1. CURRENT AFFAIRS
1.1 International relations
1.1.1 President Jacob Zuma will undertake an official visit to Jamaica from 4 to 6 August 2012 to enhance bilateral relations. The visit, which includes the 50th anniversary celebrations of Jamaica’s independence, will serve to recognise the role Jamaica has played during South Africa’s struggle for liberation, as well as to celebrate Jamaica’s achievements as an independent, stable constitutional democracy.
1.1.2 Cabinet joins President Zuma in extending condolences to the people of Republic of Ghana on the passing of President John Atta Mills. As indicated by President Zuma: “South Africa and Ghana enjoy strong relations at both the bilateral and multilateral levels and under President Mill’s leadership, we saw genuine efforts aimed at deepening the historical relations between our two nations.”
1.1.3 President Jacob Zuma will on Friday, 3 August meet Heads of Missions accredited to South Africa, at the Sefako M Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Pretoria. The President will meet with Ambassadors and High Commissioners and will update them on domestic and International issues. The meeting is aimed at enhancing relations between South Africa and countries with diplomatic missions in our country and to celebrate the fact that South Africa has had an increase in diplomatic missions over the years since the dawn of freedom.
1.1.4 Cabinet expressed concern about the violence in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and calls for the end of the conflict and for peace to be restored.
1.1.5 Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, will host United States (US) Secretary of State, Ms Hillary Clinton, for the second meeting of the South Africa-United States Strategic Dialogue on 7 August 2012. It is expected that the meeting will discuss a range of issues of mutual interest. Bilateral relations between South Africa and the United States are strong and the US administration is interested in partnering with South Africa domestically and regionally.
1.1.6 Cabinet reinforced government’s position on Syria that there is no military solution to the dispute and that the first imperative is to stop the killing and end the suffering of innocent civilians. Cabinet calls for the implementation of the United Nations-Arab league envoy Kofi Annan roadmap.
1.2 Road safety
In view of recent, multiple losses of life in accidents involving buses, minibuses and trucks, Cabinet cautions all drivers, especially those transporting passengers, to be more conscious of the rules of the road and calls upon the law enforcement officers to ensure that the laws of the road are obeyed.
1.3 Science & technology
This week marks the National Science Week from 30 July to 4 August under the theme “The role of science in economic development”.
This will provide a platform to expose South Africans (especially youth) to the opportunities associated with Africa hosting the bulk of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).
Cabinet calls on all South Africans to participate in the National Science Week activities planned in different areas.
1.4 Local Government
Cabinet expressed grave concern on the poor quality of the audit results as reported by the Auditor-General. Cabinet directed the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Richard Baloyi, to ensure that municipalities employ qualified Chief Financial Officers at all levels in compliance with the municipal minimum competency requirements.
Furthermore, Cabinet expressed appreciation for the additional six municipalities in the clean audit category for the year under review and the previous serving municipalities that maintained a clean audit. Cabinet commends the 13 municipalities that have received clean audits and calls on them to continue to sustain their good performance.
1.5 Sports and recreation
Cabinet commends all the South African Olympic teams at the London 2012 Olympics for holding the South African flag high.
Furthermore, Cabinet also commends Cameron van der Burgh for winning the first gold in the 100m breaststroke and Chad le Clos for winning South Africa's second gold medal in the pool for the 200m butterfly final in the early part of the London 2012 Olympics.
Cabinet reminds South Africans to participate in the Magnificent Fridays campaign.
1.6 Extradition of the Botswana nationals
Cabinet noted the report from the Minister of Justice & Constitutional Development regarding the Constitutional Court judgment in the matter of Messrs Pitsoe and Tsebe. Cabinet further noted that the Minister is still studying the judgment and its full implications for South Africa.
1.7 HIV and AIDS
Cabinet noted and appreciated the platform provided to South Africa by the UNAIDS and the United States government in the fight against HIV/AIDS. President Jacob Zuma, joined by his Cabinet, calls upon all the citizens of the country to be tested so that they know their status and if positive to ensure that they receive treatment timeously.
1.8 Violent protests
Cabinet expressed concern at the latest tendencies by protesters who destroy property as they raise their grievances. South Africa witnessed destruction of both private and public property in Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Western Cape to name but a few. Cabinet calls on all those involved in these undesirable acts to desist from destroying property.
Cabinet expressed grave concern on the text book saga across various parts of the country. Cabinet noted that the preliminary report on the textbook delivery and related matters in Limpopo has been presented to President Jacob Zuma by the Presidential Task Team. The President is still studying the report. Cabinet will, through the Department of Basic Education continue its intervention to ensure stability on this matter.
1.10 Women’s Day
Cabinet noted that President Jacob Zuma will deliver the main address at this year’s Women’s Day, 9 August. This will be celebrated under the theme 56 years of women united against poverty inequalities and unemployment.
10.1 Wage negotiations
Cabinet commended the Minister for Public Service and Administration, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, her team and the Public Sector Unions for reaching a three year settlement on the wage negotiations for the period 2012 to 2015.
2 BILL/POLICIES APPROVED
2.1 Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill, 2012
Cabinet approved the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill, 2012 for submission to Parliament.
The Bill has been necessitated by the development of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP), as well as future plans for the development of road infrastructure. Apart from the physical infrastructure, the GFIP will result in the operation of a road network that involves the utilisation of “intelligent” transport systems. An important component of the network is the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system. The Bill is essential to enable the implementation of the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system.