1. Cabinet’s position on prominent issues in the current environment
1.1. Cabinet congratulated the Department of Basic Education, principals, teachers and learners on the successful conclusion of the 2013 National Senior Certificate examinations.
Cabinet welcomes the release of the Annual National Assessments 2013 today, 4 December 2013, which is an excellent diagnostic tool that helps the Department of Basic Education to track progress of learning outcomes and improve the quality of education.
Cabinet further commends the Department of Basic Education and the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission (PICC) on the advanced stage of the delivery of textbooks, workbooks, furniture, and the handing over of one school a week since 22 July 2013, as part of the National Infrastructure Plan.
1.2. Cabinet welcomed the launch of the Stanley Nkosi Sinter Mine of Kalagadi Manganese company, Hotazel, Northern Cape, which is the world's largest manganese sinter plant. This forms part of the package of projects coordinated by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission, led by President Jacob Zuma. Through this project, the Northern Cape has seen a capital injection of about R6.5 billion, within four years, with at least 3 000 direct jobs created, and skills being developed among local youth.
1.3. President Jacob Zuma will mark the Day of Reconciliation on 16 December at the Union Buildings under the theme: “Nation Building, Social Cohesion and Reconciliation”.
The celebration coincides with the 100-year anniversary of the Union Buildings as the seat of government. A statue of former President Nelson Mandela, a stalwart in freedom and reconciliation for our country, will be unveiled at the Union Buildings as part of the commemoration. Cabinet calls on South Africans to use the day to reflect on the phenomenal strides we have made as a nation to live and work together.
1.4. Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will lead the Second Government Leadership Summit at the CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria from 10 to 12 December 2013. This summit will bring together senior managers from all three spheres of government, with the aim of enhancing a shared understanding about the role of the Public Service in meeting the basic needs of South Africans and leading the development of our economy.
1.5. President Jacob Zuma will host the King of the Federation of Malaysia, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, for a State Visit at the Union Buildings on 10 December 2013. The State Visit will deepen our bilateral political and economic relations with Malaysia, as well as serve as an opportunity to further our African Agenda.
1.6. Cabinet deliberated on the presentation by the Minister of Public Works on the Inter-Ministerial Task Team report on the security upgrades at the President’s Nkandla houses. Cabinet endorsed the recommendations and directed that the report be released to the public. The Security Cluster Ministers and the Minister of Public Works will conduct a media briefing on Tuesday, 10 December 2013.
1.7. Cabinet welcomes the outcomes of the 2nd BRICS Urbanisation Forum and the 3rd Friendship Cities and Local Government Cooperation Forum. The Forum focused on the need of the various levels of government to strengthen dialogue and cooperation in the areas of infrastructure, community development, green economy, cultural exchanges, investment and technology transfer.
1.8. Cabinet welcomes the 16 African nations and their supporters participating in the third Orange African Nations Championship (CHAN) between 11 January and 1 February 2014 in South Africa. Hosting the tournament will allow South Africa to build on the positive legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, and further entrench social cohesion and national pride.
The tournament also presents an opportunity for South Africans to showcase our country as a vibrant tourism, trade and investment destination.
1.9 Over this holiday season, government is leading a range of campaigns in partnership with all sectors of society to ensure responsible and safe behaviour. Foremost among these are Healthy Lifestyles, Arrive Alive, 16 Days of Activism and World AIDS Day Campaigns. All South Africans must play their part in giving meaning to these campaigns. Government cannot do it alone.
Over this period the increased visibility of law enforcement officials at roadblocks and search operations countrywide will ensure that South Africans are safe.
Road-users are reminded not to drink and drive, or drink and walk. Those found guilty of transgressing the rules will be dealt with to the full extent of the law.
1.10 Cabinet calls on all South Africans to take extra precautions to ensure that our children are cared for and kept away from harm. It is the duty and responsibility of parents, guardians and society to ensure the safety of our children, especially over this upcoming period.
1.11 Being the last Cabinet meeting for 2013, members of the Executive wish all South Africans a restful, peaceful and safe festive season. Cabinet calls on all of us who can, to put Ubuntu/Botho in practice by assisting those individuals and families that are unable to support themselves, and to show compassion as a nation that cares for and respects each other.
2. Key Cabinet decisions
2.1 Cabinet approved the National Broadband Policy, Strategy and Plan referred to as South Africa Connect. This will contribute significantly to economic growth, development and job-creation. The overall goal is to achieve a universal average download speed of 100 mbps by 2030. To reach this target in a progressive manner, there are reviewable targets starting with an average user experience speed of 5 mbps to be reached by 2016 and available to 50% of the population and to 90% by 2020. Targets are also set for schools and clinics and general public sector connectivity. The rapid evolution of broadband technology means that these targets will be reviewed annually.
