Statement on Cabinet meeting of 22 October 2014

23 October 2014

1.    Key Cabinet decisions

1.1.      Cabinet approved the publication of the draft National Learner Transport Policy for public comments in the Government Gazette for 21 days.

The policy improves access to quality education by providing safe, decent, effective, integrated and sustainable learner transport, especially in rural communities where transportation challenges hinder access to education.

The policy addresses spatial challenges and re-organisation of operations which impact on the quality of public transport. It also provides for an integrated planning system and uniform standards of management.

Implementation of this policy will provide a safe and secure transport environment for learners through cooperation and collaboration with law enforcement authorities.

1.2.      Cabinet approved the Directive on Compulsory Development, Mandatory Training Days and Minimum Entry Requirements to the levels of Senior Management Service as determined in terms of Section 3(2) of the Public Service Act, 1994.

This promotes skills development so as to respond to the National Development Plan objective of building a capable and developmental state for the benefit of improved service delivery.

The directive is a long-term skills development strategy that will enhance the quality of human resources which is critical to government’s capacity to deliver on its mandate.

All departments in the Public Service will be required to adopt a consistent approach to promote relevant and mandatory skills development within the Senior Management Service.

1.3.      Cabinet approved for the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation to present the draft Discussion Document on Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Principles and Approach to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Service Administration and Planning Monitoring and Evaluation.

The document proposes a set of basic principles and an approach to Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) that is intended to result in continuous improvement in government performance and increased accountability. Its key objective is to build consensus on the objectives of M&E, and how it should be implemented.

This contributes to the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) in relation to building a capable and developmental state as well as promoting an active citizenry and strong leadership. M&E competencies are part of the core managerial competencies that are required for a capable and developmental state.

1.4.      Cabinet approved South Africa’s negotiating positions for Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP11) which will be held in Quinto, Ecuador, from 4 to 9 November 2014.

South Africa’s active participation in addressing challenges of climate change and the conservation of nature and associated species is based on the principle of sustainable development and environmental sustainability, and is in line with the requirements of Section 24 of the Bill of Rights.

1.5.      Cabinet approved the negotiating mandate that will serve as the basis for South Africa’s engagement at the 20th session of the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 20), and the 10th Conference of Parties serving as the meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 10), from 1 to 12 December 2014, in Lima Peru.

South Africa’s position is in line with the country’s national interest, and the implications for South Africa’s further engagement in the international climate change negotiations as outlined in the National Development Plan.

1.6.      Cabinet approved a submission of the Cape Town Agreement of 2012 on the implementation of the provisions of the Torremolinos Protocol of 1993 relating to the International Convention for the Safety of Fishing Vessels, 1977 for ratification by Parliament.

The Torremolinos Convention and its Protocol of 1993 lay down safety standards, such as life-saving appliances, radio communication, fire protection, machinery and electrical installations, as well as specific requirements for seagoing fishing vessels of 24 metres and longer.

This binding international safety regime will contribute to improving safety standards in order to reduce the number of fatalities at sea, estimated at 24 000 annually worldwide. South Africa’s fishing vessels will be subject to the provisions of the protocol when in the waters of a State party to the 1993 Torremolinos protocol.

This is in line with Operation Phakisa’s objectives of developing an institutional framework for the management of South Africa’s ocean space, improving the protection of South Africa’s oceans, particularly around critically endangered ecosystems, and addressing the skills gap, amongst others.

1.7.      Cabinet approved for South Africa to accede to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel, 1995 (STCW-F).

This is the first attempt to establish international mandatory training standards for the crews of seagoing fishing vessels of 24 metres or more in length. This will improve the safety of life and property at sea, as well as to prevent pollution of the marine environment by the fishing industry.

In the past, extended periods of sea service were seen as the way to acquire experience and appropriate skills. This system of on-the-job training has not produced a quality outcome for the skills of the crew.

The new system is built around a combination of reduced experiential training with upgraded and more structured education for enhancing knowledge. This will make it possible for fishers to progress over time from small vessels to large fishing vessels and eventually internationally trading vessels.

1.8.      Cabinet approved for the following 2015 commemorative coin designs by the South African Mint Company, to be promulgated in a Government Gazette.

a)    The Protea Coin Series: “The Life of a Legend: NR Mandela

b)    The Natura Coin Series: “Nocturnal Hunters – The Black Backed Jackal

c)    R1 Gold Coin Series: “South African Reptiles – The Nile crocodile

d)    R2 Gold Coin Series: “UNESCO Project: Man and Biosphere”

e)    Crown and Tickey Silver Coin Series: “Trains of South Africa”; and

f)     The Sterling Silver Coin Series: “Marine Protected Areas of South Africa

1.9.      Cabinet was briefed on the Rationalisation of Magisterial Districts and Areas of Jurisdiction of the Divisions and Local Seats of the High Court of South Africa.

