Cabinet meeting of 5 November 2008
06 Nov 2008
Cabinet meeting of 5 November 2008
Mr Themba Maseko, Chief Executive Officer, Government Communication and Information System, presented a statement to the media on the Cabinet meeting held on 5 November 2008.
The Cabinet had congratulated Mr Barack Obama on his election as the first black President of the
President Motlanthe had received the Commission Report from Dr Ginwala on the question of whether Adv Pikoli was fit to hold office as the National Director of Public Prosecutions. The President would announce his decision based on the findings of the report in due course.
The Cabinet expressed grave concern over the recent outbreak of conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the stalling of power-sharing talks in
Cabinet noted and was disturbed by the recent spate of light aircraft accidents, which had claimed up to 34 lives. Despite these alarming figures, The South African aviation industry was still considered as having one of the best safety records in the world. The Department of Transport was investigating the causes of the accidents.
Cabinet had approved a proposal to change approaches for funding of concurrent functions like housing, education and health. It sought to achieve greater alignment between policy making, priority setting and the vertical division of revenue between the different spheres. This would hopefully address the non-implementation of national priorities. It was proposed also that housing be assigned to municipalities.
The President had held a successful meeting with the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF), which had allowed for the discussion of issues that impacted the relationship between the government and the media.
Three new vaccines would be introduced nationally into the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) in January 2009. This was expected to reduce childhood mortality, morbidity and human suffering from vaccine preventable diseases.
A progress report on the implementation of the Airlift Strategy (2006) highlighted several successes, such as the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision on the liberalisation of intra-Africa Air Transport Services and the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding between South African Airways and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Airlines, FIFA’s official carrier for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Cabinet was pleased to announce that Reverend Frank Chikane, Director-General in The Presidency, had agreed to continue serving government until the general elections in 2009.
The progress report on the new high security passport was noted, which was aimed at ensuring that the South African passport would meet and exceed global security requirements.
Progress on the implementation of the Neighbourhood Development Partnership Grant (NDPG) was noted. This grant was aimed at supporting projects that provided community infrastructure, attracted private sector development and provided quality of life for residents in targeted disadvantaged areas.
The 7.5% cost-of-living salary adjustment for office bearers of the South African Human Rights Commission and other State institutions was approved, and would take effect from 1 April 2008.
The alienation of the infrastructure of the Vaal-Gamagara Government Water Scheme to the Sedibeng Water Board was approved.
The interactive Gambling Tax Bill was approved for submission to Parliament.
Various appointments had been approved.
Q: A journalist from Independent Newspapers asked for elaboration on the due processes that needed to be completed before the President could come to a decision regarding the Ginwala Report, and asked when would this be announced.
A: Mr Maseko said the Report had to be seen by the relevant people and the President had to receive legal advice from legal advisors. In addition, this Report would not be published before Adv Pikoli himself had seen it, but the decision would be announced as quickly as possible, probably within a few days. Mr Maseko was not in a position to relate the findings of the Report.
Q: A journalist from Business Day asked for greater clarity on Cabinet’s concerns about the housing budgeting, and what their recommendations were to change the system in order to make it work more effectively.
A: Mr Maseko said that national level priorities were not being implemented on a local and provincial level. Funds were being allocated for certain national priorities, but it would then be found that these had been diverted to different ends by provinces. This resulted in national objectives not being achieved. Greater alignment was needed, to ensure that what was implemented at provincial level was in line with national objectives. The proposal had suggested that the function of housing was of the housing needs in their areas. The proposal would review how priorities were set and budget allocations were made.
Q: A journalist asked whether the proposed Review of the Distribution of Funds from national to provincial and local levels would require an amendment of the Constitution, and whether this would affect the proposal on alternative approaches to the funding of concurrent functions.
A: Mr Maseko said it was unlikely that the Review of Distribution of Funds would be finalised before the new government came into power. This proposal looked more closely at allocations of budgets and measures that could be implemented immediately. The proposal would not require an amendment of the Constitution, as the assignment of functions to municipalities or local government was already accommodated in the Constitution.
Q: A journalist asked how government could dictate to local government how it should spend its money.
A: Mr Maseko said National government set budgets and allocated funds. The Division of Revenue Act stipulated this, and it was the only way that policy objectives could be achieved. However, in the current framework these were not always being carried forward by the different spheres. Monies would often be diverted, at a local level, away from national policy requirements to less important functions. The proposed change in approach was merely an attempt at facilitating more effective governing.
Q: A journalist asked how projects like the N2 Gateway project would be affected by the change in approach.
A: Mr Maseko said that housing was a function that would continue to be shared by communities and local government. Most of the land earmarked for housing was controlled by local government.
Q: A journalist from Business Day asked whether the R100 million that had been made available for a rescue plan for
A: Mr Maseko said the amount available was actually R300 million. While a great deal was being done to allocate these funds in a way that would help
Q: A correspondent from The Sunday Times asked whether there was any intention by SADC to take a tough stance on
A: Mr Maseko agreed that the challenge of establishing a government in
Q: A journalist asked why there had been no further statements by Cabinet on the transfer of Heads of Departments between the Departments of Correctional Services and Sports and Recreation.
A: Mr Maseko responded that the transfer of Heads of Departments had not been discussed by Cabinet, as it was a simple switch of administrative staff.
Q: A journalist asked whether there had been sufficient consultation with South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) regarding the Films and Publications Amendment Bill.
