Statement on the Cabinet meeting of 29 May 2013

1.    Cabinet’s position on prominent issues in the current environment

 1.1.     Cabinet calls on communities to be vigilant against the possible resurgence of criminal violence targeting foreign nationals.  Cabinet is cautious not to label this violence as xenophobia because preliminary evidence indicates that these acts may be driven primarily by criminality.

Cabinet commended the law enforcement agencies for their swift and decisive action.

1.2.     Cabinet conveys its condolences to the families and friends of the young men who lost their lives as a result of inappropriate initiation ceremonies. Cabinet endorses the call by President Jacob Zuma for swift justice and calls on traditional leaders and members of the community to be vigilant against abuse or neglect.

Government fully supports the traditions and cultures of our diverse society and highlights that these must be balanced with constitutional rights.

1.3.     Cabinet welcomed South Africa’s participation in the recent African Union (AU) Summit, where South Africa prioritised a number of issues on the agenda of the Summit. These included the Strategic Plan of the AU Commission for the period 2014-2017 and the AU Budget for 2014; the state of peace and security in Africa; alternative sources of funding for the AU; the post-2015 Development Agenda; the meeting of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee, and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Forum Summit.

1.4.     Cabinet commended the Southern African Development Community (SADC) leadership for facilitating the process that led to Zimbabwe adopting a new Constitution. The Zimbabwean Constitution marks a significant milestone in the successful implementation of the Global Peace Agreement.

1.5.     On the eve of Youth Month Cabinet calls on all segments of society to raise the profile of programmes to fight substance abuse. The Youth Month theme is: “Working Together for Youth Development and a Drug Free South Africa.”

Government’s decisive action to address substance abuse in Eldorado Park, Gauteng, brings the people in this area closer to the realisation of a drug-free community. Cabinet notes and welcomes the progress made by the police, community leaders and other structures in Eldorado Park under the leadership of the Gauteng Provincial Government. Together they made significant progress in fighting the scourge of substance abuse. Cabinet is aware that the situation in Eldorado Park is symptomatic of issues facing many communities in the rest of the country and calls on communities throughout the country to lead the fight for a “substance-free” South Africa within their respective areas.

During Youth Month, let us recommit ourselves to fighting the war against substance abuse and alcoholism in all areas of the country.

1.6.     Cabinet welcomes the incremental introduction of an African language in Grade R and Grade 1 where such languages are not yet offered.

Cabinet also commends the announcement by the University of KwaZulu-Natal to make isiZulu compulsory for undergraduate students, who are not proficient in isiZulu, to register for a course to develop conversational skills.

Cabinet encourages all South Africans to learn an indigenous language as it promotes multilingualism and fosters nation-building.

1.7.     Cabinet notes that from 1 to 3 June 2013 President Jacob Zuma will pay an official visit to Japan and attend the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V). The theme of TICAD V in Yokohama, Japan, is: “Hand in Hand with a More Dynamic Africa.”

1.8.     Cabinet is saddened by the passing of veteran journalist Vuyo Mbuli and offers condolences to the Mbuli family, friends and colleagues in the media industry. Mr Mbuli had contributed immensely to shaping the national discourse on key issues and his passion for his work had touched the hearts of South Africans.

1.9.     Cabinet expressed its deepest condolences to the citizens of Bangladesh and families and friends of over 1 000 garment factory workers who died when a building collapsed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Bangladesh.

1.10.    Cabinet is deeply saddened by the loss of lives and injuries as a result of major flooding in southern China.

 1.11.     Cabinet also expressed deep sorrow at the death of five learners from Lwandile Village in Ngqeleni, Eastern Cape, who died in a bus accident. 30 learners were also injured during this tragic incident. Government offers its condolences to the families, friends, fellow learners and educators of the victims.  It is a sad moment when South Africa loses future leaders.

2.    Key Cabinet discussions and decisions

2.1.     Cabinet approved that the Green Paper on Policing be published in the Government Gazette for public comments.

Since the establishment of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in 1994, there have been many changes in the internal and external environment that have impacted on the Service’s understanding of and response to issues of crime and safety.

Post-1994, government was faced with addressing the twin objectives of creating a developmental state while also transforming the police into an institution of governance.

This Green Paper responds to the challenges identified following an assessment of the relevance of the 1996 Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) and the 1998 White paper on Safety and Security. Embedded in these policies was the notion of addressing safety and security in a holistic manner through the development and implementation of integrated cross-sectoral programmes. Together they sought to put in place a comprehensive framework for dealing with broader issues of safety and security until 2004.

The Green Paper deals with “Confronting Crime in a Democratic South Africa, Policing in South Africa, Mainstreaming Police Professionalism and Institutional Arrangements”.       This aims to ultimately position the SAPS to respond to a constantly evolving criminal landscape while simultaneously meeting the needs of a developmental State.

