Category Archives: Cabinet

Cabinet reshuffle: Changes to the National Executive (9 July 2013)

Cabinet reshuffle July 2013 (small 320 x 213)On Tuesday 9 July 2013, President Jacob Zuma announced wide ranging changes to the National Executive (i.e. Cabinet) and the fourth in as many years during the term of the current administration since coming into in 2009 and with general elections on the horizon in 2014.

Three altogether new appointments were announced, all of whom were generally highly regarded Members of Parliament recently within the ANC Parliamentary Caucus and with high levels of responsibilities of various parliamentary committees and in the caucus. They are:

  • Ms Connie September (Minister of Human Settlements)
  • Mr John Jeffrey (Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development)
  • Adv Michael Masutha (Deputy Minister of Science and Technology)

Two ministers are shifted within the Cabinet, namely:

  • Mr. Ben Martins goes from Minister of Transport to Minister of Energy
  • Ms Dipouo Peters goes from Minister Energy to Minister of Transport

Two previous Deputy Ministers are promoted to full Ministerial duty, namely:

  • Mr Yunus Carrim from Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to Minister of Communications
  • Mr Lechesa Tsenoli from Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform to Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

Two Ministers are removed from the Cabinet altogether, namely:

  • Mr Tokyo Sexwale, former Minister of Human Settlements and who found himself opposing President Jacob Zuma re-election for a second term as party President.
  • Ms Dina Pule who has consistently been hounded by allegations of corruption, ethical misconduct, poor administration and non-delivery in the Communications portfolio she headed and which has been dogged by controversy.

Download the complete political update and analysis here: Political Update_Cabinet Reshuffle_09July2013

Cabinet Statement: 15 May 2013

South_Africa_Coat_of_Arms

Statement on the Cabinet meeting of 15 May 2013

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

1.1. Cabinet expressed concern at recent labour unrest at Lonmin’s Marikana Mine which has led to the downing of tools and a disruption of productivity. The dispute is reported as centering around issues of majority representation involving the National Union of Mineworkers and the Association for Mining and Construction Union.

Cabinet appeals to the leadership of both unions (NUM and AMCU) to resolve their dispute amicably and put the interests of the country and workers above everything else. Workers must be aware that the unprotected strike could have serious consequences not only for themselves, but for the future of the mine and that of their jobs.

Cabinet also appeals to Lonmin management to do everything possible to make sure that the problems are resolved as soon as possible without further damage. It is in the best interest of the country for both unions and management at Lonmin to demonstrate required levels of leadership and industrial relations management.

1.2. Cabinet fully supports the preliminary findings from the investigation into the unauthorised landing of a civilian aircraft at Waterkloof Air Force Base.

Cabinet stressed that the safety and sovereignty of South Africa is of paramount importance. Violation of laws and rules relevant to the ports of entry and facilities of strategic national importance must be dealt with firmly and without fear or favour. Those who are found to infringe and compromise regulations must face the full might of the law.

1.3. Cabinet welcomes the work by Government Departments which has been reported on by various Ministers during the departmental Budget Votes. Cabinet notes that the coverage afforded to the Budget Votes assists in empowering citizens with information and holding government accountable.

1.4. Cabinet welcomes the discussions between the Department of Basic Education and the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) which led to the suspension of protest action.

Cabinet calls on all stakeholders in the education sector to resolve their disputes so that education of our young people is not compromised.

1.5. Cabinet noted the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) which shows an increase in the unemployment rate from 24,9 per cent to 25,2 per cent.
Government is accelerating measures, such as the state-led infrastructure drive, to increase employment through Public Sector interventions.

Government together with labour and business launched the Social Accord on Youth Employment in April 2013. This further demonstrates a collective commitment towards addressing the issue of unemployment. It maps out individual sector pledges to contribute in fighting youth unemployment with concrete targets and time frames for successful execution, monitoring and collective evaluation of the identified interventions.

Cabinet remains confident that measures already underway will assist the country to create new jobs and realise its target of five-million new jobs by 2020.

1.6. Cabinet welcomes the signing of an action plan to implement the Memorandum of Understanding on Biodiversity Conservation and Protection between South Africa and Vietnam.

The Implementation Plan will run until 2017 and will assist efforts to combat crime involving wildlife, particularly rhino poaching. Cabinet reiterates that Government is committed to addressing the scourge of rhino poaching and reaffirms that perpetrators will be prosecuted.

1.7. Cabinet welcomes the announcement by the Department of Home Affairs to pilot the Smart ID card system, which further consolidates our national identity and enhances national security.

This key milestone holds the potential to speed up government services, while cutting down on crime and corruption involving identity documents.

Cabinet calls on South Africans to support this process so that by 2020 we are all in receipt of a Smart ID Card as a form of national identification.

1.8. Cabinet condemns the attack on a United Nations convoy in Abyei, Sudan, which resulted in the deaths of a tribal chief and an Ethiopian peacekeeper. This regrettable incident threatens the stability of Abyei as well as the progress recently achieved by Sudan and South Sudan.

