Statement on Cabinet meeting of 5 September 2007


5 September 2007

Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Cape Town yesterday morning, 5 September 2007.

Cabinet resolved that Eskom be designated as the single buyer of power from Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in South Africa. Eskom will be responsible for ensuring that adequate generation capacity is made available and that 30% of the new power generation capacity is derived from IPPs. This policy will ensure that the responsibility and accountability for the construction of power generation capacity is co-ordinated and provide certainty to the private providers.

The introduction of the private sector into the power generation sector will also allow production cost benchmarking with the state utility, thereby ensuring that the lowest cost production of electricity is achieved. Over the next 20 years, Eskom will build all nuclear power plants in South Africa and the IPPs will build more than 50% of all non-nuclear power plants.

The Department of Minerals and Energy will develop an Integrated Resource Plan that will define the magnitude of power generating capacity needed to meet the country’s electricity demands. The National Electricity Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) will regulate the single buyer function and specifically approve all commercial agreements between the single buyer and the private producers. Institutional and regulatory mechanisms will be put in place as per the Electricity Regulation Act.

Cabinet received and noted the report on the National Education Infrastructure Management System (NEIMS), which is an update on the school register of needs. The report highlights the progress the country was making in addressing the school infrastructure backlogs and the challenges that still lay ahead. Progress between 1996 and 2006 include the following; the number of overcrowded schools has dropped from 51% to 24%; the number of schools with electricity increased from 11 174 to 20 713; schools without access to water has decreased from 8 823 to 3152 in 2006; schools without toilets decreased from 3 265 to 1 532. Cabinet resolved that innovative ways of accelerating service delivery, such as the establishment of a dedicated agency or public entity; increased use of public-private partnerships and community participation in provision, should be explored. The meeting decided that the NEIMS report be released for public information and comment.

Cabinet expressed its disquiet about the corruption and fraud that led to the distribution of faulty condoms which may expose individuals to the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. The meeting welcomed the speedy action taken by the Department of Health to recall all the condoms that were distributed and the steps taken by the South African Bureau of Standards against the individuals implicated in the fraud. All those implicated in the scam will face the full force of the law. Further announcements in this regard will be made shortly. The meeting noted that at its forthcoming meeting on 10 September 2007 the South African National Aids Council will be finalising the communication strategy, which will include messages about the importance of safe sex.

The meeting noted that the President and Deputy President hosted an event to mark the contribution of stakeholders to the successful first 18 months of the Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA). The initiative is steadily reaching its objectives of identifying critical skills needed for faster and shared growth, demonstrated the benefits of partnerships between government and the social partners. Successes of this initiative include the placement of 1 500 graduates in private companies and government departments; placement offers for 20 000 graduates; international placement of more than 700 mainly women graduates and the recent announcement by ICT companies to establish ICT training centres to support Black-owned companies. JIPSA’s progress lays the foundation for mobilising participation of many other players locally and abroad in a national effort to ensure that the country reaches the AsgiSA targets.

The 2010 FIFA Local Organising Committee and the nine host cities will stage public events on 15 September 2007 to mark the 1 000 days before the kick-off of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals. The count down campaign will be aimed at raising awareness locally and abroad about our readiness to host the tournament, and to mobilise the nation around the shared vision to build a united South Africa. All sectors of the population are called upon to initiate programmes that will prepare the nation for hosting and marketing our country and continent to the world. Preparation for hosting the tournament should not be just be about building stadia and other infrastructure.

On the sporting front, Cabinet wishes the Springboks well in the forthcoming IRB Rugby World Cup. The team must gain strength from the fact that the support of the whole nation is behind them. Our hosting of the Inaugural 2020 ICC Cricket World Cup in South Africa presents us with another opportunity to showcase not just our ability to host international sports events, but to win them as well. We wish our cricket team success in this Tournament. Good wishes also go to Bafana Bafana in their forthcoming African Nations Cup qualifying match against Zambia on Sunday at the Newlands stadium in Cape Town.

The meeting noted that the President launched the National Arbor Week in Ga-Rankuwa last week. The campaign is part of the Greening Strategy which will see a million trees planted each year for the next few years; the campaign promotes awareness about the need to plant and maintain indigenous trees throughout the country, especially in historically disadvantaged communities and promote understanding of contribution of trees to sustainable development. This year’s theme is “Plant a Tree - Grow our Future”. All South Africans are called upon to plant a tree in their homes and in their work places as our gift to the environment and future generations.

With regard to International Conferences, a South African delegation will be participating in the Eighth Session of the Conference of Parties to the UN Convention to combat Desertification which is being held in Spain from 3 to 14 September 2007. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry will host the Second African Sanitation Conference to be held in Durban from 18 to 20 February 2008.

The following appointments were approved:
 

  • Mr Thembinkosi P Wakashe was appointed as the Director-General in the Department of Arts and Culture;
  • Dr Mogajane was appointed as a Deputy Director-General in the Department of Agriculture;
  • Concurred with the appointment of Mr T Mokhele as the Chief Executive Officer of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA);
  • Concurred with the appointment of Dr T Abrahamse as the Chief Executive Officer of the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI);
  • The following were appointed to the board of the Development Board of Southern Africa (DBSA); Mr I Mzimela; Ms T Dingaan; Professor O Lattif; Ms T Ramano; Mr E Webster. The tenure of Prof B Figaji and Dr L Konar was extended until July 31 2009 and that of Dr L Gwagwa and Mr T Fowler was extended to 31 July 2010.
  • The following were appointed to the Board of the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC); Dr ASM Karaam; Prof J Kirsten; Ms M Moolman; Ms N Msimang; Mr AD Young; Ms M Gill; Ms M Mannya; Mr DB Montshwe; Prof H van Schalkwyk and Ms C Molo.
  • The following were appointed to the Board of the National Development Agency (NDA): Ms M Manong; Mr BM Mpumlwana; Prof TV Mayekiso; Dr D Adler; Mr PC Ngove; Dr W Mgoqi; Mr P Mokobane; Mr M Pheelwane; Mr MA Madzivhandila; Mr S Mohlabi and Ms N Maphalala.

The following Bills were approved:
 

  • Cross-Border Road Transport Amendment Bill for introduction to Parliament
  • The Merchant Shipping Amendment Bill for public comment
  • The Defence Amendment Bill for introduction to Parliament
  • The Jurisdiction of Regional Courts Amendment Bill for introduction to Parliament
  • Electronic Communications Amendment Bill for introduction to Parliament

Enquiries
Themba Maseko - Government Spokesperson
Cell: 083 645 0810

Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)

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Year: 
2007
Media Statement date: 
Wednesday, September 5, 2007