26 April 2018

South Africa: Statement On the Cabinet Meeting of 25 April 2018

press release

Cabinet met on Wednesday, 25 April 2018, at Tuynhuys, Cape Town

A. Issues in the environment

1. Funerals of stalwarts and veterans

1.1. Cabinet thanks all people around the world, especially South Africans, for their warm and generous response in the wake of the passing of 'imbokodo' Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Struggle stalwart Dr Zola Skweyiya and trade unionist Archie Sibeko.

1.2. Our stalwarts dedicated their lives to the dream of a better South Africa and our countrymen and women are drawing inspiration from their struggles.

1.3. Cabinet also joins President Cyril Ramaphosa in paying tribute to the late Veteran diplomat, Ambassador George Nene, who served South Africa with distinction and dedication during his period in exile in mobilising our region and continent to secure the liberation of South Africa.

2. North West protests

2.1. Cabinet deliberated on the unstable situation that has unfolded in North West, which has affected a number of services, particularly health services. As a caring government, Cabinet has approved two immediate interventions to restore order and stability in the area.

2.2. Cabinet approved the invoking of Section 100(1)(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 to address the apparent crisis, particularly in the health sector. The main objective of this intervention will be to:

restore trust and confidence between labour and government;

assist the province to upgrade its systems and capabilities to a new normality;

ensure compliance with the legislative and regulatory framework of government;

stabilise the labour environment, restore sustainable service delivery, ensure security of staff and improve financial management.

2.3. Cabinet also mandated a task team of Ministers to visit North West to establish the facts on the ground. They are expected to submit a report in the next two weeks. The report back will assist in determining any further interventions that may still be required.

2.4. The Task Team comprises the Ministers of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (Convener); Health; Finance; Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, as well as the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster of Ministers.

2.5. Whilst noting the concerns that were raised by communities, Cabinet strongly condemns the acts of violence, looting and destruction of property that accompanied protests in some areas of the province.

3. Public sector wage negotiations

3.1 Cabinet was briefed on the current Public Service wage negotiations. Cabinet urged the Department of Public Service and Administration together with the mandating committee to work expeditiously to resolve the impasse on the wage negotiations.

4. Bus strike

4.1. Cabinet calls on all stakeholders in the public transport sector to bring a speedy end to the national bus strike. We urge all parties to return to the negotiation table so as to reach an agreement that is in the best interest of all parties and the country.

5. Violence at Moses Mabhida Stadium

5.1. Cabinet condemns the senseless violence and malicious damage to property by soccer fans following a pitch invasion at Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium during a Premier Soccer League game at the weekend.

5.2. Law-enforcement agencies are urged to ensure that all those involved in hooliganism and acts of violence at the match are held responsible for their actions.

5.3. Cabinet calls for a swift investigation and the implementation of stricter security measures to ensure the safety of spectators and officials. It urges all role players to cooperate with investigations to prevent future occurrences.

6. Community radio stations

6.1. Cabinet welcomes the agreement reached to reconnect 15 community radio stations that were suspended by Sentech for non-payment of signal distribution fees, while more sustainable solutions are being sought.

6.2. The agreement was reached after government met with Sentech, the National Community Radio Forum, the Media Development and Diversity Agency and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa.

6.3. The community radio sector is a critical communication platform that gives our people access to information and which serves as a means to creating an informed citizenry. All parties have agreed to convene soon to come up with a long-lasting solution that will result in the sustainability of these stations.

7. Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

7.1. Cabinet welcomes the adoption of the Programme of Action for the Commonwealth for the next two years.

7.2. President Ramaphosa led a South African Delegation to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2018) under the theme: "Towards a Common Future" from 19 to 20 April 2018.

7.3. In positioning South Africa as one of the world's leading emerging market investment destination, President Ramaphosa also addressed the African Leaders' Roundtable of the Commonwealth Business Forum, and engaged with senior international investors and business leaders. He also extended an invitation to leading investors and leaders of business to attend South Africa's much anticipated Investment Summit scheduled for later this year.

7.4. Under the leadership of President Ramaphosa, the South African delegation also used the opportunity presented by the CHOGM to continue lobbying for South Africa's candidature to the United Nations (UN) Security Council for the term 2019 - 2020. These elections are scheduled for 8 June 2018 in New York, USA.

8. Investment

8.1. Cabinet welcomes President Ramaphosa's appointment of four special envoys on investment to engage both domestic and foreign investors around economic opportunities in South Africa.