2.2 Cabinet approved the gazetting of the National Integrated Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Policy Green Paper for public consultation. The Green Paper deals with the need to amend policies and regulations to take account of the rapid changes in ICT in recent years. Among the issues it focuses on are telecommunications, broadcasting and postal services. Public hearings will be held in all the provinces early next year.
2.3 Cabinet approved the amendments of the Broadcasting Digital Migration Policy relating mainly to whether the Set Top Box (decoders) should have a control system or not. Among the criteria used to decide on this were the following:
- the need for speed on digital migration, especially to release radio frequency spectrum;
- ensure that the government subsidy is used productively;
- stimulate the local electronics industry and create jobs;
- benefit emerging entrepreneurs;
- reduce prospects of the South African market being flooded by cheap Set Top Boxes (STBs) that are not fully functional;
- protect the interests of the SABC;
- be sensitive to rapid changes in the broadcasting and ICT sector as a whole;
- reduce the extent of monopolization and encourage competition by creating space for new players in the pay television market without unfairly benefitting from the Government subsidy;
- reduce the prospects of legal action from broadcasters and entrepreneurs that would hold-up the migration process.
Taking these and other criteria together, Cabinet decided that the use of a control system should not be mandatory. The STBs will, however, have a control system to protect Government’s investment in the subsidized STB market and the local electronics industry and, with rapid technological changes, for future use by broadcasters who might not want to use it now.
To avoid subscription broadcasters unfairly benefiting from the STB control system, government’s investment in the STB Control System will be recovered from those subscription broadcasters that choose to make use of the STB Control system.
Cabinet urges all parties to move on from their previous differences and work together with the government in rolling out digital migration as soon as possible in the country’s interests.
2.4 Cabinet approved measures aimed at assisting over-indebted households and strengthening financial stability.
The Ministers of Finance and Trade and Industry were authorised to implement preventative measures to minimise the risk of over-indebtedness through future loans. This includes providing a joint programme of effective steps to assist currently over-indebted households, and also to prevent households from becoming over-indebted in future.
The Minister of Finance will also take steps to encourage employers to assist their over-indebted employees by investigating employees’ emolument attachment orders for validity, and providing employees with financial wellness mechanisms.
2.5 Cabinet approved the White Paper on the National Environmental Management of the Ocean Policy. The policy sets out a coordinated sectoral management approach to ocean environmental management. This will allow South Africa to address the growing challenges posed by human impacts on the ocean environment more effectively, while at the same time maximising the economic development potential that the ocean presents.
2.6 Cabinet approved the final National Water Policy Positions and also noted the public consultation processes conducted for the finalisation of the National Water Policy Review.
The new Water Policy Positions adopts the position of developmental water management, which addresses the linkages between water management and developmental and transformational goals of government. This considers the entire water value chain with regards to how water can contribute to achieving equitable, beneficial and sustainable development across the country
2.7 Cabinet approved the process of realigning Water Boards into nine Regional Water Utilities. This follows the final report on the proposed reform of Water Boards.
The core business of Regional Water Utilities will be to develop and manage regional bulk infrastructure (water supply and water resource) including financing, project development and ongoing operations and maintenance. This will enable better provision of support to local government, which is a key requirement of the overall sector reform.
2.8 Cabinet welcomed the implementation of the Human Papiloma Virus (HPV) vaccine, which will be administered six months apart, in 2014, to girls aged 9-10 years through the Integrated School Health Programme. This is in line with the World Health Organisation’s recommendation.
The aim is to reduce the risk of girls developing cervical cancer later in life, and will contribute towards improving women’s quality of life and increasing their life expectancy and also significantly reduce prevalence of non-communicable chronic diseases.
3.1 Cabinet approved the gazetting of the draft Agrément South Africa Bill, 2013 and Memorandum on the Objects of the Bill for public comment.
The draft Bill makes provision for the recognition of Agrément South Africa, as a public entity. The Board of Agrément South Africa is mandated to, among others, evaluate the fitness-for-purpose of non-standardised construction related products or systems for use in the construction industry, and for which a national standard does not exist.
This will contribute to the creation of a dynamic and innovative construction industry that positively impacts on job creation while contributing to Governments infrastructure plans.
3.2 Cabinet approved the introduction of the Development Bank of Southern Africa Amendment Bill, 2013 in Parliament. The Bill amends the Development Bank of Southern Africa Act, 1997.
The strategic focus of the Amendment Bill is to enable the extension of operations of the Development Bank of Southern Africa to any national territory on the African continent and its oceanic islands. This will enable the Bank to participate in large scale infrastructure and other strategic projects outside the SADC region which have the potential to enhance trade and economic growth on the continent and support South Africa’s bi-national commissions and commitments to regional integration.
3.3 Cabinet approved that the draft Financial Sector Regulation Bill be released for public comment, to give effect to South Africa’s G-20 commitments.