The rationalisation of courts project reverses the legacy of inequality and injustice. It establishes a blueprint which will guide all affected departments, law enforcement agencies and justice institutions to align their operations accordingly.

Previously marginalised communities living in the former homelands, self-governing states and rural villages will now benefit from the outcomes of the rationalisation process. They will be able to access courts at reduced costs.

In providing access to justice, it is necessary to rationalise the old apartheid-drawn areas of jurisdiction of all the courts, including their composition and structure. The rationalisation process ensures that there is an equitable distribution of the courts in the country, to enhance access to courts, which is a fundamental human right enshrined in Section 34 of the Bill of Right in the Constitution.

2.    Bills

2.1.      Cabinet approved the introduction of the Maintenance Amendment Bill, 2014 in Parliament.

The Bill amends the Maintenance Act, 1998 (Act 99 of 1998) to improve the maintenance system and enhance access to justice for women and children.

The amendments alleviate the challenges, legal and administrative, experienced by maintenance beneficiaries, who are mostly women and children.

This links directly to the key targets of the National Development Plan on economic transformation and social protection.

Some of the provisions of the Amendment Bill include: preventing maintenance defaulters from continuing to receive credit while they owe maintenance, placing an obligation on mobile cellular operators to provide maintenance courts with contact particulars of would-be respondents and maintenance defaulters if the court is satisfied that all reasonable efforts to locate their whereabouts have proven fruitless, and making a person against whom a maintenance order has been made, pay maintenance arrears.

2.2.      Cabinet approved the submission of the Agrément South Africa Bill and the Memorandum on the Objects of the Bill to Parliament.

The establishment of Agrément South Africa, as proposed in the Agrément South Africa Bill, 2014 will contribute to the creation of a dynamic and innovative construction sector that will positively impact on job creation while contributing to Government’s infrastructure plans.

The value-add would be wide ranging from research to innovation, increased manufacturing activities, job creation and poverty alleviation.

2.3.      Cabinet approved the introduction of the draft Auditing Profession Amendment Bill in Parliament.

The Amendment Bill proposes amendments to the Auditing Profession Act, 2005, to regulate candidate auditors and to update references to the Companies Act, 1973 so as to align the Auditing Profession Act with the Companies Act 2008 (Act No. 71 of 2008).

The aim is to bring aspiring auditors (candidate auditors), before registration, under the Auditing Profession Act, 2005 so that they are regulated by the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors, in the same way that registered auditors are regulated, and to make significant amendments required by the Companies Act 2008. This will also protect the public in the work done by a candidate auditor.

2.4.      Cabinet approved the introduction of the Defence Laws Repeal and Amendment Bill, 2014 in Parliament.

These seek to repeal and amend certain defence laws that are deemed to be obsolete and redundant as identified by the South African Law Reform Commission.

The Commission was instructed to conduct an audit of all South African legislation in order to advise on the repeal of obsolete, unnecessary or unconstitutional provisions. The Bill aims to fulfill this task within the defence environment.

The Bill proposes the repeal of 16 defence laws that are obsolete and further proposes the amendment of one Act, which does not comply with Section 9 of the Constitution (equality clause). This will bring the defence laws in line with the current constitutional ethos by eliminating discriminatory provisions from the statue book.

3.    Implementation of Key Government Programmes

3.1         Cabinet joins South Africans in the celebration of Media Freedom Day on the 19th of   October 2014 when President Jacob Zuma hosted veteran journalists and editors as part of celebrating 20 years of press freedom in South Africa.  Media Freedom Day is a celebration of freedom of expression and freedom of the media which is guaranteed in           our constitution.

3.2         President Zuma, accompanied by Cabinet members, the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal and Provincial MECs conducted a successful Presidential Imbizo in Msunduzi and uMgungundlovu Municipalities on 30 September 2014.

As part of ongoing and direct communication with South African communities, President Jacob Zuma will conduct a Presidential Siyahlola in Giyani, Limpopo, on 31 October 2014.

3.3         Cabinet welcomes the progress report on the implementation of the Framework Agreement for a Sustainable Mining Industry presented at the recent Mining Sector National Consultative forum.

The forum reflects all stakeholders’ collective commitment to the future of mining in South Africa, and to the creation and maintenance of an equitable balance between socio-economic imperatives and investment objectives.