8.2. These envoys are mandated to attract investment in a focused and cost-effective manner. The investment drive will culminate in a major investment conference towards the end of the year to raise more than R1 trillion in new investments over five years.

9. Launch of Gauteng's InvestSA One-Stop Shop

9.1. Cabinet strongly encourages local and international investors to use the Provincial One-Stop Shop investment facilities being launched around the country - the latest being Gauteng's One-Stop Shop.

9.2. The InvestSA One-Stop Shop is a presidential programme to promote and facilitate investment in South Africa. Already, the InvestSA One-Stop Shop has been successfully implemented in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.

9.3. One-Stop Shop investment centres are being rolled out in all the provinces, and will be used to coordinate and incorporate the special economic zones, provincial investment agencies, local authorities and the relevant government departments involved in regulatory, registration, permits and licensing matters.

10. New Post Office-SASSA Post Bank cards

10.1. Cabinet welcomes the successful pilot roll-out of new South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) cards at selected post offices in the Western Cape to allow social-grant beneficiaries to swap existing cards for the new South African Post Office (SAPO)-SASSA Postbank cards.

10.2. Social-grant recipients and cardholders are still able to use their existing cards until December 2018, but Cabinet encourages beneficiaries to swap their old cards by visiting their nearest SASSA or SAPO from 2 May until the end of September 2018.

11. Higher Education

11.1. Cabinet welcomes the progress being made in the implementation of free education as detailed by the Minister of Higher Education and Training. The announcement of a significant increase in baseline allocation to NSFAS from R9,849 billion 2017/18 to R35,321 billion in 2020/21 demonstrates Governments commitment to assisting students from poor and working class households.

12. SMME Support Programme

12.1. Cabinet welcomes the launch of the Employment Promotion through the small, medium and micro-sized enterprise (SMME) Support Programme, which is a partnership between the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) and the European Union.

12.2. It will support SMMEs through business development services, assist them with access to markets, improve their access to finance, and help ease the administrative and regulatory burden on small businesses.

13. Science and Technology

13.1. Cabinet commends all those involved in the realisation of ZACUBE-2, which is Africa's largest and most advanced cube satellite. The 4kg ZACUBE-2 satellite - which was developed by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and the French South African Institute of Technology, and managed by the South African National Space Agency - was funded by the Department of Science and Technology. It is the second nanosatellite to be developed at the CPUT.

13.2. The cube satellite has been sent to India for launching into space. It will help gather data to unlock economic growth in the oceans economy. The nanosatellite will assist in addressing the needs of the Operation Phakisa Oceans Economy programme and also help track marine activity along South Africa's coast and proactively detect forest fires.

14. KwaZulu-Natal Mining Indaba

14.1. Cabinet welcome the outcome of the two-day KwaZulu-Natal Mining Indaba, where delegates deliberated on issues that will help in transforming the sector and unlock mining value-chain opportunities in the province.

14.2. Mining is one of the key sectors that can assist us to transform our economy and Cabinet has called on the mining companies, labour and communities to strengthen relations in order for mining to be sustainable.

B. Cabinet decisions

1. Cabinet approved the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the National Youth Policy (NYP) 2015-2020. The framework provides for accountability and efficiency in the achievement of the NYP 2020 objectives. The policy aims to improve performance and enhance service delivery, particularly to the programmes of the youth.

2. Cabinet approved the hosting of the Annual Africa Month Programme for May 2018 under the theme: "A Year of Nelson Mandela - Building a Better Africa and a Better World". The month of May celebrates the achievements made in the development of Africa. The events culminate in Africa Day on 25 May, which is a day declared by the African Union and celebrated in Africa.

3. Cabinet was briefed on the report and interventions made on the status of sexual exploitation, abuse and serious misconduct cases against the deployed South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members that support the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

3.1. Whilst Cabinet was satisfied with interventions made in addressing these abuses, it condemns in the strongest possible terms any form of sexual abuse and acts of misconduct by the SANDF members in the mission areas.

3.2. A team was deployed to investigate all the reported allegations. Although some of the cases have been finalised, others are already at the stage of military trials. All these investigations have been conducted through the military legal process in a transparent and accountable manner.

3.3. South Africa will as usual continue to react swiftly when dealing with such incidences. Ill-discipline and criminal behaviour in the ranks of the SANDF is despised and will not be tolerated. Those found to have transgressed will be dealt with through the Code of Conduct and Military Disciplinary Code.

