24 July 2007
Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Pretoria on 24 July 2007, prior to the annual July Cabinet lekgotla.
Cabinet received and noted the report of the panel of experts on the development of policy on the regulation of foreign land ownership in South Africa. The panel has recommended, among other things, the following:
- Compulsory disclosure of the foreign buyer's details in line with the Financial Intelligence Act (FICA)
- Special Ministerial approval in cases where certain categories of land are being considered for disposal e.g. land earmarked for land reform, restitution or integrated human settlement
- The setting up of an Inter-Ministerial Committee, consisting of the Departments of Agriculture and Land Affairs, Provincial and Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, and Public Works
- Identification of instances in which prohibition of foreign ownership of land could be justified e.g. national key points, water catchment areas, land along border lines and international borders
- Consideration of long-term leasing of land as opposed to outright sale, as one of the policy options
- Consideration of a possible moratorium on sale of land to foreigners.
The meeting approved that the above-mentioned report of the panel of experts on foreign land ownership, be published for public comment, subject to the inclusion of a comparative analysis of how other countries have managed this complex policy matter. The final policy will be approved by Cabinet after the public has commented on the report.
Following a consideration of the report from the Board of the FIFA Local Organising Committee (LOC), Cabinet approved the LOC Board recommendation that the 2010 FIFA World Cup International Broadcast Centre (IBC) be located in Johannesburg. The cities of Cape Town and Ethekwini were the other cities that submitted bids to host the IBC. The IBC will enhance South Africa's migration into the new model of high definition television and new broadcasting technology.
The meeting approved the proposal for government departments to establish language units with a view to implementing the Language Policy Framework which was approved by Cabinet in 2003. The policy framework provided for all government documents to be available in all the 11 official languages at national level and in the official languages of each province. The key service delivery departments will be prioritised and monitored to ensure that they set up the units responsible for the translation of all their documents. These are the Departments of Home Affairs, Justice and Constitutional Development, Social Development, Health, Safety and Security, Correctional Services, Education, Housing, Provincial and Local government and Land Affairs.
A Language Awareness Communication Strategy was also approved for implementation across South Africa to raise awareness about the need to promote and support the development of all official languages, particularly African languages.
Cabinet approved the deployment until March 2008, of five members of the South African National Defence Force, to be part of the African Union Mission in Northern Uganda, as military observers.
The meeting noted the report on the outcome of the 2007 Spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. These included discussions on the reform of the IMF as well as progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals and the implementation of the Africa Action Plan. The Minister of Finance will submit a report to Cabinet on progress towards the attainment of the Millennium Goals in the African continent.
Cabinet noted the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Scheme proposal and supported the initiative in principle, subject to more attention being paid to environmental issues such as pollution (carbon emissions), and the involvement of municipalities on spatial issues such as location of developments and land acquisition. The Minister of Transport will release the details of the scheme at a later stage.
The meeting noted that the African Development Bank has decided not to implement the Third Constituency until its 2008 Annual General Meeting.
The Ten-Year Innovation Plan for South Africa was approved. It will include bio-technology as an essential part of the plan.
The following appointments were approved:
- Ms Sarah Choane was appointed as the Deputy Director-General (DDG): Group Systems and Support Services in the Department of Trade and Industry
- The following were appointed to the board of the Cross-Border Road Transport Agency; Mr PG Phalafala, Ms M Du Preez, Ms N Ally, Ms B Horne, Mr B Mpondo, Mr H Digkale, Mr L Twalo, and Ms H Mnguni (Ex Officio representing Department of Transport)
- Mr S Mokoetle and Ms B Langa were appointed as non-executive directors to the Board of Sentech
- Mr S Dietrich, Mr B Mabaso and M Patel were appointed as non-Executive Directors of the Board of the SA Post Office.
The following Bills were approved:
- The Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Amendment Bill
- The Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Bill
- The National Environmental Management: Waste Bill
- The National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Bill
- The National Environmental Management Act; the Environmental Impact Assessment regulation will be revised and new regulations will be tabled in due course
- The Technology Innovation Bill.
Themba Maseko - Government Spokesperson
Cell: 083 645 0810
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)