SOUTH AFRICAN IN FOUR-DAY HUDDLE

The South African Cabinet is huddling at a four-day lekgotla (gathering) this week to discuss and review the government's socio-economic development policies and programmes.

President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa are co-chairing the meeting which will be attended by ministers, their deputies, heads of government departments and chiefs of state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

The Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe, said here Tuesday that the quarterly meeting would see President Zuma making an overall strategic input which would set the tone of government going forward.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordon will also make a presentation of the global domestic micro economy and fiscal situation. The economy has not been performing well in recent months with results from Statistics South Africa showing a contraction of 1.2 per cent in the first quarter.

We are also going to go into details about implementation of the Nine Point Plan. As you recall in the State of the National Address, in 2015, the President introduced it and we need to see where we are right now and accelerate it towards 2019, Radebe told the media on the side-lines of the meeting.

On a more positive note, government leaders are also expected to use the meeting to see how to leverage the recent ranking of South Africa as Africa's largest economy after displacing oil-dependent Nigeria.

Another major agenda item will be the full report on the national infrastructure programme and its implementation, the implementation of the Medium Strategic Framework and the reforms of the state owned companies, said Radebe.

The funding of tertiary education will also be discussed as students from institutions of higher learning threaten to strike if the 2017 fees are increased. The issue of education is our apex of priorities. We're going to be dealing with this matter, as Minister (Blade) Nzimande highlighted yesterday (Monday) that we're going to give time to this consultation process, added Radebe.

Asked to comment on the Marikana tragedy commemoration, Radebe said the day remains sad in the history of the country. It is a sad day and we remember especially the families of the bereaved. As government we initiated the Farlam Commission of Inquiry which made recommendations. We are at the stage where all the recommendations are with Judge Farlam, said Radebe.

Among the recommendations was the strengthening of the South African Police Service (SAPS) public order capabilities and address training gaps. A committee has been set up to advise the Ministry of Police in this light.

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega, who has been widely criticised partly over the handling of the incident, has been suspended while a legal process is underway.

Tuesday marked four years since 34 mine workers were shot and killed on August 16 2012 by police during a wildcat strike at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana in North West Province.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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