Statement on the Cabinet meeting of 19 November 2014

20 November 2014

1.    Implementation of Key Government Programmes

1.1. Cabinet welcomes the launch of Operation Phakisa 2: Scaling up Ideal Clinic Realisation and Maintenance Programme. This follows Operation Phakisa 1 which focused on unlocking the economic potential of South Africa's oceans. Operation Phakisa 2 seeks to improve the quality of care provided in 3 500 Primary Health Care facilities, consisting of government clinics and Community Health Centres. The expected outcomes entails transformation of the existing clinics and Community Health Centres into centres of excellence, which will be used by all South Africans, due to the enhanced quality of services they will provide.

1.2. Cabinet congratulates the winners of the Batho Pele Excellence Awards, which was held on 14 November 2014. These awards entrench professionalism and recognise excellence in the public service.

1.3. Cabinet noted that Minister of Sport and Recreation, Minister Fikile Mbalula will host the 2014 South African Sport Awards at the Sandton Convention Centre on 30 November 2014. Cabinet encourages sport loving South Africans to be part the South African Sports Awards by voting for the Sports Star of the Year. Information is available on www.sasportsawards.com.

1.4. Cabinet congratulates our national sporting teams Bafana Bafana, the Springboks and the Proteas for flying the flag high with their strong performances over the weekend and making South Africa proud. The naming of Mr. AB de Villiers as the International Cricket Council's One Day International (ODI) Cricketer of the Year for scoring 7 000 ODI runs, is commendable.

1.5. Cabinet welcomes the launch of the A Re Yeng Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) service in Tshwane, which started operating from Monday, 17 November 2014.The A Re Yeng, like other BRT services around the country, forms part of a strategic public transport network that will improve the lives of commuters by providing them with fast, safe, affordable and comfortable urban mobility. The construction of these services forms part of government’s infrastructure roll-out programme, which intends to develop a world class infrastructure in South Africa, while creating jobs.

2. Key Cabinet decisions

2.1. Cabinet approved implementation of a comprehensive program to ensure compliance with existing localisation procurement leverage policies and regulations. This includes a policy alignment process to review and strengthen the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act, extending the Competitive Supplier Development Program to all strategic State-Owned Companies as well as strengthening departmental regulations (particularly the mining charter) to enable local procurement.

This is a powerful instrument for industrialisation which will enhance the competitiveness of national industry, enable the development of new national industrial and technological capabilities, increase exports and achieve deeper black economic empowerment.

2.2. Cabinet was appraised on the Presidential Local Government Summit, and approved the Back to Basics Programme for Local Government, which is based on building a responsive, caring and accountable local government sector. The Back to Basics Programme will focus planning and operations of all municipalities on the effective delivery of basic municipal services and regular communication with residents. The aim is to move from intent to action.

Improvements in the performance of municipalities will improve the living conditions of all South Africans that depend on well-functioning municipalities to lead dignified lives.
Since 1994, local government has been a primary site for the delivery of service.
While there has been unprecedented progress in delivering water, electricity, sanitation and refuse removal at local levels, in areas where service delivery is failing we need to put people and their concerns first. This requires that we move away from the outdated top down service delivery to a culture of Batho Pele and serving communities. Crucial to this new approach is a system of reporting on, and being accountable for performance.

2.3. Cabinet approved the submission of South Africa’s Biennial Update Report on Emission Reductions, inclusive of the Final 2000-2010 National Green House (GHG) Inventory, to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It provides an overview and analysis of South Africa’s GHG emissions profile and key drivers of change in emissions. It also highlights the comprehensive suite of climate change measures as part of the transition to a low-carbon economy.

These include defining desired emission reduction outcomes; promoting innovation and investment in renewable energy; encouraging energy efficiency; creating a national system for greenhouse gas data collection; and other instruments such as Carbon Tax. This also forms part of South Africa’s international reporting obligation under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

2.4. Cabinet approved the establishment of an inter-departmental task team under the International Cooperation, Trade and Security Cluster to oversee the implementation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement.

South Africa’s position is to work with other African countries to ensure that the adoption and implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement does not require African countries to accept obligations they do not have the capacity to meet and that expose them to legal challenges. While South Africa remains committed to the multilateral negotiations under the Doha Round, our position is to seek an outcome that preserves our space to pursue policies that support industrial development and employment that lie at the heart of the objectives set out in the National Development Plan.

South Africa has affirmed the importance of fully multilateral and inclusive approaches to the conduct of WTO business as best suited to balanced, equitable outcomes that meet the interests of all Members.

2.5. Cabinet was updated on the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa – East African Community – Southern African Development Community (COMESA-EAC-SADC) Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (TFTA) and also approved South Africa’s position on the TFTA. The Tripartite initiative is a key African led project aimed at promoting economies of scale, enabling competitiveness, diversification, fostering regional value-chains, intra-regional trade and investment, and cross-border infrastructure.

South Africa negotiates as part of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) that negotiates as one entity. The Tripartite countries have a combined gross domestic product of US$1.2 trillion and a combined population of approximately 626 million people, representing just over half the total African population and economy. Regional integration to create larger markets for accelerated and sustainable growth in Africa is a decisive step to overcome the colonial heritage of small fragmented African markets.

