The fifth administration Cabinet has thanked its social partners and citizens at large for their cooperation during its term.
On Wednesday, the national executive held its last Cabinet meeting in Pretoria ahead of the 8 May national and provincial elections. Although it was the last Cabinet meeting, the executive will remain accountable until the elections.
Cabinet used the meeting to express its appreciation to Parliament and the Judiciary for upholding constitutional values and holding the national executive to account in the interest of a better life for citizens.
It also expressed its appreciation to South Africa’s partners in the SADC, African Union, BRICS, Group of 20, United Nations and other formations, for standing by South Africa to improve conditions in the country.
Cabinet went on to pay homage to members of the national executive who passed on during this fifth administration -- Ministers Collins Chabane and Edna Molewa, as well as leaders in other spheres of government. Cabinet said they served the country with distinction and advanced the interests of South Africa domestically and globally.
The last meeting also saw the approval of several frameworks that will further take the country forward.
Fourth Industrial Revolution
The first one was the approval of the establishment of an IMC on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), which will advise government on strategies and policies to respond to new technological developments occasioned by digitisation.
The main responsibility of the IMC will be to coordinate the planning and implementation of the 4IR interventions, including complementing the work of the Presidential Commission on 4IR.
National Drug Master Plan
Cabinet went on to approve the evaluation report of the National Drug Master Plan (NDMP) 2013-2018, which is a demonstration of government’s continued commitment to fight the use and effects of drugs within communities around the country.
The evaluation proposes a number of interventions such as harmonising the strategies of the departments, as well as the establishment of an independent, fully-funded structure to drive substance abuse prevention programmes in communities, especially amongst the youth.
Cabinet also approved the setting up of an Anti-Drug Council, structured similarly to the South African National AIDS Council, to drive the fight against drug addiction.
The revised master plan will now be referred to as Anti-Drug Master Plan.
Cabinet believes that these recommendations will go a long way in decisively addressing drug addiction.
Another key decision taken was the approval of the Framework on Gender Responsive Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring Evaluation and Audit.
The framework places gender mainstreaming at the centre of public policy by putting forward a strategy and implementation plan towards gender responsiveness of existing planning, budgeting, monitoring, evaluation and auditing systems.
Cabinet said the constitutional mandate to end gender discrimination and realise the rights of women and girls, requires a decisive and effective paradigm shift across all State machinery.
National coordination mechanism
In line with the National Development Plan, which seeks to promote sustainable development by tackling regional, continental and global challenges, Cabinet also approved the establishment of a national coordinating mechanism to coordinate the sustainable development agendas of the UN, AU and the SADC.
This national coordination mechanism will serve as a multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder process to facilitate consultations and coordination within and outside government on South Africa’s international sustainable development commitments.
This will be overseen by an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC), driven from the centre of government.
Its task will be to ensure that the development agendas of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the SADC’s Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan -are fully reflected in the country’s national plans. It will also serve as a guide on fulfilling monitoring and reporting requirements.
Evaluation reports approved
A number of evaluation reports that were commissioned through the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) were also approved.
These include the evaluation of Government Business Incentives which among others recommends the establishment of an Intergovernmental Incentive co-ordination committee which will address the overlaps and complementaries in various business incentives.
The last one was the evaluation of the Integrated Strategy on the Promotion of Entrepreneurship and Small Enterprises proposes improvement plan includes improvement, coordination and rationalization across all spheres of government and strengthen institutional governance and oversight.
South Africans urged to vote
The meeting concluded with a call on all eligible voters to exercise their constitutional right to cast their vote on 8 May.
Cabinet said the participation of voters is central to a well-functioning democracy and through regular elections, citizens can elect their representatives and hold them to account. – SAnews.gov.za