1.9. Cabinet  denounces the attack on Syria by the Israeli security forces. Cabinet calls on the United Nations to prevail on external forces to respect the sovereignty of Syria and to allow Syrians to work together in resolving their disputes.

1.10. Cabinet welcomed the inauguration of Advocate Lawrence Mushwana as the new Chairperson of the International Co-ordinating Committee (ICC) of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. This is the first time that Africa heads the office of the Chairperson of the ICC. The position of ICC Chairperson secures increased focus on the country’s human rights track record and its compliance with international human rights obligations.

1.11. Cabinet welcomed that the 50th anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity which will be celebrated on Africa Day, 25 May 2013.

Cabinet highlighted that the solidarity of the OAU in excluding the apartheid government from its organs uplifted our struggle for freedom and attainment of democracy.

South Africa will join the continent in commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the African Union. The activities include a month-long exhibition of contemporary visual arts in the SADC region from 24 May to 28 June 2013. The Africa Institute of South Africa will also convene the academic community and diaspora as part of the commemorations on 19-21 May 2013. Furthermore, there will be an exhibition at the Ditsong Museum (City of Tshwane) to commemorate Africa Day on 21 May 2013 under the theme “50 Years after forming the Organisation of African Union – Africa must unite or Perish”. This will be followed by a Africa Day music concert at the Union Buildings on 25 May 2013.

1.12. Cabinet welcomed President Jacob Zuma’s speedy response to the invitation by a community member to visit the people of Eldorado Park and neighbouring  Kliptown, on Tuesday, 14 May 2013. The community’s request was to discuss the escalating illegal drug trafficking and abuse problem in the area.

Government, together with the community, has committed to accelerate the intervention programme to stop the scourge that is destroying young people.

1.13. Cabinet welcomed the follow up visit by Deputy President Motlanthe, accompanied by leaders of the three spheres of government, to De Doorns in the Western Cape on Saturday 11 May 2013. The visit and dialogue with stakeholders including farmworkers stems from the initial visit of the Deputy President on 12 February 2013. Solid progress was noted from a number of departments in improving services in the area. The commitment demonstrated by all parties lays a solid foundation for ongoing engagement toward a sustainable agrarian sector.

2. Key Cabinet discussions and decisions

2.1. Cabinet was briefed on preparations for Child Protection Week (CPW) between 27 May and 2 June 2013, under the theme: “Working together to protect children.”

The child and youth dialogues are being conducted in all provinces as a build up to the launch of Child Protection Week and the Conference. As part of awareness-raising, Child Protection Week will be launched together with the orphans, vulnerable children and youth (OVCY) Conference on 27 May at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in KwaZulu-Natal.

Cabinet calls on all South Africans to contribute towards the protection of our children and create a safe and secure environment. South Africans can visibly demonstrate their support by wearing a green ribbon as a symbol of life, growth, hope, care and support for our future leaders.

The focus of Child Protection Week and the Orphans, Vulnerable Children and Youth Conference is on child participation in our society and communities so that children are heard on matters affecting them.

2.2.  Cabinet approved the National Aquaculture Policy Framework (NAPF). This policy provides a unified framework for the establishment and development of an industry that contributes towards sustainable job creation and increased investment.

The NAPF was developed against the backdrop of a global aquaculture sector that has seen an increased demand for fishery products. In South Africa, marine and freshwater aquaculture presents a good opportunity to diversify fish production to satisfy local demand, contribute to food security, job creation, economic development and rural development, and export opportunities.

2.3.  Cabinet approved that South Africa hosts the Third Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change in the fourth quarter of 2013, led by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Food security remains a major concern and the Conference will have positive implications for how we produce, manage and utilise food. Since COP17/CMP7, South Africa has been one of the leading countries in promoting climate smart agriculture, which responds to the challenges of food security and climate change. The Global Conference aims to develop forms of growth that are socially and environmentally sustainable.

2.4. Cabinet approved South Africa’s ratification of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Annex to the Southern African Development Community’s Protocol on Trade and for this to be submitted to Parliament.

The SADC Protocol on Trade to which South Africa has acceded serves to promote regional cooperation and integration amongst member states for trade in goods and services within the region, including agricultural products.

The SADC SPS Annex to the SADC Protocol on Trade provides an enabling framework for SPS cooperation. It also promotes harmonisation of SPS measures based on international standards and guidelines in order to facilitate safe and fair trade of agriculture products in the region.

2.5. Cabinet was updated on progress relating to South Africa’s hosting of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) meetings in 2013, which includes the Inter-sessional meeting in Kimberley from 4 to 7 June and the KPCS Plenary in Gauteng from 26 to 29 November 2013. The hosting of the KPCS meetings will contribute to the promotion of the diamond industry and tourism.

South Africa’s position as chair of the KPCS gives recognition to the key role that South Africa plays in the international diamond sector. As the chair South Africa aims to strengthen international trade relations, with a view to consolidate and increase the African footprint within the KPCS and contribute to a safer global environment.

3. Bills

3.1.  Cabinet approved the publication of the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill 2013 and Memorandum on the Objects of the Bill, for public comment.

