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Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 08 December 2021

A.  Issues of the environment

1.  International Anti-Corruption Day

1.1.  South Africa joins the rest of the world in commemorating International Anti-Corruption Day on Thursday, 9 December 2021 under the theme “Corruption-free future starts today, it starts with me”. The United Nations theme for the 2021 International Anti-Corruption Day is: “Your right, your role: Say no to corruption”.

1.2.  Corruption, whether large or small, remains one of the greatest challenges facing the country and holds back economic growth and social development. 

1.3.  Cabinet remains encouraged that the justice system continues to take decisive steps to bring those who were found to have been involved in acts of corruption to account. The Commission of Inquiry into allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector, including Organs of State, is scheduled to submit its final report to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday, 1 January 2022.  

1.4.  Cabinet anticipates that in addition to exposing the perpetrators of corruption, this report will also provide us with proposals to strengthen our systems to prevent corruption.

1.5.  As part of our ongoing fight against corruption, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) instituted a number of cases in the High Court and Special Tribunal and the following are pending as at 31 March 2021: 

- 56 Cases in the High Court which involve contracts in the amount of R62bn;

- 64 Cases in the Special Tribunal which involve contracts in the amount of R6.99bn. The amounts or values are the contractual amounts which were irregularly and unlawfully awarded by the state institutions and which form the subject of the litigation by the SIU. 

- In the financial year 2021/2022, the SIU has already frozen pension benefits of former civil servants, bank accounts and assets of individuals and business amounting to more than R43 billion. 

- The President has signed a total of 9 SIU Proclamations in the financial year under review. 

1.6.  Cabinet reiterated that the success of our fight against corruption depends on the involvement of all people in South Africa. If you see something, say something; report corruption by dialling the National Anti-Corruption Hotline on 0800 701 701. 

1.7.  Cabinet reaffirmed its commitment to protect whistle-blowers, and applauded the bravery of honest public servants who expose fraud and corruption, at times at the risk of their livelihoods and lives. 

2.  Rapid increase in Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) infections

2.1.  Cabinet noted the rapid increase in COVID-19 infections in various parts of South Africa and urged all people in the country to take stronger action to fight back against the disease and its variants. Our COVID-19 infections recorded in the last 24 hours stands at 19 842, which translates into a 26.8% positivity rate. We have also lost 36 people to COVID-19 related complications in the last 24 hours. 

2.2.  Vaccination does not only help us fight back against the deadly pandemic by preventing serious illness, hospitalisation or even death, but it also reduces the health risks posed by future variants. 

2.3.  We must continue adhering to the non-pharmaceutical prevention measures of wearing a mask that covers our mouth and nose; maintaining social distancing, and regularly washing our hands with soap and water or using a 70% alcohol-based hand sanitiser. 

2.4.  We can also prevent the spread of the virus by avoiding superspreader events such as festivals and parties. Together we can fight back by being responsible and always acting in the best interests of protecting the health of our loved ones and our nation against COVID-19.  

2.5.  Cabinet joined President Ramaphosa in applauding our scientists for having alerted the world about the Omicron variant that has been spreading around the world. Cabinet continues to support calls for the immediate lifting of unfair travel bans imposed on South Africa.  

3.  Vooma Vaccination Week

3.1.  We have administered a total of 26, 781, 642 vaccine doses to date. During the extended Vooma Vaccination Week campaign from 3 to 10 December 2021, thousands of people are being vaccinated at various vaccination sites that are open throughout the country. Cabinet has urged people aged 12 and older to vaccinate without delay.  

3.2.  Keep yourself and your loved ones safe this festive season by simply going to your nearest vaccination site, even without an appointment, to be registered and vaccinated for free.

3.3.  The health benefits of being vaccinated include a much lower risk of hospitalisation after being infected with COVID-19. Cabinet encourages all people in South Africa to respond to the clarion call to vaccinate because statistics show that the majority of people being admitted in hospitals are unvaccinated.

4.  Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS)

4.1.  Government remains resolute in addressing unemployment as one of the major challenges facing the country. Statistics South Africa’s recent QLFS results which showed a 0,5 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate from 34,4% in the second quarter to 34,9% in the third quarter of 2021 are disturbing. 