Cabinet welcomes stakeholders’ recommitment to the Framework Agreement for a Sustainable Mining Industry and to finding lasting solutions to challenges facing the industry.

3.4         Cabinet welcomes President Jacob Zuma’s announcement on the progress made through Operation Phakisa to unlock the economic potential of South Africa’s oceans in a sustainable manner.

The delivery plan by President Jacob Zuma moves us closer to realising the benefits of the ocean economy, which can contribute R177 billion to our gross domestic product and create just over 1 million jobs.

The second project of Operation Phakisa began on 13 October 2014 and will focus on effective clinics in our health system. Work streams will over a six-week period explore the sector and develop delivery plans which will be released to the public once completed.

3.5      Cabinet received the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), which provides a summary of the expenditure framework within which national and provincial budgets are being prepared.

Cabinet welcomes the measures announced in the MTBPS to curb spending in the Public Service.

Cabinet reassures South Africans that even in this tough economic climate government will continue to fund its social programmes, infrastructure investments and incentives to support important industries.

4.    Cabinet’s Position on Current Issues

4.1.      Cabinet welcomes measures put in place by the Department of Energy to improve the country’s energy security, meet the needs of the economy and create much-needed jobs. The signing of nuclear intergovernmental relations agreements is a step in the right direction to secure the country’s energy needs.

The signed agreements add to the pool of nuclear suppliers from which the country can choose for its nuclear procurement programme and mark another milestone in the country’s prioritisation of energy security.

This process moves the country a step closer to graduating from the existing nuclear energy plant in Koeberg to a more comprehensive, self-sufficient nuclear industry which is expected to contribute 9.6 GW of electricity to the national grid.

The National Development Plan commits the country to explore all available energy options to secure our future energy supply. Cabinet is confident that South Africa’s energy mix which – includes coal, solar, wind, hydro, gas and nuclear energy – will ensure a reliable source of power to meet the country’s growth needs, allow for a balance between energy sources and help us reach our carbon-reduction targets.

4.2.      Cabinet welcomes and congratulates all parties for successfully reconvening the Lesotho Parliament last week in line with the Maseru Facilitation Declaration facilitated by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

4.3.      Cabinet reiterates that South Africa has put in place the necessary measures to prevent Ebola from spreading to the country.

Surveillance at all ports of entry has been strengthened to identify viral haemorrhagic fevers, in particular Ebola. Government has also established a national response team in case of an outbreak and 11 hospitals are on standby as Ebola treatment centres.

Cabinet supports the efforts by the World Health Organisation in establishing Ebola treatment centres and strengthening capacity for laboratory testing, contact tracing, social mobilisation, safe burials and non-Ebola health care in West Africa.

Cabinet also appeals to individuals and business worldwide to contribute to the Ebola Response Fund which was established to assist all affected West African countries in their fight against this devastating disease.

4.4.      Cabinet welcomes the arrest of six individuals linked to the cable theft which resulted in water outages in parts of Gauteng. The individuals were part of a syndicate that police reportedly smashed with these arrests. Cabinet expressed the view that the cable theft and related activities - manhole covers, bridge rails, electricity pylons, fences, etc. are tantamount to sabotage of the country’s infrastructure programme. Government will ensure that perpetrators convicted either of theft on receipt of stolen cables are subject to the maximum penalties provided by the law. Government is seized with this issue and will not hesitate act more effectively to combat this scourge.

4.5    Trade and Investment South Africa (TISA), a division of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), last week received an award at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s World Investment Forum in Geneva for the promotion of sustainable investment. This was for the work undertaken by TISA in supporting the establishment of Unilever’s Indonesia plant in Ethekwini, which was opened by the Minister of Trade and Industry during South Africa’s hosting of the COP 17.

4.6    Cabinet received an update on the collapse of the building in Nigeria. A separate statement will be delivered after this briefing.

5.    Upcoming events

5.1.      President Jacob Zuma will deliver the opening keynote address under the theme “The World as one Big Emerging Market”, at the innovaBRICS & Beyond Conference in London on 27 October 2014. 

The conference convenes government leaders and businesses with operations or interest in emerging markets, to explore and discuss investment opportunities and challenges within these markets.

Cabinet welcomes the innovaBRICS & Beyond Conference as an opportunity to profile South Africa as an investment destination to United Kingdom-based businesses and other emerging markets. 

5.2    President Zuma will receive Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza on 4 November in Cape Town. The visit will deepen our existing strong bilateral relationship with Burundi and advance intra-trade on the continent. 

