Unite in fighting crimes against women - Cabinet

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pretoria - Cabinet has called on the public to work with the law enforcement agencies in routing out crimes perpetrated against women and children.

In their regular meeting on Wednesday, the national executive noted the recent increase at the brutal manner of the crimes perpetrated against women and children.

“Cabinet condemns in the strongest term the abuse of women and children,”  said a statement on Friday.

President Jacob Zuma has also indicated that they are looking to mete out tougher punishment to those involved in violent crimes such as rape and murder.

“[For] those who exercise violence, we need special courts to ensure that justice is meted out to them as speedy as possible,” he said, speaking at a New Age/SABC Breakfast Briefing in Cape Town on Friday.

He said government was “seriously thinking” about organising a summit on the “moral decay” of the country and on violence.

Zuma and Cabinet’s comments come in the wake of the recent gang rape and murder of a Western Cape teenager Anene Booysen. The case against the accused men is still before the courts.

Cabinet also called on all stakeholders in the farming sector to work with government in balancing the rights of farm workers with business imperatives of farmers.

It reiterated the call made by President Zuma at the World Economic Forum to keep channels of communication open at all times to arrive at win-win solutions that benefit the country as a whole, while protecting the vulnerable, especially workers and the poor in our country.

This follows the new wage determination for farmworkers, which will take effect next month, following violent strikes by farmworkers in the Western Cape which started November last year.

The new minimum wage, as of 1 March 2013 to 28 February 2014, has been pegged at R105 per day (up from the current R69 a day) for employees who work nine hours a day -- or R11.66 per hour, R525 weekly or R2 274.82 per month.

The new sectoral determination will be promulgated for a three-year period. During year two and three, wages will be increased by CPI (Quintile 1) plus 1.5%.

However, the new minimum farm wage has sparked fears of mass retrenchments and the decreased profitability of commercial agriculture. The Department of Labour has indicated that action will be taken against employers who do not comply with the new sectoral determination for farmworkers.

On other topical issues, Cabinet said it “will not tolerate any grouping that seeks to use its country as a launching pad in destabilizing any democratically elected government.”

This following the arrest of suspected coup plotters in Limpopo.

The meeting also noted and commended the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Minister Fikile Mbalula and the Local Organising Committee for leading a successful and historic Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2013.

“Once again, the tournament demonstrated South Africa’s ability to organise world-class events beyond expectation. “

Cabinet also commended South Africans for the good spirit in which they hosted the teams and visitors from across the continent.

It also congratulated the Super Eagles of Nigeria for winning the tournament which ended on Sunday.

Nigeria won the coveted trophy after beating their fellow West Africans, Burkina Faso, 1-nil last Sunday at the National Stadium outside Soweto. - SAnews.gov.za