The aim of the Bill is to make the financial sector safer by implementing the ‘twin peaks’ regulatory system, i.e. the creation of two regulators: one responsible for safety and soundness of financial institutions and the other responsible for the manner in which financial institutions conduct their business.
4.1 Cabinet approved the appointment of Esther Sarah Makau to the post of Chief Financial Officer at the Department of Arts and Culture.
4.2 Cabinet approved the following appointments at the Department of Communications:
a) Reneva Fourie to the post of Deputy Director-General: Information Society Development and Research;
b) Tinyiko Moses Ngobeni to the post of Deputy Director-General: ICT Infrastructure Development;
c) Sibongile Vulikhaya Makopi to the post of Deputy Director-General: State Owned Companies Oversight and ICT Enterprise Development.
4.3 Cabinet approved the appointment of Siyakhula Paradise Simelane to the post of Chief Financial Officer at the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.
4.4 Cabinet approved the reappointment of Siyabulela Thomas Tsengiwe to the post of Chief Commissioner of the International Trade Administration Commission.
4.5 Cabinet approved the appointment of Ms Thezi Rosemary Mabuza as the Deputy Commissioner to the National Consumer Commission (NCC).
4.6 Cabinet approved the appointment of Mr Themba Thomas Cyril Dlamini as the CEO of the National Gambling Board.
4.7 Cabinet approved the appointment Adv Solomon Makhosini Msibi as the Chief Executive Officer to the Road Traffic Management Corporation.
4.8 Cabinet approved the following appointments to the Board of the Road Traffic Management Corporation.
a) Ms Thembeka Mdlulwa (Non-Executive Member)
b) Mr Ike Nxedlana (Non-Executive Member)
c) Ms Nalini Maharaj (Non-Executive Member)
d) Mr Rowan Graham Nicholls (Non-Executive Member)
e) Ms Morwenyane Maria Mathabathe (Non-Executive Member)
f) Mr Zola Malvern Percival Majavu (Non-Executive Member)
g) Mr Sam Ledwaba (Non-Executive Member)
4.9 Cabinet approved the following appointments of Non-Executive Directors to the Board of the South African Post Office:
a) Mr Templeton Mageza
b) Mr Sihle Joel Ngubane
c) Ms Selebaleng Primrose (Boitumelo) Mothelesi
d) Mr Sathiaseelan Gounden
4.10 Cabinet approved the following appointments to the Inaugural Board of the National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute:
a) Prof. Gordan Sibiya (Chairperson)
b) Clive Douglas Kneale
c) Eric Peter McDonald
d) Queen Nothando Gopo
e) Mathews Mateo Mathebe
f) Dr. Margaret Msongi Mkhosi
g) Nolwazi Zandile Cobbinah
h) Justin Daniel
4.11 Cabinet approved the appointment of the following Employer Nominee Trustees to the Government Employees Pension Fund:
a) Mr Stadi Mngomezulu (National Treasury)
b) Mr Bhekithemba Thabo Gamedze (Minister of Finance)
c) Dr Renosi Mokate (Minister of Finance)
d) Dr Malcolm Barry Kistnasamy (Department of Health)
e) Ms Gladys Modise (Department of Basic Education)
f) Ms Esther Euphane Aletta (Barbara) Watson (Department of Public Service and Administration)
g) Mr Nkhangweleni Seth Makhani (Department of Defence)
h) Ms Moira-Anne Moses (Public Investment Corporation)
Cabinet approved the appointment of the following Employer Nominee Substitute Trustees:
i) Ms Lindy Ann Bodewig (National Treasury)
j) Adv Lindiwe Grace Nkosi-Thomas (Minister of Finance)
k) Mr Abel Sithole (Minister of Finance)
l) Dr Thamizhanban Pillay (Department of Health)
m) Dr Mogenthiran Shunmugam (Morgan) Pillay (Department of Basic Education)
n) Dr Lesiba Alex Mahapa (Department of Public Service and Administration)
o) Brigadier Johan David Griesel (South African Police Service)
p) Ms Rejane Woodroffe (Public Investment Corporation)
4.12 Cabinet approved the reappointment of Mr Andrew Zaloumis as the Chief Executive Officer of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority.
4.13 Cabinet noted the following re-appointments of the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS)
a) Jeff Molobela (Chairperson)
b) Mr Nico Vermeulen (Non-Executive Member)
c) Ms Funzani Asnath Melato (Non-Executive Member)
d) Ms Susanna Elizabeth Moolman (Non-Executive Member)
e) Prof Sadhasivan Perumal (Non-Executive Member)
f) Ms Dora Ndaba (Non-Executive Member)
g) Mr Paul Serote (Non-Executive Member)
h) Mr Sipho Reginald Zikode (Non-Executive Member)
Phumla Williams (Acting Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 083 501 0139