5.3    The Department of Water and Sanitation, in partnership with the African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW), the Water Research Commission of South Africa, SADC and Women for Water Partnership, will host the Gender, Water and Development Conference in East London from 3 to 7 November 2014 under the theme: “Gender, Water & Development – the untapped connection”.

The agenda of the conference will be set by the AMCOW Policy and Strategy for Mainstreaming Gender in the Water Sector in Africa, which has seven objectives focussing on policy, resources, strategic research, capacity building, cooperation and monitoring and evaluation, to reach the overall objective of gender equality in water policy.

5.4    Cabinet wishes all learners well as they prepare for their year-end examinations. These exams are a useful barometer of our education interventions such as Annual National Assessments (ANA) and the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS).

Cabinet welcomes Umalusi’s assurance that the country is ready to conduct the National Senior Certificate examinations between 27 October and 28 November 2014.

All parents, guardians and communities are encouraged to support learners as they prepare for their examinations.

Cabinet further wishes the matric class of 2014 well in their forthcoming examinations. Cabinet also urges parents and guardians to support the 2015 School Governing Body Election from 6 to 28 March 2015 either by standing as candidates or by voting.

5.5    Cabinet calls on all South Africans to support National Disability Rights Awareness Month between 3 November and 3 December 2014 under the theme: “Celebrating 20 years of the rights of persons with disabilities in our Democracy”.

Since 1994 we have made major strides in advancing the rights and quality of life of people with disabilities through legislation, policies and social interventions. According to the Twenty Year Review 1994 – 2014, the Office on the Status of People with Disabilities was established, Integrated National Disability Strategy adopted, and free healthcare, social assistance and inclusive education provided for people with disabilities.

The NDP commits as a nation to do more to increase access to services, particularly in quality education and employment for people with disabilities.

5.6    In the spirit of Transport Month, Cabinet appeals to all road users to exercise greater care on our roads by maintaining speed limits and ensuring vehicles are roadworthy. Government calls on pedestrians to use the roads cautiously and for all to road users to respect each other.

6.    Appointments

6.1.      Cabinet approved the following appointments to the Board of the National Research Foundation:

a)    Prof Mala Singh (re-appointment);

b)    Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng;

c)    Prof Ari Sitas;

d)    Adv Louisa Zondo;

e)    Prof Tinyiko Maluleke;

f)     Dr Vathiswa Papu-Zamxaka;

g)    Ms Gail Campbell

h)   Mr Mashangu Lubisi

i)     Prof Errol Tyobeka (re-appointment);

j)      Prof Sunil Maharaj (re-appointment)

k)    Dr Peter Clayton (re-appointment);

l)     Prof Loyiso Nongxo (Chairperson);

m)  Ms Joanne Yawitch; and

n)   Prof Murray Leibbrandt (re-appointment).

6.2.      Cabinet approved the following appointments to the Patent Examination Board

a)    Ms Elena Mihail Zdravkova;

b)    Prof Christiena Maria van der Bank (re-appointment);

c)    Ms Shanaaz Tiry (re-appointment);

d)    Ms Sandra Clelland (re-appointment); and

e)    Mr Paul Sibisi (re-appointment).

6.3.      Cabinet approved the appointments of Tribunal Members to the Companies Tribunal

a)    Prof Kasturi Moodaliyar;

b)    Adv Lizelle Dominique Haskins;

c)    Mr Mmoledi Fairhope Malokane; and

d)    Mr Peter John Veldhuizen.

6.4.      Cabinet approved the following appointments to the Board of the South African Civil Aviation Authority.

a)    Mr Smunda Mokoena (Chairperson);

b)    Prof Ntombizozuko Dyani-Mhango;

c)    Major-General Nhlanhla Lucky Job Ngema;

d)    Ms Lizeka Dlephu;

e)    Adv Roshan Dehal (re-appointment);

f)     Ms Doris Dondur (re-appointment); and

g)    Mr Mongezi India.

6.5.      Cabinet approved the following appointments of Non-Executive Trustees to the Board of the National Empowerment Fund.

a)    Mr R Garach;

b)    Mr A Raiz;

c)    Ms Z Ntlangula;

d)    Ms N Mosala;

e)    Ms A Makwetla; and

f)     Ms J Williams.

6.6.      Cabinet approved the appointment of Mr Fundisile Mketeni as CEO of South African National Parks (SANParks) on a five (5) year contract.

6.7.      Cabinet extended the contract of Ms Thuli Radebe as CEO of the Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) for a further three (3) years.

6.8.      Cabinet approved the appointment of Ms Lakela Kaunda as Chief Operations Officer in The Presidency.

 

 

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Issued by Department of Communications

Year: 
2014
Media Statement date: 
Thursday, October 23, 2014