11 October 2012
Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Pretoria on 10 October 2012 (yesterday), and, in keeping with established practices, we hereby conduct this briefing to give an account on issues noted and decisions taken, as follows:
1. Current affairs
Cabinet noted with concern the uncomfortable international macro-economic outlook, of which South Africa is not left unaffected, due to global factors but also domestic ones, as a result of which rating agencies altered our standing from stable to negative.
Cabinet remains committed to taking the necessary measures to lift the growth potential and competitiveness of the South African economy, to address the domestic contributory factors and to ensure that the impact of the downgrade is contained and does not encroach on already constrained resources for key service delivery programmes.
It should be noted that as a country, we take seriously the role of agencies and that, as always, we view them as necessary partners to do assessments of who we and reflect on the areas we should pay attention to as an International actor on matters of economy.
Cabinet noted with concerns the lawlessness, violence and intimidation that continue to pollute the otherwise democratic right for workers to strike. It is a fact that as a Democracy, the right to strike is a defined right in South Africa that obligates the strikers to observe that they cannot encroach into other peoples' rights as they enjoy theirs. No one should be intimidated to take or not to take an industrial action in a Democracy. No one should resort to any form of violence against people or property as a form of striking or protests.
Our struggle for freedom and democracy ensured that our laws provide a space for protected peaceful strikes, which obviates the need for illegal strikes accompanied by violence and intimidation.
Cabinet therefore reiterates its call for workers to utilise existing channels with unions to address grievance and wage negotiations in a manner that is in touch with our laws and collective bargaining practices.
It is, among others, these illegal strike actions and the accompanying violence that is not helping the country's image internationally and is contributing to the already exerting challenges facing our economy and society.
1.3 Presidential Infrastructure Development Summit
Cabinet noted that there is a Presidential Infrastructure Summit planned for the 19th October 2012 that will boost the visibility of government's infrastructure plan, driven by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission.
Cabinet noted that President Zuma handed over new schools to villages in Libode and Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape as part of the replacement programme for mud schools.
Cabinet wishes the Class of 2012 well with the 2012 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations which will be written from 22 October until 28 November 2012.
Government has put in place early interventions to address health barriers to learning in order to enhance children's development and educational gains. Preventable and treatable barriers such as problems with vision, hearing and oral health can compromise children's ability to achieve to their full potential.
On this programme, President Jacob Zuma is launching the Integrated School Health Package today 11 October at Chokwe School in Cullinan.
The Integrated School Health Programme is a joint initiative between the departments of Basic Education, Health and Social Development that delivers a comprehensive package of both onsite health education and services to primary and secondary schools.
1.6 Salute to a national hero
The last week saw a great loss to South Africa's intellettual community with the death of Zwelakhe Sisulu, the son of Walter and Albertina Sisulu, and a contributor to the freedom struggle in his own right.
Cabinet expresses its condolences to the family and friends of this giant of South Africa's history.
Mr Sisulu will be remembered with pride for the role played at the New Nation newspaper, the SABC and other institutions, as well as the inspiration he gave to many youth and families.
1.7 SAA Board
Cabinet has noted with concern the developments that have unfolded with the resignation of the CEO and some of the executive management of the national carrier South African Airways (SAA) .
This comes at a point when the Minister of Public Enterprises is finalising the development of the sustainable long term vision for the national carrier.
2.1 Accession to the United Nations lnternational Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
Cabinet approved that South Africa accede to the United Nations International Covenant on Economic and Cultural Rights. The recommendation will be tabled in Parliament for ratification in line with Section 231 (2) of the South African Constitution. The Covenant is a key international treaty which seeks to encourage State Parties to address challenges of inequality, unemployment and poverty, which are critical to the strategic goals of governments.
2.2 Outcome of the investigation into the proposal for Government to acquire an equity stake in Sunspace (Pty) Ltd
Cabinet received and accepted the outcomes of the investigation on government acquiring a majority equity stake in Sunspace. Cabinet approved that negotiations be entered into with South African National Space Agency (SANSA) - an entity owned by State - to explore the absorption of the core capability of Sunspace into SANSA. This will ensure the strengthening of satellite and manufacturing capability within SANSA.
2.3 Accession to Annexures IV and VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) 73/78
Cabinet approved the accession to Annexures IV and VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution from ships.
Annexure IV regulates the discharging of sewage into sea, ships' equipment and systems for the control of sewage discharge. It further regulates the provision of facilities at ports and terminals for the reception of sewage and requirements for survey and certification.
Annexure VI deals with the prevention of air pollution from ships. It sets limits on Sulphur oxide and Nitrogen oxide emissions from ships exhausts and prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances. The accession will be tabled in Parliament for ratification.
2.4 2012/13 Budget Adjustments and 2013 MTEF Policy Statement
The extended Cabinet approved the 2012/13 budget adjustments, the fiscal framework and the Division of Revenue for the 2013 MTEF to be published in the 2012 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement. Cabinet further noted with concern the impact of the global economic downturn and recent disruptions in the domestic economy due to industrial action and their combined impact on the performance of the South African economy. A fuller media briefing by National Treasury will be held after the presentation in Parliament.
3.1 Dangerous Weapons Bill, 2012
Cabinet approved the submission of the Draft Dangerous Weapons Bill to Parliament. The Bill is to repeal the previous Dangerous Weapons Acts which were in operation in areas of the erstwhile South Africa, Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei. The Bill will enhance organisational efficiency and facilitate the transformation of the legal system in line with the constitutional imperatives.
3.2 Mental Health Amendment Bill 2012
Cabinet approved the submission of the Mental Health Amendment Bill to Parliament. The Bill allows the Director-General to delegate to officials in the department powers dealing with transfers of State patients from detention centres to designated health establishment and between designated health establishments. The amendments will improve service delivery in the area of involuntary health care users.
4.1 Cabinet approved the appointment of Mr Frans Kgathatso Tlhakudi as the Deputy Director-General: Manufacturing (Defence, Mining and Forestry) in the Department of Public Enterprises.
4.2 Cabinet approved the appointment of eight (8) new Non-Executive Directors and the Chairperson of the South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator (SADPMR) Board.
Ms Nombulelo Hlolinhlanhla Mkhumane - Chairperson·
Mr Sakhile Glen Ngcobo
Ms Nthabiseng Sharon Xaba
Mr Peter Bailey
Ms Daphney Mashile-Nkosi
Ms Bajabulile Luthuli
Mrs Dolly Doreen Mokgatle
Ms Motlatso Kobe (with Mr M Mabuza as her alternate member)
Cabinet approved the re-appointment of the following members for a three-year term with effect from 1 October 2012:
Mr Stephen Ditshebo Phiri
Mr Llewelyn Delport
Mr Leon Peter Grobler
Mr Raymond Paola (with Mr A Bezuidenhout as his alternate member)
Ms Ntombifuthi Phydellis Zikalala
Phumla Williams (Acting Cabinet Spokesperson)
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