This gives effect to the President’s 2013 State of Nation Address announcement on proposed amendments to the Restitution Act. This relates to extending the date for lodgment of claims for restitution, to enable those parties that did not submit claims by the closing date of 31 December 1998 or who were excluded from the process, to submit.

The re-opening of lodgment of claims is guided by the vision of the National Development Plan as well as the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme and other growth strategies intended to promote national reconciliation and social cohesion.

3.2. Cabinet approved the submission of the Electronic Communication Amendment Bill to Parliament.

The amendment was necessitated by the liberalisation of the electronic communications sector and rapid technological advancements which have rendered the continued presence of some provisions in the Act redundant. The Amendments seeks to deal with competition promotion limitation, access to electronic communications infrastructure, communication costs as well as improving turnaround time for consultative processes.

The Amendment Bill aligns the Act with broad-based black economic empowerment legislation; refines licensing issues; improves competition provisions; removes regulatory bottlenecks and provides for matters connected to this.

3.3. Cabinet approved the submission of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) Amendment Bill to Parliament. The Amendment Bill responds to some of the issues in the National Development Plan (NDP).

The amendments of the Independent Communication Authority Act No. 13 of 2002 (ICASA Act) are underpinned by the need for institutional improvements to strengthen the independent Authority. This will be through the provision of clarity on aspects of its powers; to align the Act more closely to the requirements of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and to improve its efficiency. This is with a view to improve accountability and transparency which will contribute to sound governance practices within ICASA.

Government needs to play a greater role to ensure that the electronic communications sector is regulated in a manner that supports overall national goals. This should not be read to suggest any limitation on ICASA’s independence.

The importance of an independent and impartial regulator for the communications sector cannot be overemphasised.

4. Appointments

4.1. Cabinet approved the appointment of Mr Ebrahim Mohamed as the Commissioner of the National Consumer Commission for a period of five (5) years.

Source: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), 16 May 2013

Financial Services Laws General Amendment Bill tabled in Parliament

The Financial Services Laws General Amendment Bill (Bill 29 of 2012), was tabled in Parliament on 25 September 2012.

Cabinet approval and public consultation
Cabinet approved the Bill for tabling in Parliament towards the end of February 2012. The Bill was released for public comment in March 2012 and the commentary period was extended to 2 May 2012. A range of financial services stakeholders, interested and affected parties were consulted by Government during information session held as part of the consultative process on the Bill. These include, the ETHICORE client The Banking Association South Africa, the Association of Savings and Investments South Africa, the South African Insurance Association, the Institute of Retirement Funds and the Congress of South African Trade Unions.

Objectives of the Bill
According to a statement released by the National Treasury on 27 September 2012 upon tabling of the Bill in Parliament, the Bill address the urgency of issues contained in eleven financial sector laws, including legislative gaps highlighted after the 2008 financial crisis and to align these laws with the new Companies Act (2008) and other legislation.

The Bill seeks to:

  • Close gaps identified by the Financial Sector Assessment Program conducted by the IMF and World Bank regarding South Africa’s adherence to international standards for financial regulation;
  • Align financial sector legislation with the new Companies Act, 2008;
  • Eliminate overlaps caused by the Consumer Protection Act, 2008; Companies Act, 2008; and Competition Commission Act, 2009; and
  • Make the Financial Services Board (“FSB”) the lead regulator where there is concurrent jurisdiction.

Changes to the original Bill
National Treasury has also pointed out in its statement that the Bill contains new amendments that were not present in the original version of the Bill. According to National Treasury, these changes are reflective comments received during the consultation process and the 33 written submissions received and include:

New amendments to the Financial Services Board (FSB) Act:-

  • Limitation of liability of the regulator if it exercises the powers conferred upon it in terms of statute provided those powers were exercised in good faith (‘bona fide’).
  • Empowers the Minister to prescribe a code of engagement, consultation and communication for the FSB.
  • Appropriately clarifies the interaction between financial and non-financial legislation.
  • Defers some of the emergency powers to legislation next year that will lay the basis for implementing the “Twin Peaks” regulatory reform.
  • Provides for exemptions and directives to be tabled by the FSB.
  • Ensures that information received by the FSB is treated confidentially.

New amendments to the Pension Funds Act:

  • Provides for whistle-blowing protection for board members, valuators, principal/deputy officers, and employees who disclose material information to the Registrar.
  • Requires a fund board member to attain skills and training as prescribed by the Registrar, within a certain period.
  • Extends personal liability to employers in respect of non-payment of pension contributions to a fund.
  • Provides protection for board members from joint and several liabilities if they act independently and honestly in exercising their fiduciary obligations.
  • Requires pension funds to notify the Registrar of their intention to submit an application to register prior to commencing the business of a pension fund.

Forthcoming Parliamentary
The Bill has now been referred to Parliament’s National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance as a proposed Section 75 Bill in terms of the Constitution. This meaning that it does not affect the Provinces, but must be referred to the National Council of Provinces. ETHICORE will publish further information on the forthcoming Parliamentary process on the Bill. Should you have any enquiries and/or regarding the content of this post or the forthcoming Parliamentary process, kindly do not hesitate to contact us.

