fund (SAMAF) and the IDC Small Business Activities
Cabinet approved the merger of Khula, South African Micro Enterprise Apex Fund (SAMAF) and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) small business activities subject to the approval of the business case by National Treasury and the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA).
In line with the New Growth Path, access to finance for small business is an enabler for creating and sustaining enterprise and jobs. The current fragmented approach of delivery of finance to small business has resulted in higher overhead costs, limited reach and insufficient impact. This merger will fall under the auspices of the IDC where it would be better resourced and capacitated. It would also create the framework for improved support to SMMEs.
6.6 Hosting of the International Cooperative Alliance Global Board Meeting
Cabinet approved the hosting of the International Cooperative Alliance Global Board Meeting, in South Africa in July 2012.
The hosting of the International Co-operative Alliance Board meeting in Africa is part of the International co-operative alliance calendar of celebrating the International year of Co-operatives. It will also form part of the activities organised by South Africa to celebrate the 2012 United Nations Year of Cooperative Celebrations.
6.7 Lesotho highlands water project (LHWP) phase II agreement
Cabinet approved that the Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase II (LHWP) agreement be submitted to Parliament for ratification.
This is a joint project between the Republic of South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho implemented in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty signed in 1986.
The phase II agreement seeks to augment the original treaty and address specific issues related to the operation and implementation of phase II. Phase II will comprise of a water delivery system to augment the delivery of water in South Africa and a hydropower generation system.
6.8 Nuclear safety in South Africa post Japanese Fukushima Daiichi Accident
Cabinet noted the report on the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the implications for the nuclear industry and the lessons learnt from the accident. On 11 March 2011 the Tohoku-Taiheiyou-Oki earthquake occurred near the East Coast of Honshu in Japan. This accident was characterised by emergency response that had to be performed in a situation where the earthquake and tsunami destroyed the social infrastructure such as electricity supply, communication and transport system. South Africa will collaborate with international bodies in the continuous process of learning lessons of the accident and factor them in the roll-out of our nuclear programme.
6.9 Security and identity and status of citizens through Online Fingerprint Verification
Cabinet noted and supported the strategic collaboration between the Department of Home Affairs and the banking industry, through the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC). This Online Fingerprint Verification Model is intended to assist the banks to curb identity related fraud and corruption which is costing them and the economy millions of rands. This will assist the Department’s mandate in protecting the identities of South Africans while assisting in the national effort to push back the frontier of fraud and corruption.
6.10 The Green Economy and Greening the Economy Cradock Biofuels Sub Component
Cabinet noted the substantial progress achieved in the Cradock Bio-ethanol Project.
The Biofuels Industry Strategy was approved by Cabinet on 7 December 2007 following an extensive public consultation phase. The strategy mandates the Industrial Development Corporation’s (IDC) and the Central Energy Fund (CEF) to take the lead in assessing and developing biofuel investment projects to catalyse the industry. This project will contribute significantly to government’s strategic objective of job creation. Approximately 13 000 direct and indirect jobs will be created.
6.11 The South African Renewables Initiative (SARi)
Cabinet noted the South African Renewables Initiative (SARi) alignment between the New Growth Path, the integrated Resource Plan, the Industrial Policy Action Plan and Climate Policies. Cabinet further noted the governance arrangements for the design and implementation phase of the SARi. Cabinet approved the formal launch of the SARi on the margins of the COP17 in Durban later this year.
6.12 Update on food prices
Cabinet noted the challenges faced by South Africa and the rest of the world pertaining to high and volatile food and agricultural commodity prices. Cabinet further noted the action plan developed by the G20 aimed at addressing volatile food and agricultural commodity prices and a commitment made by South Africa to implement the plan in collaboration with all Ministers in the Continent.
South Africa is cognisant of the fact that food is secure due to the fact that food is available at the national level but for many households with little or no purchasing power, it is unaffordable. In addition, many subsistence producers are resource-poor and cannot afford to produce food for own consumption purposes. South Africa will continue to participate actively in the multilateral bodies and partner in efforts to boost production and productivity in the Continent and to advance food security.
6.13 Southern African Development Community (SADC) Health Ministers’ meeting and commemoration of the SADC Malaria Day
Cabinet approved that South Africa host the SADC Health Ministers’ Meeting and SADC Malaria Day Commemoration, in Limpopo, during 9th to 13th November 2011.
6.14 Establishment of the National Council Against Gender Based Violence
Cabinet noted the establishment of a National Council against Gender Based Violence as a measure proposed by the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities to address gender-based violence.
