Media release

Statement on Cabinet meeting of 26 August 2009

27 August 2009

27 August 2009

Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Cape Town yesterday, 26 August 2009.

Cabinet re-affirmed its commitment to implement the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system in partnership with all the stakeholders, particularly the taxi industry. The BRT initiative is aimed at improving and changing the way commuters can travel in our major cities. Improving public transport for South Africans is not negotiable as it has the potential to improve the quality of life of our citizens and to increase productivity across the board.

Government is firmly committed to making sure that all affected stakeholders are consulted and are part of the initiative. It is for this reason that government agreed to the establishment of the National Joint Working Group on Public Transport. This Working Group will lay the basis for a stronger partnership between Government and the Taxi industry. Government is firmly committed to working with the taxi industry to address all their legitimate interests, concerns, and anxieties as the industry goes through this transformation.

At the same time the contractual agreements to implement the BRT will be signed between the respective cities and the relevant taxi associations. As national government we are committed to support and safeguard the integrity of the city-led negotiation process.

Government fully appreciates the contribution made by the taxi industry over many decades in moving South Africans around the country. Hence our commitment to work with the industry to ensure that it is not marginalised. In actual fact, Government sees the taxi industry as forming part of this initiative. The Joint Working Group was established to address all concerns and reservations of the industry including but not limited to the BRT.

All the cities that are implementing the BRT system have made unequivocal commitments to ensure that the affected operators are consulted and become an integral part of the BRT.

Having said that, government condemns all threats of violence against the implementation of the BRT. Such threats of violence and actual violent conduct are viewed in a very serious light and will not be tolerated. The law enforcement agencies will not hesitate to take strong action against those who either threaten or perpetrate any form of violence. Whilst the right to protest by those who are unhappy about the BRT is respected, this right cannot be exercised at the expense of law abiding citizens who have an equal right to a safe, punctual and efficient ride between home and work.

Cabinet condemned, in the strongest possible terms, the illegal and violent protest at the Union Buildings by members of the South African National Defence Union (SANDU). Defying a court order, engaging in unnecessary violent behaviour, causing damage to private and public property, and attempting to invade the seat of government is totally unacceptable, especially from people who have the responsibility of being the true defenders of the constitution. All those who were involved in this unruly behaviour must expect no sympathy from the state, as the law will take its course.

The time is fast approaching where the State cannot be expected to stand by while the laws of the land are being trampled upon, public and private property is being destroyed, untold damage is being caused to the country’s reputation as a stable and emerging democracy, and most importantly, the rights of law abiding citizens are being infringed upon in the name of protesting.

Cabinet congratulated all the athletes for participating in the 12th International Association of Athletics Federations IAAF, held in Berlin on 12-23 August 2009 and for winning two gold medals and a silver in 800 meters race and the long jump respectively. Caster Semenya, Khotso Mokoena and Mbulaeni Mulaudzi made all South Africans very proud. They lifted South Africa to the top 10 on the medals table at the conclusion of the championships. A special word of congratulations goes to Caster Semenya, whom President Zuma referred to as the ‘golden girl’ for silencing her critics by winning gold against all odds.

Her achievement, especially during Women’s’ month, will serve to inspire millions of women, young and old, in South African and the rest of the developing world, to reach for the skies against all odds. The Human Resources Development Strategy for South Africa (HRD-SA) 2010-2030 was discussed. The meeting decided that further work needs to be done to achieve greater alignment between the strategy and the electoral mandate; to take the current economic conditions into account; to include a stronger vision for the SETAS as well as the location of the FET Colleges; and the need to reflect on the unintended consequences of the merger of some of the Universities and other institutions of higher learning, particularly the Medical University of South Africa (MEDUNSA).

The Ministerial Task Team on cost cutting measures in government that is led by the Minister of Finance, Minister Pravin Gordhan, indicated that it would be tabling its report shortly. President Zuma will announce these cost cutting measures as soon as Cabinet has discussed and approved the report.

The document on the development indicators was approved and will be published shortly. The 2009 edition contains 76 indicators that are clustered into 10 themes. These indicators are an important evaluation tool that will be used to measure the impact of the various Government policies and service delivery initiatives, and add value to the efficient planning and implementation of government programmes.