A: Mr Maseko said that several meetings and discussions had been conducted between SANEF, government and other stakeholders, as a result of which some amendments had been implemented. SANEF had made submissions to parliament. The President would be taking some legal advice before signing the Bill. The colloquium regarding the muzzling of media freedom was a separate matter.
Q: A journalist asked whether a date had been set for elections, and whether there was a deadline for that announcement.
A: Mr Maseko said no date had yet been set for elections. Discussions were needed between the President and the Independent Electoral Commission before an announcement could be made.
Q: A journalist asked when it was expected that the President would announce his decision on the Ginwala Report, and when the Report had been received.
A: Mr Maseko reiterated that the President would announce his decision within a few days. The Report had been received on Tuesday.
The briefing session was adjourned.
Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 5 November 2008
6 November 2008
Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in
Cabinet congratulates Mr Barack Obama on his election as the first black President of the
The meeting noted that President Kgalema Motlanthe had received the Commission Report from Dr Frene Ginwala which looked into Advocate Vusi Pikoli’s fitness to hold office as the National Director of Public Prosecutions. The President is studying the report and he will release its contents as soon as all the due processes have been concluded. The President will also announce his decision on the future of Advocate Pikoli in due course.
Cabinet is extremely concerned about the recent outbreak of conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the lack of progress in the power sharing talks in
The meeting expressed grave concern about the recent spate of light aircraft accidents over the past few months which have claimed up to 34 lives. Whilst we regret the loss of lives, government is satisfied that our aviation industry, especially the commercial airlines, has one of the best safety records in the world. Government calls on the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) to urgently implement stricter control measures to ensure that accidents are prevented. The Department of Transport is already interacting with the aviation authorities to address the causes of these accidents.
Cabinet approved the proposal on alternative approaches to the funding of concurrent functions (education, housing social development and health) in
The meeting noted that President Kgalema Motlanthe held a successful meeting with the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) on 1 November 2008. This meeting provided an opportunity for the President and members of SANEF to discuss a number of issues that have an impact on the relationship between government and the media. The outcome of the meeting included the following: The President made a commitment to consider all the concerns raised by SANEF regarding the Films and Publication Bill. A colloquium will be convened by Government Communications (GCIS), Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and SANEF, to address the concerns raised by SANEF regarding legislation that has the potential to impact negatively on media freedom. The parties agreed to move with speed to establish the Presidential Press Corps. The Chairperson of SANEF and the CEO of GCIS were specifically mandated to expedite the establishment of the press corps.
Three new vaccines will be introduced into the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) at a cost of R1.1 billion (Pnuemococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV), Rotavirus and a Pentavalant). These vaccines are expected to significantly reduce childhood mortality, morbidity and human suffering from vaccine preventable diseases. These vaccines will form part of Government efforts to improve the health and life expectancy of South Africans by improving access to life saving vaccines, and will bring us closer to the realisation of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing child mortality by two thirds by 2015. The new vaccines will be introduced nationally in January 2009.
A progress report on the implementation of the Airlift Strategy (2006) was noted. The report highlighted the following successes: 34% capacity increase on bilateral air services; implementation of the 1999 Yamoussoukro Decision on the liberalisation of intra-Africa Air Transport services, and the conclusion of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between South African Airways and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Airlines, FIFA’s official carrier for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The MoU entitle UAE Airlines to operate up to twenty eight (28) passenger flights into
Cabinet congratulates Ms Monhla Hlahla, Chief Executive Officer of the Airports Company (ACSA), and her team for the professional manner in which the construction and development of the various airports is being implemented. Government is pleased that ACSA is succeeding to implement the mandate to ensure that we have world class airport infrastructure in preparation to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup and beyond. South Africans should be proud of the fact that South African airports have been transformed into world class airports.
Cabinet is pleased to announce that Reverend Frank Chikane, Director-General in The Presidency, has agreed to continue serving government until the general elections in 2009. In performing his duties, The Reverend will work closely with Mr Trevor Fowler, the Chief Operations Officer in the Presidency. Cabinet thanked Reverend Chikane for agreeing to stay on and expressed appreciation to him for his excellent service to the government and the people of
The progress report on the development of a new high security passport was noted. The meeting welcomed and supported the initiative which is aimed at ensuring that the South African passport meets and exceeds global security requirements.
The progress on the implementation of the Neighbourhood Development Partnership Grant (NDPG) was noted. This grant is meant to support projects that provide community infrastructure, attract private sector development and to improve the quality of life of residents in targeted disadvantaged areas. The NDPG has a portfolio of 86 awards in 135 townships in 51 municipalities at a cost of R8.7 billion over 10 years.
The 7.5 % cost-of-living salary adjustment for office bearers of the South African Human Rights Commission and other state institutions was approved. This adjustment will be equal to the adjustment offered in the Public Service. These adjustments will take effect on 1 April 2008.
The alienation of the infrastructure of the Vaal-gamagara Government Water Scheme to the Sedibeng Water Board was approved. The infrastructure to be transferred encompasses the bulk services supplying water to the mines which are the economic development engines to the affected areas. Parliament will be approached to approve the transaction as the value of the scheme exceeds the prescribed R100 million mark. A framework agreement was reached with the unions to ensure the smooth transfer of staff to the new authority.
Cabinet noted that
The meeting noted and supported
The Interactive Gambling Tax Bill was approved for submission to Parliament.
The following appointments were approved:
* Concurred with the appointment of Mr PK Dlamini as the Chief Executive Officer of the Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS), for a five (5) year period;
* The contract renewal of Mr G Davel as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Credit Regulator (NCR), for a two (2) year period;
* The term of office for the current members of the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP) was extended for six months.
No related documents