6.15 South Africa’s Second National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
Cabinet approved the Second National Communication and its submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties. Key components of the South Africa's Second National Communications include:
· Description of national circumstances;
· Greenhouse gas inventory
· General description of steps taken or envisaged to implement the Convention;
· Measures to facilitate adequate adaptation to climate change;
· Measures to mitigate climate change;
· Constraints and gaps, and related financial, technical and capacity needs.
7. FOUR (4) BILLS APPROVED
7.1 General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill, 2011
Cabinet approved the introduction of the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill, 2011, in Parliament.
The amendment seeks to contribute to National Security through the formation of an effective, efficient and a single department for the civilian intelligence structures. It would amend the provisions pertaining to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), South African Secret Services (SASS) and South African National Academy of Intelligence (SANAI) which would be assumed by the State Security Agency (SSA).
7.2 Cabinet approved the tabling of the Defence Amendment Bill in Parliament
The Bill seeks to provide for the inclusion of the Chief of Corporate Staff in the Military Command of the Defence Force as described in the Defence Amendment Act, 2010 (Act 22 of 2010). The Chief Corporate Staff, as the Staff Officer of the Chief of the South African National Defence Force, is critical for the proper functioning and co-ordination of the activities of the Defence Force. For this reason, the proposed amendment is intended to include the Chief of Corporate Staff in the Military Command.
7.3 Amendment of the Electricity Regulation Second Amendment Bill
Cabinet approved the publication of the amendment to the Electricity Regulation Second Amendment Bill be published for public comments.
The amendments to the Electricity Regulation Act shall:
· Ensure alignment between the different legislations relating to the electricity industry
· Provide for efficient regulation of the different licensees
· Ensure speedy implementation of electricity infrastructure projects
· Provide for the efficient procurement of power from independent power products.
· Improve the regulation of the electricity industry
7.4 National Energy Regulator Act (NERA) Amendment Bill
Cabinet approved the publication of the amendment to the National Energy Regulator Act (NERA) in the government gazette for public comments.
The amendments shall:
· Improve credibility of the decision making process of the Regulator by establishing an appeal Board.
· Improve the governance and accountability of the regulator.
· Improve the structure and working relation of the regulator and its members.
Cabinet approved the following appointments:
8.1 Ms Nonkonzo Molai was appointed Deputy Director-General: Military Veterans Empowerment and Stakeholder Relations in the Department of Military Veterans.
8.2 Ms Gloria Nompucuko Spelman was appointed Deputy Director-General: Internal Audit in the Department of Defence.
8.3 Mr Gcwelumusa Chrysostomus Khwela was appointed Deputy Director-General: Counter Corruption and Security Services at the Department of Home Affairs.
8.4 Mr Bernard Thulani Mavuso was appointed Chief Operations Officer (COO) in the Department of Science and Technology.
8.5 Mr Imraan Ebrahim Patel was appointed Deputy Director-General: Socio-Economic Partnership in the Department of Science & Technology.
8.6 Mr Thulani Johnson Nzima was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of South African Tourism (SAT) for a period of three (3) years.
8.7 National Gambling Board (NGB): Ms Moipone Nana Magomola (Deputy Chairperson), Professor Siphiwe Victor Nzimande, Dr Malega Constance Kganakga (DSD designate) and Ms Thezi Rosemary Mabuza (DTI designate) were appointed Non-Executive Directors to the NGB for a period of five (5) years.
8.8 National Credit Regulator (NCR): Mr Trevor Albert Bailey, Ms Mercy Kenosi Mongalo, Mr JD Pema, Ms Constance Glerah Nxumalo, Mr Mmatli Barnabas Ntlou and McDonald Netshitenzhe (DTI designate) were appointed members of the NCR Board for a period of five (5) years.
8.9 Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA): Adv Faith Tshidi Mayimele-Hashatse (Deputy Chairperson), Mr Denis Thabaneng and Ms Precious Funiwe Lugayeni were re-appointed to the SEDA Board as Non-Executive Directors for a period of three (3) years.
8.10 National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC)
· The following were appointed to the NAMC: Mr Daluxolo Lawrence Maduna, Mr Andries Muller Cronje, Dr John Luscombe Purchase, Mr Stuart Symington, Dr Litha Magingxa, Ms Marie van der Merwe and Ms Thamsanqa Elgia Zimu.
8.11 South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) Board: Ms Tembakazi Mnyaka (Chairperson), Mr Sipho Madonsela, Mr Roshan Morar, Mr Peter Derman were appointed to the SANRAL Board. Ms Duduzile Nyamane and Ms Lungile Mchunu were re-appointed to the Board for a period of three (3) years.
Cabinet congratulates the new appointees and wishes them well in their new responsibilities.