Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 20 November 2019
Statement on the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, 20 November 2019
A. Issues in the environment
1. South Africa Investment Conference (SAIC)
1.1. Cabinet reflected on the positive outcomes of the SAIC and the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) held from 5 to 7 November and from 11 to 13 November, respectively.
1.2. R363 billion worth of investment commitments were announced at South Africa’s second SAIC and about US$40 billion worth of investment commitments were announced at the AIF. This once again signals a strong vote of confidence in our economy.
1.3. Paper and pulp giant Sappi and brewing giant Heineken were amongst several other companies to pledge billions of rands. Last year, the first investment conference netted commitments worth R300 billion and drew pledges from, amongst others, international e-commerce giant Amazon, Aspen Pharmacare and Rwanda-based technology company, Mara Corporation. All these investment commitments continue to confirm that President Cyril Ramaphosa remains on course on the planned investment target of R1,2 trillion over five years.
1.4. In the past week, the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (SEZ) announced investments that are expected to attract about R3,6 billion and create 6 700 direct jobs. Ford SA, which will operate from this SEZ, plans to increase production of its Ranger bakkie from 520 to 720 vehicles per day for both international and domestic markets. The Japanese company, Isuzu, also announced a R1,2-billion investment into its local production in Port Elizabeth, which will boost the economy of the Eastern Cape.
1.5. Cabinet expresses deep appreciation and thanks all investors and participants of another successful investment conference. By working together, we can move South Africa forward.
2. African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN)
2.1. Cabinet welcomes the appointment of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy as the Chairperson of the AMCEN for the next two years.
2.2. South Africa assumed the chairpersonship of AMCEN at the biannual conference hosted in the City of eThekwini in KwaZulu-Natal from 11 to 15 November 2019. This is an important forum for African Ministers to develop strategies for the sustainability of Africa’s rich biodiversity. It also assists the continent to develop common negotiating positions for international forums such as the 25th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) taking place in Madrid, Spain, from 2 to 13 December 2019.
3. Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) Summit
3.1. Cabinet welcomes the outcomes of the 11th BRICS Summit which took place in Brasilia, Brazil under the theme: “Economic Growth for an Innovative Future”.
3.2. President Ramaphosa and other BRICS leaders also interacted with the BRICS Business Council to strengthen and promote economic, trade, business and investment ties amongst BRICS members. Cabinet welcomes the adoption of the BRICS Summit Declaration by Heads of State.
3.3. The declaration involves a commitment to combat under-invoicing of imported goods, and measures to boost global demand and growth. It further cements efforts to further our cooperation on topics, which include investment in e-commerce and micro, small and medium enterprises.
3.4. South Africa’s BRICS membership strategically positions the country towards increased trade, investment, tourism, capacity-building, skills and technology transfers, which are key in our drive to address the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
4. 25 Years of Freedom
4.1. Cabinet welcomes the launch of the 25 Year Review report, which is the culmination of wide consultation across the country and African continent. The report acknowledges our achievements in restoring the dignity of people and enhancing their access to basic services.
4.2. Some of the achievements include universal access to basic education, the expansion of access to higher education, access to free health services in the public sector and implementation of the social wage. Although we have made these remarkable strides, our economy still needs to be fully transformed and made to work for everyone. Also, the spatial planning that perpetuated the apartheid segregations remain largely unchanged.
4.3. The report recommends that the country must build on the gains of the past 25 years of democracy particularly in decisively transforming both our economy and spatial planning of our country. The report can be accessed from the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation website: www.dpme.gov.za.
5. Disaster management
5.1. Cabinet expresses its condolences to the families of the 14 fellow South Africans who died during the recent storms in KwaZulu-Natal and wishes those injured a speedy recovery.
5.2. Disaster Management Services are dealing with the devastation from a tornado which damaged public infrastructure and affected more than 798 households in New Hanover and Bergville in KwaZulu-Natal.
5.3. South Africans are urged to be vigilant and take the necessary safety precautions as the risk of heavy rains and severe thunderstorms remain in some parts of the country.
6.1. Cabinet has supported the appointment of Mr Andre de Ruyter as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Eskom. The appointment of a permanent CEO is an important first step in strengthening Eskom, dealing decisively with government and financial management challenges at the utilities which will ensure a stable electricity supply for the nation.
6.2. Mr de Ruyter is currently the CEO of packaging company Nampak. He has held senior legal, marketing, and operations positions at Sasol in South Africa, Germany and China – with his last position at Sasol being the Senior Group Executive Operations in South Africa.
6.3. Mr de Ruyter brings to the position significant international experience; extensive experience of dealing with governments and regulators in a variety of jurisdictions; turnaround skills based on rigorous cost cutting, margin improvements, and organisational restructuring, a track record of delivering sustainable profits and value for stakeholders; strong strategy and execution competencies with a strategic focus on conceptualising and integrating corporate operating models and strategic delivery.
6.4. Cabinet believes that Mr de Ruyter will work with the leadership of Eskom to drive the proposed Eskom interventions as spelt out in the Eskom paper entitled “Roadmap for Eskom in a Reformed Electricity Supply Industry”.
6.5. Cabinet will continue to support Eskom in all its endeavours to stabilise its capacity and ability to provide uninterrupted energy supply.
