25 June 2008
Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Cape Town this morning, 25 June 2008.
Cabinet noted the latest developments in Zimbabwe. The South African Government is extremely concerned about the violence taking place in Zimbabwe and affirms its position in support of the United Nations Security Resolution which condemns violence.
The government will continue with its Southern African Development Community (SADC) mandate to facilitate the talks between the Zimbabwean government and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The South African Government is working around the clock in its capacity as facilitator, to get the parties to agree to a political settlement sooner rather than later. We remain optimistic that a political solution is the only route that will deliver a lasting solution. Government urges both parties to continue to engage in talks to find a political solution that will be in the best interest of all Zimbabweans. We appeal to everyone to give the facilitation process the space it requires, as government believes that only a political settlement will bring about a lasting and peaceful solution.
The meeting noted the recent decision of the German prosecutors not to proceed with the investigations of German companies for their alleged involvement in irregularities regarding the arms deal. Cabinet is concerned about continued speculation in some media which continues to insinuate that the decision of the German prosecutors was due to non-cooperation by the South African authorities. We reject this insinuation completely. A special media briefing will be held soon to present proof that at no stage did the South African Government refuse to cooperate with the Germans. The media will be advised of the time for such a briefing.
The meeting noted that President Mbeki had extended the employment contract of the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS) for twelve months with effect from the 1 July 2008. The National Commissioner will remain on leave pending the finalisation and outcome of his court case. Mr Williams will continue to act as the National Commissioner of SAPS. This decision was based on the need to allow due process to be concluded before a final decision could be taken on the future of his employment contract with the state.
The cluster reports on the implementation of the government’s Programme of Action were considered and approved in preparation for the Ministerial media briefings scheduled to commence on 30 June 2008, in Pretoria with a video link to Cape Town.
The Strategic review of the first phase, and proposal for the second phase of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) was considered and approved by Cabinet. The meeting noted that the programme had successfully created up to 950 000 work opportunities during the period 2004 to 2007, and was on track to create 1.3 million opportunities by 2009. Of the 950 000 opportunities already created, 48% of the beneficiaries were women and 37% were youth. During the second phase (2009-2014), the EPWP has a target to reach 1.5 million beneficiaries. The Ministers of Public Works and Labour, in consultation with other Ministries, will enhance and finalise the training framework to entrench training as an essential part of the programme.
The strategic framework for the July Cabinet Legkotla was approved. The primary objective of the Lekgotla will be to conduct a mid-year review of the implementation of the government’s Programme of Action and the adoption of a medium-term Strategic Framework. The discussions will also take into account the fact that a general election will be held in about 10 months, which will usher in a new executive. Other topics for discussion will include:
- a comprehensive anti-poverty strategy;
- a comprehensive social security system;
- a National Human Resources Development Strategy;
- a framework for economic regulators;
- climate change and mitigation scenarios;
- a review of the system of provincial and local government;
- a review of the Criminal Justice System; and
- the SADC regional integration.
Cabinet noted that the Minister of Safety and Security will be releasing the next set of crime statistics on 30 June 2008 in Pretoria. A video link-up will be arranged for Cape Town-based media.
The Minister of Finance was given the mandate to exempt municipalities and Eskom from the provisions of the Municipalities Financial Management Act 56 of 2003, which requires that electricity tariff increases be tabled in Parliament by 15 March of each year for implementation on 1st July 2008. The Minister of Finance had granted the extension of the tabling of the tariff on 1 April 2008. However, this extension was not sufficient to allow for the completion of the National Energy Regulator (NERSA) process. The new Eskom tariffs for the 2008/9 financial year will be tabled in Parliament on 30 June 2008, for implementation on 1st July 2008.
Cabinet noted and discussed Sentech’s funding requirements and resolved that the Presidency, National Treasury and the Department of Communication (DOC) would meet urgently to consider the funding requirements with a view to expediting the roll-out of the wireless broadband infrastructure. This wireless broadband infrastructure is essential for improving broadband capability and access, particularly for rural communities and public facilities such as schools, clinics, courts, Thusong Service Centres and other government offices.
South Africa’s co-hosting with Germany, of the 30th Session of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU), to be held from 3 to 7 November 2008 in Cape Town, South Africa, was approved by Cabinet. The meeting also endorsed the hosting of the 3rd Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Parties to the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC)), to be held from 17 to 22 November 2008 in Durban, South Africa.
The following appointments were approved:
- The employment contract of Ms PPJ Molefe, Director-General: Department of Public Enterprises,was extended for a three-year period ending in August 2011
- Ms NN Jezile was appointed Director-General in the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
- Ms M Mbina Mthembu was appointed Deputy Director-General in the Department of National Treasury
- Mr A Jenneker was appointed Deputy Director-General at Statistics South Africa
- The appointment of the new National Research Foundation (NRF) Board with effect from 1 July:
- Prof B Bozzolli (Chairperson);
- Prof J Fedderke;
- T Gcabashe (re-appointment);
- Dr N Magau;
- Dr I May;
- Prof T Nyokong (re-appointment);
- Mr T Netsianda;
- Prof P Pillay;
- Dr V Pillay; and
- Ms N Yokwana.
- The appointment of Mr Patel as an Executive Board Member to the South African Airways (SAA) Board of Directors.
Themba Maseko (Government Spokesperson)
Cell: 083 645 0810
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)