3.4. Cabinet further supported the finalisation of the Military Disciplinary Bill, which seeks to deal with overall discipline in the SANDF, including strengthening the definition of sexual exploitation and the minimum sanction increased to 10 years.

C. Bills

1. Cabinet approved for the publication of the Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill of 2017 in the Government Gazette for public comments.

The Bill repeals the Tobacco Products Control Act, 1993 (Act 83 of 1993) so as to promote public health and to align the South African tobacco control law with the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. It addresses key areas relating to indoor public areas, display of tobacco products at point of sale, use of electronic devices and the introduction of plain packaging of tobacco products.

2. Cabinet approved for the publication of the Integrated Framework Bill of 2018 to be published in the Government Gazette for public comments. The Bill seeks to achieve coordinated and integrated planning across all spheres of government, which are mutually reinforcing and work cohesively to promote more effective implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP).

Institutionalising planning is in line with the NDP and seeks to give effect to the commitment in the Medium Term Strategic Framework 2014-2019 to establish mechanisms and capacity within the State to undertake long-term development planning. It will promote a more coordinated and responsive State that would be more effective in promoting the structural changes required for inclusive growth, and for developing the country's human resource base and a stronger democracy.

D. Upcoming events

1. Freedom Day

Cabinet commends all South Africans and sectors who are in various ways participating in the current Freedom Month celebrations. President Ramaphosa will deliver the keynote address at the National Freedom Day celebration on 27 April 2018 at Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium in Bloemfontein, Free State under the theme: "The year of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: towards full realisation of our freedom through radical socio-economic transformation".

The event will be followed by the 2018 National Orders Awards on Saturday, 28 April 2018 in Pretoria, where President Ramaphosa will bestow to deserving recipients the Order of the Baobab, The Order of Ikhamanga, The Order of Luthuli and The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo. National Orders are the highest awards that South Africa bestows, through the President, on citizens and members of the international community who have contributed meaningfully towards making the country a free, democratic and successful nation; united in its diversity.

2. May Day celebrations

Cabinet calls on all workers around the country to join in celebrating the Workers' Day on Tuesday, 1 May 2018 and to reflect on the gains of workers' rights since the dawn of democracy. This day serves as a reminder that workplaces should be safe and that employers must do more to ensure the safety of their workers, especially in the mining sector.

Cabinet also expressed its heartfelt sympathy to the families, friends and colleagues of the six miners who were burnt to death when the bus taking them to work was set alight by a petrol bomb thrown by unknown attackers.

Cabinet called on community members to assist the police in their quest to swiftly crack this case.

E. Messages

Cabinet congratulates:

1. Ndebele artist Esther Mahlangu, who received an honorary doctorate from the University of Johannesburg in recognition of her outstanding contribution to South African indigenous arts and culture.

2. Team South Africa who held our flag high at the Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast, when they finished sixth with a total of 37 medals (13 gold, 11 silver and 13 bronze). Their success is a result of hard work, determination and perseverance. This is an inspiration to young athletes and reaffirms that sport is part of the social fabric that binds us together as South Africans.

2.1. Top achievers who won gold medals include:

Caster Semenya - women's 800m and 1500m;

Luvo Manyonga - men's long jump;

Ndodomzi Ntutu - men's T12 100m;

Henri Schoeman - men's triathlon;

Tatjana Schoenmaker - women's 100m and 200m breaststroke;

Chad le Clos - men's 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly;

Cameron van der Burgh - men's 50m breaststroke;

Akani Simbine - men's 100m; and

Martin Erasmus - men's 97kg wrestling freestyle.

3. Professor Sibongile Muthwa and Dr Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi on their recent inauguration as vice-chancellor and chancellor respectively of the Nelson Mandela University.

4. Team South Africa for winning three awards at the 10th Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Istanbul, Turkey in April 2018, in recognition for the country's commitment and dedication to advancing SMMEs. The Department of Small Business Development with its partner, 22 on Sloane, Africa's largest start-up campus, won the Global Entrepreneurship Country of the Year Award. Team South Africa also won the Brand Champions and Research Champions Award, which recognises Global Entrepreneurship Network countries from around the world.

F. Appointments

All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.

1. Deputy Minister Mondli Gungubele as Chairperson of the Board of the Presidential Investment Corporation SOC Limited.

2. Ms Thandaza Zenobia Lungile Shandu as Deputy Director-General: Institutional Support and Coordination in the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

Cabinet met on Wednesday, 25 April 2018, at Tuynhuys, Cape Town A. Issues in the environment

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