20 September 2018

South Africa: Statement On the Cabinet Meeting of 19 September 2018

press release

Cabinet met on Wednesday, 19 September 2018 at the Union Buildings, Pretoria.

A. Issues in the environment

1. Economy

1.1. Cabinet welcomes the offer extended by business for the secondment of private-sector professionals to government. This emerged from a preparatory meeting held by President Cyril Ramaphosa with business leaders, special investment envoys and the CEO Initiative, ahead of the upcoming Job Summit and Investment Conference.

1.2. The meeting agreed that South Africa's economic recovery demands urgent implementation of the stimulus package and promised growth-enhancing reforms. Proposals were also discussed to establish an infrastructure-development initiative that draws in private-sector funding and delivery expertise.

2. Investment drive

2.1. Cabinet also welcomes the investment drive to Japan led by the Department of Trade and Industry. This is part of the broader drive that seeks to attract US$100 billion worth of investments into the South African economy over the next five years.

2.2. Japan has been a long-term Top 10 investment partner of South Africa, with more than 140 of its companies operating in our country, which is seen as a regional manufacturing hub into Africa. Cabinet encourages companies to both invest and expand in South Africa.

3. Training programmes

3.1. Cabinet welcomes the launch of the R22-million training project by the Minister of Labour, Ms Mildred Oliphant, which will create employment in the aviation, maritime commercial diving and agricultural sectors. The project is being undertaken in partnership with the Dr John Langalibalele Dube Institute and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), an entity of the Department of Labour. The project will focus on the former contributors to the UIF who lost their jobs.

3.2. The first group of beneficiaries includes 50 UIF contributors from the Durban Virginia Airport; 50 from the maritime commercial diving project in Scottsburg, KwaZulu-Natal, and 100 rural women from Emadungeni will be trained towards forming a cooperative to plant and grow organic fruit, vegetables and cotton, including value-chain processing. These cooperatives have signed an agreement with Pick n Pay for vegetable supply and with the Department of Social Development to source material for the manufacture of school uniforms.

4. Home Affairs

4.1. Cabinet welcomes the official opening by President Ramaphosa of new offices for the Department of Home Affairs at Hluhluwe in KwaZulu-Natal.

4.2. The expanded roll-out of civic services to marginalised communities plays a key role in enabling and deepening democracy and social justice. This forms part of government's commitment to bringing services closer to the people.

5. Broadcasting Digital Migration Programme

5.1. Cabinet is satisfied with the progress being made in migrating the country from analogue to digital. As part of the countdown to December 2018 for the Free State Analogue Switch-Off, the first transmitter in Senekal in the Free State will be switched off on 20 September 2018. This is in line with the commitment agreed to with the International Telecommunication Union.

5.2. A communication campaign is underway to ensure that all households are ready for the switch-off. Households with analogue television (TV) sets looking to buy new ones are advised to choose those with an integrated digital tuner. Households with an income above the threshold of R3 200 per month have an option of buying a new integrated digital TV set with the built-in Digital Terrestrial TV decoder, which is available through major retail outlets.

6. Retrenchments

6.1. In line with President Ramaphosa's call for a moratorium on job cuts resulting from the economic conditions in the country, Cabinet reiterates its appeal to employers that retrenchments must be a last resort, and that other available and innovative ways to contain costs be thoroughly explored to sustain jobs.

7. Crime statistics

7.1. Cabinet endorses the intervention by the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster to urgently engage on a comprehensive strategy to deal with various issues emanating from the recently released crime statistics.

7.2. This includes the recently held National Summit on Crime and Violence Prevention held under the theme "Building safer communities through an integrated, developmental approach to crime and violence prevention", which developed a joint vision on safety as a collective responsibility, and provided a platform for key stakeholders and experts to engage on the effective implementation of the 2016 White Paper on Safety and Security across all sectors.

8. Incidents of violence

8.1. Cabinet is deeply concerned by the level of violence in our society and calls on all sectors, communities and law-enforcement agencies to work together to ensure that schools and public spaces are safe and secure.

8.2. The acts of violence that broke out in several parts of the country are unacceptable and go against our Constitution. Cabinet commends the South African Police Service for the swift responses in arresting those suspected of being involved in public violence and possession of suspected stolen goods.

9. Klebsiella outbreak

9.1. Cabinet extends condolences to the families of the six babies who died following an outbreak of Klebsiella pneumoniae at the Thelle Mogoerane Hospital in Vosloorus.

