Statement on the Cabinet meeting

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Cape Town this morning

The successful launch of the Sumbandila satellite into space via the Russian Soyuz Launch vehicle was noted and welcomed. The meeting agreed that the Department of Science and Technology must revive the programmes that will provide access of space related skills to underprivileged and previously disadvantaged youth as part of the National Space Programme.

Over the next two months, South Africa will be participating in various multilateral fora around the world. These fora include the United Nations General Assembly, the UN Climate Change Summit, the Group of Twenty Summit and the Africa-South America Summit. Our participation will be informed by the need to support the developmental objectives of the developing countries. President Jacob Zuma is participating in his first UN General Assembly since his inauguration.

On global warming, Cabinet would like to correct the wrong impression that had been created that South Africa was opposed to targets being set on global warming. The correct position is as follows: South Africa was not in favour of supporting targets that are imposed by developed nations on developing nations to reduce carbon emissions. We are committed to setting targets that will take our developmental needs into account. As stated in the last Cabinet statement, South Africa will take responsible and measurable action to reduce our emissions over time.

We support the need for a comprehensive international programme on adaptation that is able to deliver the necessary resources to enable all developing countries to adapt, recognising the particular needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. It must be noted that developing nations will require resources if they were to participate effectively in such a programme.

Cabinet has already approved an energy policy and the Long Term Mitigation Scenarios (LTMS) that take into account the potential opportunities presented by science in pursuance of a low carbon and green future. South Africa's strategic framework is based on the fact that our emissions are to peak between 2020 and 2025, stabilise for a decade, before declining in absolute terms towards the mid-century.

Cabinet expressed its disappointment with the manner in which the Caster Semenya issue was handled by the sports bodies. Cabinet calls on the sports bodies to do all in their power to ensure that Semenya's rights are respected and that she and her family are provided with all the necessary support during this difficult time.

The international cooperation between the South African law enforcement agencies and their British counterparts, which led to one of the biggest drug busts in South Africa and the United Kingdom, was welcomed as a sign that the war against criminal syndicates was gaining momentum. We will not allow our country to be used as a haven for criminals.

The Ministers of Finance and Public Enterprises were directed to prepare a report on the state of State Owned Enterprises with particular reference to shareholder compacts, the state of their finances and turn-around strategies. The Minister of Public Enterprises was also directed to re-institute the Inter-Ministerial Committee on State Assets to oversee the functioning of these entities.

The following appointments were approved:

Mr Busani Ngcaweni was appointed to the post of Deputy Director General in the Deputy President's office.
The following were appointed to the Board of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC): Professor R Hassan; Mr TP Masobe; Ms P Ntombela-Nzimande (Interim Chairperson); Prof L Qalinge; Dr S Zinn; Prof P Zulu; Prof A Lourens; Prof P Naidoo; Prof EC Webster and Prof A Sawyer.

23 September 2009

Issued by Government Communications (GCIS)
Enquiries: Themba Maseko (Government Spokesperson)
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