Document downloads
The following documents on the Bill released by Parliament and the National Treasury are available for below:

Financial Services Laws General Amendment Bill (B29-2012)

National Treasury Explanatory Memo (27 Sept 2012) to Financial Services Laws General Amendment Bill

National Treasury Response to comments on Financial Services Laws General Amendment Bill (27 Sept 2012)

National Treasury statement (27 Sept 2012) on Financial Services Laws General Amendment Bill

Analysing Pres. Zuma’s Cabinet Reshuffle

By Abdul Waheed Patel  and Muhammad Khalid Sayed

Addressing a media conference at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 12 June 2012, President Jacob announced an unexpected cabinet reshuffle – the third of its kind in as many years since the term of the current government commenced. A number of existing cabinet ministers and deputy ministers were reallocated to alternative portfolios and the appointment of a number of members of Parliament as deputy ministers. In this feature we provide a deeper analysis of the impact and implications of each appointment.

Ministerial Appointments
Minister of Public Service and Administration (Dr. Lindiwe Nonceba Sisulu)

Since her election to Parliament in 1994, Dr. Sisulu has developed a broad grounding in administering state affairs dealing with the sovereignty of the Republic under different ANC-led administrations. Analysts have argued that Dr. Sisulu’s redeployment as Minister of Public Service and Administration is somewhat of a demotion from Defence, arguing that she has been demoted because she is not in the so-called Zuma-camp and she has not made the President privy to key defence issues. It has also been argued that she was averse to engaging critically with Parliament, particularly with the opposition. The DA’s spokesperson on Defence, David Maynier in fact welcomed her redeployment away from Defence. Whilst this may well be the case, in as far as the function of Minister of Public Service and Administration is concerned in the context of current wage disputes and negotiations involving workers belonging to the ANC’s ally, COSATU, her redeployment may well strengthen the functioning of the Department of Public Service and Administration. In all her portfolios, Dr. Sisulu has been a firm negotiator, having dealt somewhat successfully with the unions when she was Minister of Defence. Whilst she was less successful in heading functions that roll out frontline services such as Home Affairs and Housing, she has displayed a considerable amount of strength in providing political leadership to departments such as Defence which ensure the sovereignty of the State and have a key regulatory function. This will stand her in good stead as Minister of Public Service and Administration, which has a significant role in regulating the dispensation governing the public service.

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans (Ms. Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula)

Given Nqakula’s experience as a Member of Parliament in the Intelligence and Defence Committees, her military experience inside of MK, and her previously held roles as Minister of Home Affairs and Correctional Services which are in Cabinet’s Security Cluster, she will adjust quite well to being the political head of the Department of Defence and Military Veterans, which falls within Government’s Governance and Security Cluster. Furthermore as Minister of Correctional Services she often had a good reputation with opposition MPs in terms of engaging the National Assembly Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services directly. Therefore her appointment may well be welcomed by members of the Committee on Defence and Military Veterans, who have had a somewhat strenuous relationship with the previous minister. Given her clear support for President Jacob Zuma within the NEC of the ANC and the fact that her husband, Mr. Charles Nqakula is President Zuma’s political advisor in the Presidency, it is believed that she will ensure that the President plays a much more direct role in key security issues relating to the department than was the case under her predecessor.

Minister of Transport (Mr. Benedict Martins)

Mr. Martins’ promotion from the Deputy Ministry of Public Enterprises will most certainly bring much public enterprise experience into the Transport Ministry. Transport has a key a public enterprise element, particularly in terms of South African Airways and Transnet. Martins’ experience will come to the fore in context of the infrastructure drive and the role which the Department of Transport will need to play in terms of the policy and regulatory framework. Whilst many analysts have erroneously viewed his appointment as a reward on the part of Zuma to the SACP, it is important to view this appointment within the context of the balance of Cabinet. Not only was it somewhat imbalanced for a senior leader within the alliance and lawmaker like Martins to serve as a Deputy to the youthful Gigaba, it was also somewhat of a waste to have had a person serve as Deputy Minister when his experience and capabilities prove that he should be leading a department, especially when the current Minister of Public Enterprises is playing a good role as Minister.

Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. Joel Sibusiso Ndebele)

Many in the media have argued that his redeployment from Minister of Transport to Minister of Correctional Services is a demotion, as punishment for his handling of the controversial e-tolling saga. It must however be noted that the challenges which Government has faced around e-tolling is not due to Minister Ndebele alone. The e-tolling decision was made by Cabinet and the funding arrangements concluded by the National Treasury under the Minister of Finance. His redeployment should be seen in light of the balance of the Cabinet, given the experience of Minister Ben Martins which was utilised purely as a Deputy Minister. Furthermore given that Transport has a major law enforcement element, Ndebele’s redeployment to Correctional Services may well have a positive impact on the political functioning of the Department of Correctional Services.

Deputy Ministerial appointments

Deputy Minister of Public Works (Mr. Jeremy Cronin)

Media analysts have attributed his redeployment as Deputy Minister of Public Works to Zuma’s desire to protect the SACP from any embarrassment around the e-tolling, given the SACP’s opposition to it. This is however far from accurate in that the new Minister of Transport, Ben Martins is also a senior SACP leader. The decision to move Cronin to Public Works should be viewed in light of his strong skills. Given the problems which the Minister of Public Works has noted regarding the Department, it is important for the revival and functioning of the Department in light of the infrastructure drive for the Minister to be supported by a strong Deputy Minister.