9.2. The outbreak is currently under control. The Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has since announced the transfer of babies and their mothers to the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital and Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital respectively.

9.3. This gives the provincial health department an opportunity to scrub down and decontaminate the environment, and also address the structural issues, without any disturbance.

B. Decisions

10. Stimulus package

Cabinet deliberated and approved the proposed stimulus package which proposes measures to reignite our economy from a number of related portfolios. A media briefing led by President Cyril Ramaphosa will held on Friday 21 September to present this package.

11. VISA related reforms

Cabinet also received a joint report from the Ministers of Home Affairs and Tourism respectively, on a number of visa-related reforms which will make it easier for tourists, business people and academia to come to South Africa.

The reforms include amendments to the regulations applying to foreign minors travelling to South Africa, which will be gazetted in October. Negotiations on visa waivers and relaxation of visa requirements for certain countries are also being finalised. Further details will be announced this week.

C. Bills

12. Cabinet approved the following Bills for publication for public comment:

12.1. Employment Equity Amendment Bill of 2017. The amendments seek to strengthen the compliance mechanisms and will allow for the setting up of employment equity sector-specific numerical targets. The Minister of Labour, in consultation with the sector's stakeholders, will be able to set employment equity sector-specific numerical targets.

12.2. Financial Sector Laws Amendment Bill of 2018: The amendments seek to strengthen the curatorship provisions for banks, including mutual and cooperative banks, and certain non-banks. The changes will ensure that should these financial institutions experience difficulties, they can be assisted in a way that protects vulnerable depositors with minimal disruptions to the financial system and broader economy.

D. Upcoming Events

13. Heritage Day

13.1. The 2018 National Heritage Day celebration under the theme: "The Year of Nelson Mandela: Advancing transformation of South Africa's heritage landscape", takes place at the Riverview Stadium in Kokstad, KwaZulu-Natal. This is part of the month-long programme of activities which are addressing issues of transformation, promotion and preservation of South Africa's rich and diverse heritage, national identity, nation-building and social cohesion.

13.2. The Heritage Day celebration is in honour of Adam Kok and the Griqua community for their courage, determination and fortitude in resisting colonial occupation.

13.3. Cabinet calls on the public to celebrate their unity in diversity as we work together to build a country where all its people care for and respect one another.

14. United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)

14.1. In contributing towards the centenary of former President Nelson Mandela, the UNGA will on 24 September 2018 hold a high-level plenary meeting on global peace known as the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, in honour of the centenary of the birth of Madiba.

14.2. The plenary is scheduled to adopt a political declaration negotiated by UNGA Member States. This follows consultations by the Permanent Representatives of South Africa and Ireland, serving as co-facilitators, with governments on the content of the declaration. President Ramaphosa is also expected to participate in the UN High-Level Meeting on TB on 26 September 2018. TB is a major disease in Africa and some of the world's high TB burden countries are on the continent.

E. Messages

15. Condolences

Cabinet sends its condolences to the families that lost their loved ones in a bus crash that occurred on the N1-25 near Tobias in the Waterberg Municipality District in Limpopo. Cabinet also wishes those injured a speedy recovery.

16. Congratulations

Cabinet congratulates the Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, for being admitted to the highest level of the Order of Rio Branco (Ordem de Rio Branco), and the Grand Cross from the Government of Brazil.

This is in recognition for the Minister's continuous efforts to enhance bilateral relations between Brazil and South Africa. This honorific order of Brazil is granted to those who have distinguished themselves in acts of meritorious service and civic virtues. Minister Zulu was the South African Ambassador to Brazil between 2004 and 2008.

F. Appointments

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

17. Board of Rand Water:

a. Adv Faith Matshidiso Hashatse (Chairperson);

b. Ms Massacha Khulekelwe Glynnis Mbonambi (Deputy Chairperson);

c. Mr LL Makibinyane;

d. Ms Phindile Sweetness Mbanjwa;

e. Mr Ahmed Mohammed Pandor;

f. Ms Mahlatse Martha Kabi;

g. Ms Mankone Ntsaba;

h. Ms Nomsa Georgina Mbileni;

i. Mr Protas Thamsanqa Phili;

j. Ms Sophie Fende Molokoane;

k. Ms Savannah Nonhlanhla Maziya; and

l. Mr Ramateu Johannes Monyokolo.

18. Mr Percival Sechemane as the Chief Executive Officer of the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority.

Issued by: Government Communications

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