Media release

Statement on Cabinet meeting of 7 November 2007

08 November 2007

8 November 2007

Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Cape Town yesterday morning, 7 November 2007.

Cabinet noted the progress made by the economic cluster regarding the implementation of a number of measures to strengthen and grow the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs). These measures include the Integrated Small Enterprise Development Strategy (ISEDS) which is based on the following three pillars: increasing supply for financial and non-financial support; creating demand for small enterprise products and services; and reducing regulatory constraints.

Cabinet approved that 85% of expenditure on the following 10 listed products and services will be procured from SMMEs. This measure is aimed at growing SMMEs and increasing demand for goods and services from the sector. The 10 listed products and services will be as follows:

  1. advertising, media and communication
  2. interior and exterior cleaning services and cleaning product supplies
  3. clothing and textiles
  4. computer equipment and consumable supplies
  5. interior and exterior furniture and décor
  6. events co-ordination and management
  7. maintenance, repairs, construction and office space
  8. travel co-ordination and shuttle services
  9. food perishable and supplies
  10. stationery supplies and printing

The government-funded small enterprise support agencies will provide dedicated financial and non-financial procurement based support for these products. National Treasury will issue guidelines to all national and provincial departments to ensure implementation, monitoring and reporting.

The meeting resolved that the 30-day payment rule to small enterprises for goods and services rendered to all government departments will be enforced with immediate effect. Government is of the view that this measure will facilitate better cash flow management and ensure the sustainability of small enterprises. This measure will be monitored and enforced through, among other things, inclusion in the performance contracts of all accounting officers. The Small Enterprise Development Agency (seda) will set up a call centre to handle complaints from SMMEs about late payments by Departments. The Auditor-General will also be asked to report on this matter in the annual audit reports.

The meeting noted that progress in implementing the ISEDS strategy includes the following: the establishment of 103 Enterprise Information Centres of the Small Enterprise Development Agency (seda); 47 offices of seda country-wide;13 Khula mentorship offices; eight South African Micro-Finance Apex Fund (SAMAF) provincial offices; 38 SAMAF partner organisations acting as financial lending intermediaries; 18 incubation centres around the country; establishment of the Co-operative Incentive Scheme; in the 2006/07 financial year Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) allocated R597 million to businesses operating in or near townships and the IDC Risk Capital Facility has allocated R190 million to 90 companies creating 5 310 jobs; a R496 million portfolio investment by the National Empowerment Fund; the implementation of the Black Business Supplier Development Programme; and the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Programme supporting 11 309 projects to the value of R12,7 billion since 2000.

Further, the meeting resolved that the Department of Trade and Industry will enhance its capacity to co-ordinate all efforts to implement the Integrated Small Enterprise Development Strategy (ISEDS) across all spheres, monitor implementation and ensure that these SMME interventions are synchronised with initiatives of the state owned enterprises.

Cabinet received a report on the review of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) which highlighted that a number of areas in the system were dysfunctional and needed changes to be effected. This review follows the President's initiative to set up the Government/Big Business Working Group on crime. One of the main weaknesses identified in the review was the lack of co-ordination between the different players in the system i.e. South African Police Services, The National Prosecuting Authority, Department of Justice, Correctional Services, and other support departments such as Health and Social Development.

Cabinet approved the proposed turn-around strategy for the Criminal Justice System (CJS) to bring about greater levels of efficiency and effectiveness through better co-ordination; better planning; better resource management and allocation; better training; and improved incentive schemes that reward expertise and experience. The proposed strategy seeks a more systemic approach to transformation of the CJS and co-ordinated management between the various players.

The proposed strategy includes the adoption of a single vision and mission for the whole CJS, with a single set of objectives, priorities and performance measurement targets across the system; creation of a new legislative management structure that brings all the different arms of the system together for co-ordination and management purposes; establishment of a single seamless CJS database; modernisation of equipment and other tools; strengthening community police fora by inter alia, giving them a role in matters such as policing, parole boards and allocation of more resources to give them more teeth. Some of the changes are already under way e.g. the video postponement of cases is being rolled out already; recording of cases is already digitised and the e-scheduler is being implemented to assist with the scheduling of court cases.

These measures require a number of changes in the current system including amending legislation and issuing new policy directives. A crosscutting Task Team consisting of all the key role-players will be established immediately to start developing an implementation plan. A report will be tabled and finalised at the Cabinet Lekgotla in January 2008 and formally announced during the State of the Nation Address.

The forensic report into the financial management of the South African Land Bank was noted and the meeting approved that the report be referred to South African Police Service and the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions for further investigations. The Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs will work with the Land Bank Board to ensure that a turnaround strategy is finalised by the end of November 2007. The appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer will be expedited and the composition of the Board will be reviewed as soon as possible.

The report on the preparations for the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children was noted and the meeting agreed that all departments must fully participate in the campaign and submit their plans to the Ministry of Provincial and Local Government for co-ordination purposes.

The meeting noted that the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) will be held in Kampala, Uganda, on 23-25 November 2007. The theme of this meeting will be 'transforming Commonwealth societies to achieve political, economic and human development'.

Cabinet noted that African Union African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) report on South Africa will be released by the APRM Secretariat shortly after a formal submission to the President. The report highlights a number of positive elements which the Panel recommends be emulated by other African countries but also raises a number of challenges that need urgent attention by South Africa. Cabinet is confident that the government programme of action already addresses the challenges that are raised in the report.

The meeting noted the second African-Caribbean Diaspora Ministerial conference will be held from 16 to 18 November 2007 in Midrand, Johannesburg.

Cabinet noted that the Department of Home Affairs has finalised a plan to issue new passports which will incorporate the new Coat of Arms. The roll out of the new passports will commence in December 2007.

Cabinet approved that Sport and Recreation South Africa hosts the 21st Session of the General Assembly of the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (SCSA) in the first quarter of 2008.

The following appointments were approved:

  • Ms CS Nhlumayo and Mr IM Abader were appointed as Deputy Directors-General in the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
  • Mr R Rakgoale was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC)
  • The employment contract of the Chief Executive Officer of Sentech, Dr S Mokone-Matabane was renewed for a period of two years and six months with effect from 1 April 2008
  • Ms SL Arnold's appointment as the Chairperson of Telkom SA was endorsed.

The following Bills were approved:

  • The Renaming of High Courts Bill was approved for submission to Parliament subject to a future review of the two divisions of the High Court in Gauteng
  • The Housing Development Agency Bill was approved for submission to Parliament
  • The Refugees Amendment Bill for submission to Parliament

Themba Maseko - Government Spokesperson
Cell: 083 645 0810

Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)


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