Deputy Minister of Economic Development (Prof. Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize)

Given the length of time during which the Department of Economic Development has not had a Deputy Minister as well as the reportedly tenuous relationship between Minister Ebrahim Patel and his former Deputy Enoch Godongwana who was Patel’s senior within the ruling party, Prof. Mkhize’s appointment will most certainly strengthen the political buy-in and support for the Department’s political leadership. Notwithstanding her rank inside of the ANC Womens League, the fact that she is junior within the alliance to Patel may also help in terms of the working relationship. Based on her vast NGO experience Prof. Mkhize may well balance the focus of the New Growth Path (NGP) in as far as placing it within a context of grassroots and women’s development is concerned. Her experience as the country’s Ambassador to the Netherlands and her membership on International Criminal Court (ICC) and United Nations (UN) bodies may well have given her a good grasp of international trade issues, adding another dimension to the political leadership of the Department of Economic Development. Her brief experience gained in the Ministry of Higher Education bodes well for the Department’s work with Higher Education regarding the Skills Accord and skills development as a key component of the New Growth Path. As Deputy Minister of Higher Education she engaged extensively with the Minister of Economic Development on the role of the Department of Higher Education in the drafting and implementing the Skills Accord and on broader issues of skills development in the context of the New Growth Path. Her knowledge of New Growth Path’s policy dynamics is therefore extensive.

Deputy Minister of Transport (Ms. Sindisiwe Chikungu)

Whilst her appointment as Deputy Minister of Transport is most likely both recognition of her thorough work in conducting oversight and at the same time may reduce the level the accountability which the Ministry of Police has to Parliament’s Police Committee, Chikungu is likely to drive the efficient running of the Department of Transport due to her stringent oversight role as a lawmaker. Her recent role as a vociferous lawmaker in holding the ANC-led Government’s Police to account will also place her well with regards to relating to, engaging with, and responding to critique of the Department of Transport levelled by members of Parliament.

Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises (Mr. Bulelani Gratitude Magwanishe)

Magwanishe’s grounding as an ANCYL member and his previous good working relationship under the Minister of Public Enterprise, Malusi Cigaba within the League structures creates the conditions for Magwanishe to complement Cigaba as his junior in leading the Department. In addition to this however, Magwanisha’s experience as a lawmaker in key Parliamentary Committees that dealt with Parliamentary procedures governing members’ space for advocacy, ensures that he brings with him to the Department a solid working understanding of the Parliamentary processes of oversight and advocacy. This also means that he may be sympathetic to the type of lobbying and advocacy with the Ministry of Public Enterprises within the context of the relationship between State Owned Enterprises and Government’s infrastructure drive.

Deputy Minister of Higher Education (Mr. Mduduzi Comfort Manana)

Whilst many in the media as well as in the SASCO ranks have restricted the rationale around Manana’s appointment as a reward on the part of Zuma for Manana breaking rank with the League on its decision to the defy to ANC’s Disciplinary process once it has been exhausted, we must note that Manana does bring in a new much needed dimension into the Ministry of Higher Education. Given his youth and most importantly experience inside of student politics at tertiary institutions, Manana is well placed to relate to the current concerns of disadvantaged students at tertiary institutions. The fact that he constantly addresses student rallies at tertiary institutions and engages directly with students may well ensure that students can relate to him when they have concerns and when the Department requires student buy in on policy and legislative matters. As both a student and ANCYL leader Manana is known for his passion around policy issues dealing with higher education. As a member of the ANCYL’s NEC he has often been an outspoken critic of the performance of the Department of Higher Education at times.

Patel is Managing Director and Sayed Senior Advisor (Parliamentary, Governmental and Political Affairs) at ETHICORE.

Cabinet Statement 13 June 2012

 Statement on the Cabinet meeting of 13 June 2012

Enquiries:Jimmy Manyi (Cabinet Spokesperson) Cell: 082 379 3454
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)

 

1.  CURRENT AFFAIRS

1.1 Executive Public Participation Programme
Cabinet noted that President Jacob Zuma would be conducting a monitoring and evaluation visit to Gauteng, with a focus on public transport. The launch of the last phase of the Gautrain and its integration with the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) in Johannesburg represents one aspect of Government’s integrated public transport system that will be seen and experienced by the President.

Cabinet also noted that the four millionth household electrification connection was symbolically switched on by Minister of Public Enterprises, Malusi Gigaba on 12 June at the Cerhu Location in the Eastern Cape’s Mnquma Municipality.

This event is a key milestone on our way to universal access to electricity and highlights the progress made since 1994. Government and Eskom have played an integral role in ensuring that South African households have access to essential and basic services. The achievements to date provide further motivation for realising our universal access targets.

Members of the media are invited to attend Public Participation events such as those referred to, in order to have a better grasp of how government service delivery impacts on individuals and communities, and of how interaction unfolds between political principals and citizens.