4.2.  Government continues in its target-driven work to restore business confidence by addressing the structural constraints to economic growth, job creation and poverty eradication. Through specific interventions such as large investments in infrastructure, it is working to support structural transformation, economic growth and job creation.

4.3.  Through the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, government continues to support local production, including the revival of South Africa’s manufacturing industry. The annual South Africa Investment Conference (SAIC) continues to attract potential investors. Since its first inaugural conference in 2018, the SAIC has so far secured more than R770 billion in investment commitments across a wide range of economic sectors. 

4.4.  Cabinet remains committed to working with all sectors to address the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality. Government will do whatever is possible to create a conducive environment for investment in the country. It will also drive economic transformation to enable greater economic opportunities to the previously disadvantaged groups. 

5.  Presidential Four-Nation Visit to West Africa

5.1.  President Ramaphosa recently led a delegation of Ministers and business leaders with a view to grow economic relations and people-to-people interaction between South Africa and Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Senegal. 

5.2.  This four-nation visit from 30 November to 7 December 2021 reinforced South Africa’s bilateral relations to strengthen partnerships directed at African development and cooperation in multilateral forums.

5.3.  South Africa and the partner states explored ways to leverage the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area for mutual benefit, and with greater support for businesses conducting intra-African trade and investment.

6.  16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children

6.1.  As the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign draws to an end, it remains a disturbing reality that more still needs to be done to eradicate gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) in our society.

6.2.  Many harrowing GBVF-related stories, including the loss of lives, have been reported during this period and throughout the entire extended 365 Days of Activism campaign.

6.3.  We are failing as a nation when the cries of the most vulnerable in our society remain unheard or ignored. The irresponsible societal norms which validate the violent behaviour of men and the tendency to victimise women who break their silence must stop. 

6.4.  Cabinet appealed to everyone, especially men, to take a stand and play an active role in ending the scourge of violence against women and children. Men must lead by speaking out against GBVF and reporting it to law-enforcement agents. They must also raise awareness, and engage in peer education and efforts to prevent GBVF. 

6.5.  In order to improve our response to sexual offences and gender-based violence, government has 106 Sexual Offences Courts and now moving to the introduction of Statutory Sexual Offences Courts. 

6.6.  In February 2020, section 55A of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act was signed into operation meaning that for the first time Sexual Offences Courts will now be established in accordance with a statute. Section 55A of the Act empowers the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services to designate, not only a selected regional court, but also any Division of the High Court, as a Sexual Offences Court.

6.7.  Cabinet urged all sectors of society to collaborate with government to create safer communities and protect victims of abuse. It will only change if we all act, and the time to act is now!

B. Cabinet decisions

1.  Extension of the National State of Disaster 

1.1.  Cabinet approved a recommendation by the National Coronavirus Command Council to further extend the National State of Disaster to 15 January 2022, in terms of Section 27 (5) (c) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act 57 of 2002).

1.2.  The National State of Disaster is aimed at responding to the special circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic

2.  Festive Season safety

2.1.  While most of us will be taking a well-deserved festive break, we must remember that COVID-19 does not take a holiday. A safe holiday period for you and your loved ones can be guaranteed by a simple jab at your nearest vaccination site. 

2.2.  Cabinet calls on everyone to continue to be vigilant and avoid large social gatherings. Together we can make the festive season joyous and safe for everyone by not drinking and driving. We must obey all the rules of the road, including driving within the legal speed limits. Let us all make an effort to Arrive Alive. 

2.3.  Cabinet called on parents and caregivers to be extra vigilant with children in their care,  especially at pools, beaches or near water. To ensure a safe festive season, be alert at all times when on holiday or during leisure moments. Report any suspicious criminal activity immediately to the police on 10111 or alert the nearest security officers.

C. Messages

1.  Congratulations

Cabinet extended its congratulations and well-wishes to: 

- President Ramaphosa on being bestowed with a doctorate Honoris Causa from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal, which is recognised as one of Africa's and the world's pre-eminent universities. Twenty-nine years ago, former President Nelson Mandela was awarded the same doctorate at a time when our nation was not yet free. It is fitting that President Ramaphosa has been awarded this prestigious honour in the year that we commemorate the 25th anniversary of our Constitution being signed into law.