The Green Paper on National Strategic Planning was approved. The Green Paper provides for, among other things, the establishment of the Planning Commission. The Green Paper will be submitted to Parliament together with the Green Paper on Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation shortly.

The Department of Health’s interventions and messages on the H1N1 pandemic were discussed and the meeting noted that the Minister of Health was scheduled to make a statement in Parliament on the government response to the pandemic.

South Africa’s participation at the 2nd Africa-South America summit was approved. This summit will serve to strengthen South-South cooperation and the consolidation of the African agenda. The Summit will take place in Caracas, Venezuela from 22-27 September 2009.

The meeting noted that the next Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit was scheduled to take place on the 7-8 September 2009 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The DRC will take over the chairpersonship of SADC for the next year.

Cabinet decided that the number of persons who are appointed into the Boards and Councils of State and State controlled bodies should be broadened to give more South Africans the opportunity to serve the nation. The appointment of Chairpersons of Boards should be contingent on appropriate experience and qualifications. The Minister of Public Enterprises is compiling a database of persons who could be considered for appointment to these boards.

A 10.5% cost of living salary adjustment for the office bearers of the South African Human Rights Commission was noted and approved. The Ministers of Justice and Constitutional Development and of Public Service and Administration were mandated to investigate the salary structure of office bearers of all Chapter 9 institutions and to make recommendations in this regard. The two ministers were also asked to expedite all outstanding matters regarding the Report of the Ad hoc Committee on the Review of Chapter 9 Institutions.

Ms Mamodopi Mohlala was appointed to the post of Director General in the Department of Communication. She is the current Pension Fund Adjudicator. Her previous positions include the following: Councillor of ICASA; Managing Director of Mohlala Attorneys and lecturer at UNISA. Her qualifications include a BA in law, an LLB, and LLM.

Mr Jimmy Manyi was appointed to the post of Director General in the Department of Labour. Mr Manyi is currently the Group Executive of Corporate Affairs at Tiger Brands. His previous positions include Director of BEE and Corporate Affairs at IBM; Director of Corporate Affairs and Public Policy at Barclays Bank PLC and Executive Director of Business Banking and Marketing at Nedcor-Peoples Bank. His qualifications include: Chartered Marketer Programme; Senior Executive Programme; National Higher Diploma in Economic Geology and a National Diploma in Geology.

Ms Jesse Duarte was appointed to the post Chief Operations Officer in the Presidency. She is currently the Spokesperson of the African National Congress and her work experience include: Deputy Director General and Chief Director in the former Department of Foreign Affairs; and South Africa’s High Commissioner to Mozambique.

The following appointments were also approved

  • Ms Lusanda Mxenge was appointed to the post of Deputy Director General in charge of the Cabinet Office in the Presidency.
  • Mr Mkhuseni Apleni was appointed to the post of Deputy Director General in charge of Finance and Supply Chain Management in the Department of Home Affairs.
  • Concurred with the recommendation to appoint of Dr B Mehlomakhulu as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).
  • Mr CB Sibisi (Chairperson); Dr T Demana; Dr MJ Ellman; Mr WK Masvikwa; Mr ME Mkhanazi; Ms B Mosako; Ms WIJ Poulton; Ms DIM Sekonyela and Dr B Mehlomakhulu (ex officio) were appointed to the Board of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS)
  • Ms C Da Silva; Mr MA Samie; Ms JRK Du Preez; Ms M Lehutso-Phooko; Mr H DU Toit and Ms B Njenje were appointed to the Board of the South African Special Risk Insurance Association (SASRIA) for a period of three years. Mr G Matthee was re-appointed as the Executive Director of SASRIA for three years and Mr C Ramaphosa was re-appointed as Chairperson of the Board.
  • Concurred with the re-appointment of Mr. M Mcdonald; Ms T Eboka and Ms T van Meelis to the part-time posts of commissioners at the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) at the Department of trade and Industry for a three year term.
  • Mr Z Fihlani and Mr J Lesejane were appointed to the Board of the Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ECIC) for a three-year period. Mr T Ditshego and Ms L Mvanana’s terms in the Board were extended for a year. Mr I Sharma’s term was extended to coincide with his employment contract, which expires on 28 February 2012.

The Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill was approved and will be submitted to Parliament.

Themba Maseko (Government Spokesperson)
Contact: 083 645 0810

Issued by Government Communications (GCIS)


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