Rio+20
The 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) will take place from 20 to 22 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.The conference will focus on seven critical issues centred around sustainable development; one of them being energy provision. Access to energy forms an important part of poverty eradication and sustainable development. It is Government’s intention that affordable energy be available to every South African.

Cabinet reaffirms the historic and precedent-setting outcome of COP17/CMP7 United Nations Climate Change Conference which took place in Durban at the end of 2011 and which served as a foundation and catalyst for the broader focus on sustainable development at Rio+20. This will also continue to Doha, Qatar, where COP18/CMP8 will be held later this year.

1.2 Governance
Cabinet congratulated the newly appointed members of the Executive and wished them well in their new portfolios. Cabinet also congratulated Ms Riah Phiyega on her new appointment as the Commissioner of Police. Cabinet noted the significance of this appointment being that of the first woman to occupy this position and expressed confidence in her credentials that she would be able to fulfill the role as expected.

1.3 Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP)
Cabinet noted the start of the stakeholder engagement process of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP). Engagements include Business Unity SA on Friday, 15 June; the Road Freight & Care Hire Associations on Tuesday 19 June and the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) on Thursday, 21 June 2012. The other stakeholders will be announced once the dates are confirmed.

1.4 Africa Public Service Day
Cabinet noted that because Africa Public Service Day falls on Saturday, 23 June 2012, the official celebration will be observed on Friday, 22 June 2012. Cabinet noted that the day will be marked by a roundtable discussion led by the Minister of Public Service & Administration.

Public should note that events on this day will also initiate the rollout of the 15 years of the Batho Pele campaign, which in turn will culminate in Africa Public Service Week in September 2012.

Cabinet commends public servants for the good work done and challenges the Public Service cadre to come up with new initiatives and innovations to obtain feedback from citizens on services rendered as part of ensuring that we are a truly responsive government committed to meeting the basic needs of the public.

1.5 Expropriation ruling
Cabinet welcomed a recent Supreme Court of Appeal judgment, which decided that the right to mine in South Africa – in the sense of the right to prospect and mine for minerals and extract and dispose of them – is vested in the State.

The court ruled that this right is allocated by the State in accordance with policies that are determined from time to time and embodied in the applicable legislation.

The court affirmed the Mineral Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 (the MPRDA) as the current expression of that right and ruled as incorrect the contention that all mineral rights that had existed in South Africa under earlier legislation had been expropriated under the 2002 law.

The judgment followed an appeal by the Minister of Justice against an earlier judgment that had awarded AgriSA R750 000 in compensation for an alleged expropriation of coal rights under the MPRDA.

The Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that what constitutes an expropriation must be determined on a case by case basis with reference to: what constitutes an expropriation in terms of section 25(2) of the Bill of Rights; what the rights were that the mineral rights holders were entitled to, prior to the commencement of the MPRDA, and whether such rights had been expropriated in terms of the MPRDA.

The court held that mining rights originated in legislation and not in the common law.

1.6 International Agenda
Government’s international agenda is premised on exploring and using opportunities, and building partnerships in the global arena that will enable us to meet domestic priorities and improve the lives of all South Africans.

G20 Summit
South Africa will participate in the seventh Group of Twenty (G20) Summit in Mexico on June 18 and 19, 2012.

Government is extremely concerned about increasing uncertainty created by the European crises and is hoping that the decisiveness that the G20 demonstrated in 2009 will be seen again so that the world can be returned to a path of growth and job creation.

World Competitiveness
Cabinet was heartened by the findings of the World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) 2012, published by Switzerland’s Institute of Management Development (IMD). South Africa has moved up two notches and is now rated 50 amongst the 59 countries surveyed. The WCY rankings measure how well countries amongst others use their economic and human resources to increase their prosperity. This is indeed testimony that South Africa’s prudent fiscal policies over the past decade have held the country in good stead despite the continuing global economic uncertainty.

Lesotho Elections
Cabinet congratulated Prime Minister Tom Thabane of Lesotho on his election and commends the people of Lesotho and all political parties for holding peaceful elections. The peaceful vote and transition is evidence of a maturing democracy in Lesotho. Cabinet also reaffirms its commitment to work with the newly elected Lesotho administration to further strengthen relations.

AU Summit/Chairpersonship
Cabinet noted that in preparation for the imminent African Union (AU) Summit, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) extraordinary Summit held in Luanda, Republic of Angola, on 1 June 2012, took a number of important decisions. These include the decision to reaffirm the candidature of the South African Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, for the position of Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

The SADC leadership reiterated their view of a need to strengthen the AU in order to better position the continental body for the multitude of opportunities and challenges facing Africa. SADC has presented a strong candidate who deserves a chance to contribute to the work of the AU.

Since the formation of the OAU in 1963, only two regions on the continent have not had an opportunity to contribute to the work of the AU at the level of Chairperson of the AU Commission. These are the Southern and the Northern regions.

If elected, Minister Dlamini Zuma will become the first woman since the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963 to serve as Chairperson of the continental body. The SADC leadership is confident that Minister Dlamini Zuma will fulfil this role excellently not only because she is an astute and formidable woman but as a leader with proven capabilities.

