Statement on Cabinet meeting of 11 June 2008


12 June 2008

Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Cape Town yesterday, 11 June 2008.

The Inter-Ministerial Task Team reported on the latest developments regarding the attacks on foreign nationals. The report indicated that a total of 62 people lost their lives during the senseless violence. 21 of the 62 people who died were South Africans. The majority of the deaths (53) were in Gauteng.

On behalf of South Africans, the government would like to express its condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this senseless violence. The Inter-Ministerial Task Team is considering the possibility of a declaring a national day of healing to enable the nation to pay its respect to all those who lost their lives during the violence. The details will be announced at a later date.

Cabinet noted the process of placing the victims of the violence in shelters was proceeding according to plan. So far in Gauteng, about 6 164 of the displaced people have been moved from police stations to temporary shelters, and at least 13 000 of the 20 000 who were displaced in the Western Cape have been placed in shelters. Government will continue to work with international agencies such as the UNHCR, Oxfam, Doctors without Borders, the Red Cross and a number of South African NGO’s to ensure that the shelters comply with minimum international standards.

The services provided at the temporary shelters include tents, showers, toilets, food, water, mobile health facilities, blankets, sleeping bags and in some cases, clothing has also been provided. South Africans continue to donate a number of goods to the displaced shelters.

The next key challenge is the re-integration of the victims of violence back into the communities within two months. Whilst Government acknowledges that this is a very complex process, this is unavoidable as the existence of shelters in the open fields and in community halls is unsustainable. Government will work with all stakeholders to ensure that ideal conditions are created for the re-integration process which will involve dialogue and consultations with and between local communities and the displaced foreign nationals. The re-integration process is quite advanced in the Western Cape and involves professional mediators and conflict-resolution specialists.

On the security front, the meeting noted that the security measures that were put in place to provide security to South Africans and the foreign nationals in the affected areas, was proving to be effective. The violence has effectively ceased. This is largely due to the efforts of the police, defence force and the role played by communities and their leaders who stood up against the violence.

Government acknowledges and conveys its gratitude to the South African public and the many NGO’s, civil society and the private sector for their role in supporting the victims of the violence. A special word of thanks also goes to the members of the various communities that were affected by the violence for their role in preventing a further escalation of violence.

Cabinet approved the Nuclear Energy Policy for the Republic of South Africa. This approval follows the consideration of public comments that were received after the policy was published in August 2007. The objective of this policy is to increase the role of nuclear energy as part of the process of diversifying our primary energy sources to ensure energy security. The policy will also ensure the reduction of our over-reliance on coal which contributes to South Africa being among the highest emitters of greenhouse gases. The Department of Minerals and Energy is finalising an implementation plan in consultation with key stakeholders.

Cabinet discussed the fuel levy proposal and noted that South Africa’s levy was a specific tax which was adjusted once a year and remains constant irrespective of changes in the fuel prices. This differs from a percentage-based duty that would fluctuate along with the changes in fuel prices. The current levy on diesel is 111 cents, and 127 cents on petrol per litre; the Road Accident Fund Levy is 46.5 cents per litre and the SACU levy is 4 cents per litre. These levy amounts remain the same for a full year, irrespective of changes in the price of fuel. The meeting resolved that the Ministers of Finance and Minerals and Energy should consult further with a view to identifying the most desirable, practical and possible ways of mitigating the impact of the rising cost of fuel on food prices and other goods and services. The Ministers will present a package of proposals to Cabinet in the near future.

The National Framework for Sustainable Development (NFSD) was approved for publication. The framework seeks to promote the vision of sustainable development for South Africa. The NFSD proposes the integration of sustainable development principles in all national policies and programmes, whilst defining specific areas of intervention to enable the country to move closer towards achieving the goals of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).

The draft National Policy on the Secondment of South African Public Service Employees was approved. The policy creates a framework for the secondment of South African public servants to multi-lateral bodies and to other countries. The proposed interventions to improve the Human Resource (HR) management function within the Public Service were approved. These interventions include:
 

  • redesigning of the HR components in departments;
  • a competency framework;
  • a review of training courses; and
  • the determination of a set of key performance indicators.

These interventions are meant to enable departments to utilise their human resources as strategic assets to realise the goal of improving service delivery. The implementation of the proposed interventions will be led by the Department of Public Service and Administration in partnership with heads of HR in the various departments.

The African Youth Charter was approved and will be submitted to Parliament for ratification.

The following appointments were approved:
 

  • The employment contract of Ms Lindi Msengana-Ndlela, the Director-General in the Department of Provincial and Local Government (DPLG), was extended for a further three-year period
  • Four Deputy Directors-General were appointed in the South African Management Development Institute (SAMDI)
  • Ms S Moodley was appointed Deputy Director-General in the Department of Correctional Services
  • The extension of the current term of the following members of the Private Security Industry Regulatory Council (PSIRA) until the end of August 2008:
    • Mr N Ramathlodi (Chairperson);
    • Dr F Randera (Vice-Chairperson);
    • Dr T Ndhlovu;
    • Ms M de Haas; and
    • Mr S Majombozi.

The following Bills were approved for submission to Parliament:
 

  • The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill; and
  • The National Strategic Intelligence Amendment Bill.

Enquiries
Themba Maseko (Government Spokesperson)
Cell: 083 645 0810

Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)

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Year: 
2008
Media Statement date: 
Thursday, June 12, 2008