2.6. Cabinet was briefed on the G20 Brisbane Summit proposals for a more intensive, intrusive and effective approach to regulating the financial sector. This contributes to continued financial stability and resilience of the global and domestic financial system. Following the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, G20 Leaders committed to fundamental reform on the global financial system. Their objectives were to connect the fault lines that led to the global crisis and to build safer, more resilient sources of finance to better serve the needs of the real economy

Over the past five years, the G20 focused on dealing with the fault lines that caused the crisis, by strengthening international standards to build more resilient financial institutions and more robust markets. The Brisbane Summit concluded the first phase of financial reform, and going forward the Financial Stability Board will adjust its focus to mitigating new and constantly evolving risks and vulnerabilities. South Africa will continue to participate in the Financial Stability Board and associated regulatory forums which work to promote a system based on mutual trust and co-operation which is essential to maintain an open global financial system that can achieve the G20’s objective of strong, sustainable and balanced growth.

2.7. Cabinet noted and ratified the resolutions of the President’s Coordination Council (PCC) meeting held on 18 March 2014, for purposes of implementation. Key resolutions include:
(a)  alignment and implementation of the National Development (NDP) to reflect progress made by the local government sector in implementing the NDP. National government departments, the National Planning Commission and provinces to ensure that municipal plans are aligned to the NDP and other national plans; 
(b) addressing capacity needs of the three spheres of government to support municipalities to deliver on their mandates; 
(c) urgency in attaining transformative local government and addressing impediments associated with achieving equitable and effective municipal governance, addressing challenges relating to apartheid spatial patterns in towns and cities.

2.8. Cabinet was briefed on preparations for the 2016 Municipal Elections and approved the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Task Team and a Technical Task Team on Municipal Elections. Cabinet also approved submission of the amendment to the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (Act No. 117 of 1998) to Parliament, so as to provide for the President (previously the Minister) to set a date for election of all municipal councils. The 2016 municipal elections will be the fourth elections since our democracy and the advanced preparations ensure that these elections are just as successful as the previous ones.

3. Bills

3.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related mattes) Amendment Bill, 2014 to Parliament. The Bill addresses two separate Constitutional Court judgments, by amending the applicable sections of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related matters) Amendment Act, 2007, to remedy the current position of constitutional invalidity. The primary objective of sections 15 and 16 of the Act, namely to protect vulnerable children against sexual exploitation by adults, remains unaffected by the proposed amendments.

The proposed amendment to sections 50 and 51 of the Act aims to give effect to the principle that the best interests of children are of paramount importance in all matters that concern them.

3.2. Cabinet approved the introduction of the Judicial Matters Amendment Bill, 2014 to Parliament. The Bill amends numerous Acts, administered by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, to address practical and technical challenges, with a view to enhance organisation efficiency and accountability.

3.3. Cabinet approved the introduction of the draft Banks Amendment Bill, 2014 in Parliament. The amendment to the Banks Act, 1990 (Act No. 94 of 1990) enhances curatorship of banks in order to make the financial sector safer and protect depositors. In prompting the soundness of the banking system it is imperative that the regulation and supervision of banks are based on international standards and best practice.

The Bill seeks to enhance the powers of the curator of a bank while under curatorship by:

(a) providing an alternative to the recovery of a bank within the existing corporate entity, (b) facilitating the transfer of all or part of a bank’s business to a successor entity pursuant to a transfer under section 54 of the Banks Act; and (c) facilitating the implementation of the above steps by the curator.

4. Cabinet’s Position on Current Issues

4.1. Cabinet commends the collaboration between government, the community sector and academia in promoting youth education and empowerment, which led to the launch of Thusanani Foundation by President Jacob Zuma. This youth-led non-profit organisation will bridge the educational information gap between rural high school learners and their urban counterparts, which will in turn improve academic performance. Two scholarships, the Pixley ka Isaka Seme Scholarship Fund and the Johnstone Mfanafuthi Makhatini International Scholarship Fund are to be launched.

4.2. Cabinet was heartened by the arrival of the mortal remains of those South Africans killed in the building collapse in Lagos, Nigeria on 12 September 2014.

Cabinet commends the tireless efforts of those involved in the repatriation process and appreciates the cooperation received from officials in Nigeria in expediting the process given its complexities.

Government continues to support the affected families and hopes that this will assist them to reach closure. We will intensify our efforts to ensure the remains of 11 South Africans that are still to be identified in Nigeria, are brought home without undue delay. Cabinet expresses its gratitude to all South Africans for uniting as a nation during this trying time.

Cabinet send its condolences to the family of the late Dennis Furhri who passed on whilst deployed as part of repatriation of mortal remains of South Africans who perished when a church collapsed in Nigeria on 12 September 2014.  South Africa has lost a dedicated and committed public servant.

4.3. Cabinet welcomes the appointment of the independent panel to investigate the alleged criminal acts by present and past South African Revenue Service officials and urges members of the public to allow the panel space to complete their investigation.

These developments should not detract from the proven track record of SARS as a model public entity that ensures the country has the finances to meet its various economic and social commitments. 