1.7 Sanctions by United States against foreign banks
Cabinet noted that the United States of America has granted South Africa a 180 day exemption against the Iran Oil sanctions that are due to commence on 1 July 2012.

The USA imposed sanctions against Iran apply in terms of which financial institutions  which continue  to transact with the Iranian banks, and in particular, the Islamic Republic Bank of Iran, risk being cut from the USA financial system. The petroleum based sanctions come into effect on 1 July 2012.

The European Union (EU) followed suit by imposing additional sanctions on Iran.  Of importance to the South African refining sector, the EU put a ban on the provision of insurance and reinsurance by EU insurers to the State of Iran and Iranian owned companies. Furthermore the EU decided to ban new contracts to import petroleum and petroleum products from Iran and to end existing contracts by 1 July 2012.

The sanctions impact negatively on the long term sustainability of South Africa’s refining sector due to increases in both the capital and operational costs to alter the crude diets for the respective refineries.

Given the impact on the South African refining sector and ultimately the security of supply, South Africa opted to apply for an exemption from the USA government. On 11 June 2012, the USA Secretary of State announced that South Africa, along with countries such as Malaysia, India, Republic of South Korea and Sri Lanka has been grated the exemption by the USA. This means that the sanctions will not apply to South African financial institutions which transact with the Islamic Republic of Iran for the fiscal year 2012. The exemption period is 180 days (6 months) and is potentially renewable, provided there has been a significant reduction of the crude oil from Iran during the period of the exemption. It must be noted that this exemption is only applicable to petroleum based transactions. This followed intense negotiations between South Africa and United States of America.

1.8 Nelson Mandela International Day
The Nelson Mandela International Day which takes place on 18 July annually is aimed at honouring the Former President’s achievements in conflict resolution, democracy, human rights, peace and reconciliation.

Cabinet calls on all South Africans to support the 94+ Projects for Madiba campaign launched by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has embarked on a process to mobilise support from a variety of sectors to enhance the learning and teaching environments of at least 94 schools in poor communities by addressing their infrastructure backlogs. Various principals are pledging their support, by adopting their former school/s or any of the schools identified.

Cabinet noted that all South Africans have been invited to join millions of learners in singing the Mandela Birthday Song at 08h00 on Wednesday, 18 July 2012.

1.9 Condolences
Following on the condolences and accolades from President Jacob Zuma, the Executive also wishes to convey its sympathies to the family and friends of Phillip Vallentine Tobias, a renowned South Africanpaleoanthropologist, who was one of the world’s leading authorities on the evolution of humankind and was instrumental in having the remains of Sarah Baartman returned to South Africa from France.

2. DECISIONS EMANATING FROM THE WORK OF CLUSTERS    

2.1 Revision to the Performance Evaluation System for Heads of Department
Cabinet approved amendments to the system for assessing the performance of Heads of Department of national and provincial departments. These amendments include a stronger role for the Presidency and the Offices of the Premier in the assessment process. The aim is to ensure that all Heads of Department enter into performance agreements timeously and that all Heads of Departments are assessed every year.

The evaluation will be directly linked to the performance of the department with regard to among others the auditor-general’s report; the fulfilment of performance delivery agreements commitments and Management Performance Assessment Tool (MPAT).

2.2 National Evaluation Plan
In November 2011, Cabinet approved the National Evaluation Policy Framework. The Policy Framework makes provision for the development of national and provincial annual and three year evaluation plans.

Cabinet has now also approved that 55 evaluations will be conducted over the next three years and approved the first annual National Evaluation Plan which identifies the following evaluations to be undertaken over the next year:

  • National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) and Grade R under the Department of Basic Education;
  • Integrated Nutrition Programme under the Department of Health;
  • Comprehensive Rural Development Programme and Land Reform Recapitalisation and Development Programme under the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform;
  • Business Process Services Incentives Scheme under the Department of Trade and Industry;
  • Integrated Residential Development Programme (IRDP) and Urban Settlements Development Grant (USDG) under the Department of Human Settlements.

All these evaluations will be undertaken by the relevant line function departments in partnership with the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, using standardised evaluation guidelines. Improvement plans will be developed to address the findings of each evaluation. The evaluation reports will be made public on the DPME website.

2.3 Twenty Year Review
Cabinet approved proposals from the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation for a Twenty Year Review. The review will be broad, including progress towards building a democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa and progress with socio-economic development, as well the performance of government programmes.

The review will build on existing research, including that done for the National Development Plan. The process of producing the review will be overseen by an Inter-Ministerial Committee led by Minister Collins Chabane. A reference group of prominent academics will be established to ensure that the review is rigorous.

The review is due to be completed by the end of 2013.

2.4 Management Performance Assessment
Cabinet noted the report on the results of management performance assessments of national and provincial departments for the 2011/12 financial year. Based on the government’s commitment to improve its performance and service delivery, Cabinet had previously mandated the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) to assess the quality of management practices in national and provincial government departments. Cabinet considered the first set of assessments of 103 national and provincial departments which were carried out during the 2011/12 financial year.