- the Blitzboks for triumphing twice in two weekends during the prestigious Dubai Sevens rugby tournament. 

2.  Condolences 

Cabinet expressed condolences to the family and friends of: 

- Mr Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim (84), the former Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation. Ebie, as he was affectionately known to his friends and comrades, dedicated his life to the struggle for democracy and freedom, and worked steadfastly to build a better South Africa for all.

- Amb Lindiwe Mabuza (83), the veteran diplomat, poet, feminist and Struggle icon who served in several diplomatic postings. In 2014 she received the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver “for her excellent contribution to mobilising the use of arts and application of creativity for democracy – displaying that cultural activism played a significant role in achieving democracy”.

D. Appointments  

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

1.  Dr Sean Douglas Philips – Director-General (DG) of the Department of Water and Sanitation.
2.  Adv Alison Gay Bengtson – Deputy DG (DDG) Curriculum Policy Support and Monitoring in the Department of Basic Education.
3.  Ms Busisiwe Iris Letompa – DDG: Provincial Operations in the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development.

4.  Extension of the members of the South African Statistics Council:

- Prof David Everatt (Chairperson);
- Mr Ian Assam (Deputy Chairperson);
- Mr Faldie Esau 
- Ms Reshoketswe Mokobane;
- Ms Blanche Motsosi;
- Dr Jacky Galpin;
- Dr Ariane Neethling;
- Dr Thabi Leoka;
- Mr Ettiene le Roux;
- Mr Wandile Sihlobo;
- Ms Nompumelelo Nzimande;
- Ms Vuyelwa Mantyi (Eastern Cape representative);
- Ms Zeenat Ishamial (Western Cape representative);
- Mr Kuberin Packirisamy (Northern Cape representative);
- Mr Thulani Bhengu (KwaZulu-Natal representative);
- Prof Andries Monyeki (North West representative);
- Dr Nomusa Mlondo (Mpumalanga representative); and
- Dr Modjadji Malahlela (Limpopo representative).

5.  Members of the South African National Energy Development Institute Board:

a. Mr Sicelo Goodwill Xulu (Chairperson);
b. Ms Lungile Mtiya (Deputy Chairperson);
c. Ms Abegail Boikhutso; 
d. Ms Mary Tumelo Mashabela;
e. Mr Jongikhaya Witi (Main member from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE));
f. Ms Olga Chauke (Alternate member – DFFE);
g. Ms Lize Baron (Main member from the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic));
h. Mr Gerhard Fourie (Alternate member – the dtic);
i. Mr Mthokozisi Mpofu (Main member from the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE); and
j. Ms Nomawethu Qase (Alternate member – DMRE).

6.  Land Bank

(a)  Ms Khensani Mukhari – Executive Director of the Land Bank.

Non-Executive Board of Directors of the Land Bank:

(b) Ms Nyane Rethabile Nkosi (Chairperson);
(c)  Mr Lehlogonolo Andrew Makenete (Deputy Chairperson); 
(d)  Mathane Makgatho;
(e)  Ms Dineo Maithufi;
(f)   Dr Johann Frederick Kirsten;
(g)  Ms Thulisile Njapa Mashanda;
(h)  Ms Nonthuthuzelo Pinkie Motshegoa;
(i)   Ms Egashnee Pillay;
(j)   Dr Monde Mbovu Tom; and
(k)  Mr Dimitri Wilhem van der Westhuizen;

7.  Interim Board of Sentech

a.  Ms Sedzani Faith Mudau (Chairperson);
b.  Ms Veronica Mmakoma Motloutsi;
c.  Ms Mapuleng Moropa;
d.  Ms Tshavhuyo Sesani;
e.  Mr Themba Phiri;
f.   Adv. Nkhumeleni Anderson Mudunungu; and
g.  Mr Metusa Mbasa.

Enquiries:
Ms Phumla Williams – Cabinet Spokesperson 
Mobile: 083 501 0139