4.4. Cabinet welcomes the meeting between the South African Airways board, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown and Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene to chart a way forward for the airline and expects the intervention to yield tangible results at the national carrier and put it back on a path towards profitability and good governance.

4.5. Cabinet to bolster the National Treasury response that Moody’s decision to downgrade South Africa’s investment grade credit rating to “Baa2 / P-2” from “Baa1 / P-2” and revise the credit outlook to stable from negative, comes during a period of slow economic growth.

Cabinet to reiterate that the Medium Term Strategic Framework already prioritises growth-inducing initiatives such as major projects in rail, energy and ports that will boost investment. Focus in the medium term will also be on accelerating the structural changes that are currently underway and whose impact will support economic growth.

4.6. Cabinet was shocked and disappointed at the recent unruly conduct of some members of the National Assembly. Such conduct goes against the ethos of our struggle for freedom and detracts from the journey we have made in our 20 Years of Freedom.

The integrity of Parliament as a democratic institution must be protected and guarded by all members. The unruly behaviour erodes accountability to all South Africans and detracts from Parliament’s role to uphold the values and principles enshrined in the Constitution.

5. Upcoming events
5.1. President Jacob Zuma will attend the Botswana – South Africa Bi-National Commission (BNC) in Gaborone, Botswana on 20 November 2014.  The BNC remains an important platform to enhance bilateral relations and co-operation.

5.2. President Zuma will receive Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Tshwane from 26 to 27 November 2014. This visit will build on the strong, brotherly relations between South Africa and Palestine, which was founded in the liberation struggle. The bi-lateral will focus on relations between South African and Palestine, the Middle East Peace Process and how South Africa can continue to the Palestinian struggle for freedom and self-determination.

5.3. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will attend the 2nd – Turkey Summit which will be Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on 21 November, 2014. The purpose of the Summit is to assess   progress made by “the Joint Implementation Plan of Africa-Turkey Partnership 2010-2014”. This Partnership contributes to Africa’s development within the objectives set by African Union’s Agenda 2063.
                                                                    
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, as chair of South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), will mark World AIDS Day on 1 December 2014 in Virginia, Lejweleputswa, in the Free State under the theme: “Zero Stigma and Discrimination”. South Africa has made great progress in working towards reaching the goals of the National Strategic Plan for HIV and AIDS, TB and STIs 2012 – 2016. Unfortunately, stigma and discrimination continues to affect the successful implementation of this strategy and has contributed to a lower uptake of HIV preventative services.
         
Cabinet calls on all communities to support, care and accept those living with HIV and AIDS. All South Africans are urged to practise safe sex; get tested for HIV at least once a year so as to make informed decisions on preventative measures, treatment, care and support; and for men and boys to take up medical male circumcision services.

5.4. The Department of Environmental Affairs will participate in the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) and the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CPM10), which will be held in Lima, Peru from 1 to 12 December 2014.  The Lima Climate Change Conference is critical for the successful conclusion of the negotiation for the 2015 agreement. South Africa’s approved position at the negotiations is aligned to the country’s national interest and the National Development Plan.

5.5. The Department of Arts and Culture and the Department of Sport and Recreation will host the second edition of the Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day at the Union Buildings, Tshwane on 22 November 2014 under the theme: UNITE: One Man, One Nation, One Celebration.

Cabinet encourages all South Africans to participate in communal sports and culture activities since both have the power to unite all South Africans. The event is also an opportunity to appreciate the values of former President Nelson Mandela and reflect on ways in which we can continue his legacy.

5.6. Cabinet noted commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism which marks the 16th anniversary of the campaign, starting from 25 November to 10 December. The theme for this year is “Count me in, Together moving a non-violent South Africa. Through this theme, the 2014 campaign aims to continue generating awareness on the protection of women and children. The theme also focuses more on mobilizing men as partners in this campaign to refuse this scourge.

6. Appointments

Cabinet approved the following appointments:

6.1. Mr. Thobile Maxin Lamati as the Director-General at the Department of Labour.

6.2. Ms Nthabiseng Bernadette Makhatha as Deputy Director-General: Methodology and Standards at Statistics South Africa.

6.3. Non-Executive Members to the Board of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency.
a)    Ms Nomini Elizabeth Rapoo (re-appointment and Chairperson),
b)    Ms. Nomusa Zethu Qunta;
c)    Prof. Tebogo Job Mokgoro;
d)    Mr. Bryan Shuan Chaplog;
e)    Mr. Benedict Matinise; and
f)    Adv. Xolisile Khanyile.

6.4. Mr Lefadi Lucas Makibinyane as the Chief Executive Officer of Amatola Water.
6.5. Board of Directors of the South African Special Risk Insurance Association (SASRIA) Limited.
a)    Mr Mohamed Adam Samie (re-appointment and Chairperson);
b)    Mr Ranti Mothapo (Deputy Chairperson); and
c)    Mr Stephanus Hermanus Schoeman.

Enquiries: Mr Donald Liphoko
Contact: 082 901 0766

Issued by: Department of Communications (former GCIS)

Year: 
2014
Media Statement date: 
Thursday, November 20, 2014