2.2.     Cabinet approved the National Plan of Action for Children 2012-2017 as the comprehensive plan to give guidance and direction to government departments, civil society and other partners in the children’s sector towards the realisation of children’s rights.

2.3.

The plan embraces the Constitution, international and regional treaties, the emerging legislation on children in South Africa, Millennium Development Goals and the National Development Plan Vision 2030.

The plan has five main themes: child survival (e.g. reduction of child mortality); child development (e.g. early childhood development services); child protection (e.g. protection from violence and sexual abuse); standard of living of children (e.g. conditions on accommodation for children) and child participation (e.g. children taking responsibility while enjoying their rights).

This National Plan of Action for Children 2012-2017 will be further unpacked during a separate media briefing.

2.4.      Cabinet approved that the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance be submitted to Parliament for approval of ratification in terms of Section 231 (92) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

The ratification of the Charter by government is a response to the Declaration on Cultural renaissance and Shared Values of the 16th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government held in Equatorial Guinea, January 2011, and the Launch of the AU campaign on the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance which took place in late 2011 in South Africa.

Ratification of the Charter enhances protection of African cultural values and cultural heritage and promotes the spirit of Pan-Africanism.

The Charter promotes the unification of culture, arts, cultural values, language, heritage as well as cultural and creative industries as central to sustainable development. This has the potential to contribute to the growth of the economy and social cohesion. The Charter is aligned to the New Growth Path, the National Development Plan, the White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage and the Mzansi Golden Economy Strategy. The Minster of Arts & Culture will host a media briefing in this regard.

2.5.     Cabinet noted the hosting of the first Science, Technology and Innovation Summit from 20 to 21 July 2013.

The planned dialogue during the Summit provides a platform to explore ways to enhance coordination between government and the private sector.

The Summit will enable participants to explore ways in which science, technology and innovation (STI) can play a significant role in our journey towards a knowledge-based economy and realisation of Vision 2030.

3.    Bills

 3.1.     Cabinet approved the proposed amendments to the Draft Public Administration Management (PAM) Bill which will now be published for public comment.

The draft Bill seeks to create a uniform legal framework for human resources and certain organisational and governance matters in national, provincial and municipal administrations. This is aimed at enhancing service delivery through a uniform system of public administration, improved utilisation of staff and the creation of a single door to government services for citizens.

3.2.     Cabinet approved the Public Service Commission Amendment Bill for public comment and the introduction of the Amendment Bill in Parliament.

The purpose of the Amendment Bill is to align the Public Service Commission Act of 1997 with the Constitution. It further seeks to empower the Public Service Commission to give directions relating to the principles that govern public administration.

This is in line with the strengthened role envisaged by the National Development Plan for the Commission.

3.3.     Cabinet approved that the South African Weather Service Amendment Bill 2013 be published for public comment.

This Amendment Bill seeks to amend the South African Weather Services Act, 2001 (Act No. 08 of 2001) which provides for the establishment, objectives, powers and functions of the South African Weather Service.

In the main the amendments will provide the South African Weather Service with a legal mandate to implement the ambient air quality information management function, and to act as a custodian of the South African Air Quality information System.

This contributes towards protecting and enhancing our environmental assets and natural resources.

3.4.     Cabinet approved that the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Draft Amendment Bill, 2012 be submitted to Parliament.

The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Draft Amendment Bill 2012 (Draft Bill) seeks to amend the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (Act No. 28 of 2002) as amended by the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Act, 2008 (Act No. 49 of 2008).

The primary objectives of the draft Amendment Bill is, among others, to enhance provision for the beneficiation of minerals in order to promote industrialisation and contribute towards the nation’s objectives of job creation and economic growth as envisaged in the National Development Plan. A separate media briefing will be dedicated to this development.

4.        Appointments

Cabinet approved the following appointments:

4.1.     Mr Sithembiso Freeman Nomvalo as Chief Executive Officer for the State Information Technology Agency  and as executive member on its Board of Directors for a period of one year.

4.2.     Mr Trevor Gordon as Deputy Director-General: Chemicals and Waste Management in the Department of Environmental Affairs.

4.3.     Ms Yoliswa Makhasi as Deputy Director-General: Corporate Management in the Department of Public Enterprises.

4.4.     Ms Rose Mbono as Deputy Director-General: Economic Impact and Policy Alignment in the Department of Public Enterprises.

4.5.     Cabinet approved the following appointments at the South African Social Security Agency(SASSA):

a)    Ms Emmarentia Dianne Dunkerley to the post of Executive Manager: Grants Administration,

b)    Mr. Frank Earl to the post of Executive Manager: Grants Benefits Transfer.

 

4.6.     Cabinet noted the extension of the term of office, by a period of six months, for the 20 members of the current Council of the South African Council for the Natural Scientific Professions until 30 September 2013.

Issued by Government Communications (GCIS)

 

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