Performance is assessed against good management practice standards related to strategic management, human resource management, supply chain management and governance. Departmental assessments are discussed and agreed at senior management level in departments as well as verified by departmental internal audit units. This approach promotes ownership by senior management of the assessment process, leading to senior management action to address identified weaknesses. The assessment methodology was informed by a review by DPME of how these management assessments are carried out in other countries, including Canada, Kenya, New Zealand, India, Turkey and Russia.

In all of the management areas, there are some departments which were found to be performing well. Where areas of excellence were identified, case studies are being developed and these will be made available to other departments to emulate. However, the assessments also identified areas that need improvement and further attention in many departments, which include:

  • the use of monitoring and evaluation to inform improvements to policies, programmes and service delivery
  • service delivery improvement through setting service delivery standards and developing charters and implementing improvement plans
  • managing financial disclosures of senior managers and ensuring awareness of the code of conduct
  • human resource management
  • diversity management (gender and disability equity in the public service)
  • the management of information technology systems
  • supply chain management and procurement.

Departments are required to put in place improvement plans to address these areas, and the assessments will be repeated annually to check and assist departments to monitor improvement. In addition, DPME, DPSA, National Treasury are implementing support initiatives to assist departments to address these weaknesses.

Cabinet noted that the management of departments had generally assessed their departments objectively, as borne out by the high level of correlation between the assessment results and the findings of oversight institutions such as the Public Service Commission and the Auditor General. Cabinet insist that all 156 national and provincial departments are to participate in the assessment process in future. The assessment of municipalities will commence soon.

2.5 National Strategy for Developing an inclusive and cohesive South African Society
Cabinet approved the National Strategy for developing an inclusive and cohesive South African Society and supported the hosting of the National Social Cohesion and Nation Building Summit to be held from 4 to 6 July 2012 in Kliptown, Johannesburg.

While South Africa has made significant progress in institutionalising the principle of an inclusive citizenship, there are still challenges of poverty, unemployment, homelessness, landlessness and race, class and gender that still continue to be defining features of how society relates.

The Draft National Strategy on Social Cohesion and Nation Building is intended to encourage and contribute towards the on-going national project of developing a just society which upholds the principles and the values of an inclusive South African society.

The theme for the Summit is Working Together to Create a Caring and Proud Society”. The Summit will lead the discussions on the national strategy and programme of action on social cohesion and nation-building.

3. KEY ISSUES FOR NOTING

3.1 Progress reports on the implementation of Delivery Agreements
Cabinet noted the fourth-quarter progress reports on the implementation of Delivery Agreements for the various Outcomes governing the programme of action for government.These reports will be unpacked and elaborated through a series of Ministerial cluster media briefings which will take place in the near future. The briefings will relay progress, challenges and plans to South Africans.

4. TWO BILLS APPROVED

4.1 Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill, 2012
Cabinet approved the Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill, 2012 for submission to Parliament.

The Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill seeks to limit circumstances in which the full record of proceedings of the trial court has to be made available to the judges of the Supreme Court of Appeal. Currently, judges of the Supreme Court of Appeal to consider a petition on the refusal of the trial court to grant leave to appeal from the High Courts to the Supreme Court of Appeal. This gives rise to an intolerable situation, resulting in huge delays in finalising appeals and unnecessary costs, to the detriment of the administration of justice.

4.2 Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Amendment Bill, 2012
Cabinet approved the Commission of Gender Equality (CGE) Amendment Bill, 2012 for submission to Parliament.

The Commission for Gender Equality:

  • Promotes gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality;
  • Has the power, as regulated by national legislation, necessary to perform its functions, including the power to monitor, investigate, research, educate, lobby, advise and report on issues concerning gender equality; and
  • Has additional powers and functions prescribed by national legislation.

The proposed amendments are purely technical in nature and seek to:

  • align the Commission on Gender Equality Act (Act 39 of 1996) with the wording of and reference to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
  • substitute the reference to the Exchequer Act (Act 66 of 1975) with reference to the Public Finance Management Act (Act 1 of 1999)

5. APPOINTMENTS

5.1 Cabinet approved the appointment of Dr Wolsey Otto Barnard as Deputy Director-General: Energy Programme and Projects at the Department of Energy.

5.2 Cabinet approved the appointment of Mr Zizamele Smodeni Mbambo as Deputy Director-General: Nuclear Energy at the Department of Energy.

5.3 Directors to the Board of the Land Bank: Mr Bafana Mathidi and Ms Nomavuso Patience Mnxasana were reappointed to the Land Bank Board for another term of three (3) years. Mr John Luscombe Purchase and Mr Lebogang Serithi were appointed to the Land Bank Board for a term of three (3) years.

5.4 Cabinet approved the appointment of Mr Zakhele Thwala as Director to the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), for a period of five years with effect 1 July 2012.

5.5 Cabinet approved the appointment of Ms Berlina Mxakwe as a member to the Legal Aid Board of South Africa in terms of section 4(1)(g) of the Legal Aid Act, 1969 (Act No.22 of 1969), for a period of three (3) years.

Cabinet congratulates the appointees and wishes them well in their new responsibilities.