7. South African Airways (SAA) industrial action
7.1. Cabinet appeals to all parties involved in the industrial action at SAA to work together in finding solutions that will be in the best interests of all and in particular the country.
7.2. Whilst the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 provides for the right of workers to withhold their labour, we do however caution against irresponsible public utterances and threats to the safety of passengers or their families during this time. A peaceful and less disruptive manner of resolving disputes is always desirable. Cabinet remains hopeful that an amicable solution will be found to the protracted SAA strike.
8. Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD)
8.1. Cabinet was briefed on the recent FMD in some parts of the country. Whilst the disease does not pose danger to human health, it is highly contagious amongst the cloven-hoofed animals. Cabinet calls on all affected communities in Limpopo to adhere to the safety protocol as a measure to curb the spread of the disease.
8.2. Farmers are requested to avoid gathering livestock together for auctions, shows or other activities. They are also urged to be on the lookout for clinical signs of the disease and contact a veterinarian or animal health professional, if necessary.
9. South Sudan Special Envoy Mission
9.1. Cabinet welcomes the progress made towards the total resolution of conflict and bringing stability in South Sudan. South Africa is providing support to all efforts to the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on South Sudan in line with the responsibilities of the Special Envoy.
9.2. Deputy President David Mabuza, in his capacity as Special Envoy to South Sudan, conducted regional consultations with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and President of the Transitional Sovereign Council of Sudan in Khartoum Abdalftah Alburhan A. Alrahman.
9.3. The consultation was towards the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.
10. Population and Development Summit
10.1. The recent International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, gave impetus to the ICPD Programme of Action and built momentum for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
10.2. South Africa underscored its commitment to consolidate achievements on gender equality through the empowerment of women and girls across South Africa with initiatives that include family planning information and services; zero child and maternal mortality inclusive of access to sexual and reproductive health rights as well as strengthening interventions to stop sexual and gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) and all harmful practices against women and girls.
B. Cabinet decisions
11. 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign
11.1. Cabinet joins President Ramaphosa in welcoming the three life sentences handed down to the rapist and killer of University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana by the Cape High Court. This is one of a number of sentences that were delivered by our courts in the past month. We remain firm that those who commit such heinous crimes against women and children should have no space in our society and must face the full might of the law.
11.2. South Africa will join the global community in the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign (from 25 November to 10 December – International Human Rights Day), to raise awareness of GBVF in the country.
11.3. Cabinet has endorsed the expansion of the 16 Days of Activism to the 365 Days programme that will be sustained by an awareness, support and education programme to stop violence against the vulnerable members of society, in particular women and children.
11.4. The 16 Days of Activism, which focuses on heightened mobilisation and awareness, will be launched by His Excellency the President of the Republic, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa on the 25th November in Ga-Seleka Village in Limpopo. The theme, “Enough is enough: Together fast-tracking implementation to end gender-based violence”, builds on the progress made in developing a comprehensive, multi-sectoral response to GBVF.
11.5. Cabinet calls on all South Africans to stand up and be counted amongst those who are active in the fight against gender based violence to create safer homes, safer communities and safer public spaces for all.
12. Audit outcomes for 2018/19 for provincial and national departments
12.1. Auditor-General (AG) Kimi Makwetu briefed Cabinet on the outcomes of the 2018/19 national and provincial audit results. Cabinet is concerned about the continued increase in material irregularities. Twelve entities were selected to be audited on irregular expenditure. Eight of these had material irregularities. Seven were Provincial Departments in Health, Human Settlement, Education; National Department of Water and Sanitation and National Department of Basic Education and the State Owned Entity Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).
12.2. The Public Audit Amendment Act, 2018 (Act 5 of 2018), which came into effect on 1 April 2019, is expected to strengthen the work of the Office of the AG and ensure government begins to deal decisively with departments that continue to disregard the governance framework.
12.3. To this effect, Cabinet has endorsed the enforcement of this Act, particularly on serious irregularities that require the AG to refer such transgression for further investigations, inclusive of law enforcement entities.
12.4. Cabinet remains committed to ensuring clean governance within state-run institutions. The National School of Government has been instructed to provide the necessary training and support to institutions requiring further training of their officials. Those who blatantly violate the public finance management framework will have to face the consequences of abusing state resources.
13. Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route (RLHR) Project
13.1. Cabinet received a progress report on the RLHR Project from Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa. The Department of Arts and Culture – working together with the National Heritage Council and South African Heritage Resources Agency – will identify, collect, and promote the preservation of our history and those historical sites in the continent which have a link with the South African liberation heritage.
13.2. The project serves as the country’s chapter of the continental African Liberation Heritage Programme. Historical infrastructure and sites have been identified in all the nine provinces and some serve as heritage tourism facilities. Cabinet endorsed the three-year implementation plan that was presented.
14. Economic Regulation of Transport Bill of 2019
14.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the Economic Regulation of Transport Bill of 2019 to Parliament. The Bill consolidates the economic regulations of transport into a single framework. It proposes the establishment of the Transport Economic Regulation and the Transport Economic Council. The Bill will be applicable to the aviation, marine, rail and road transport sectors.
14.2. The Bill went through public consultation twice in 2018. Inputs from the public consultation process have been incorporated into this revised Bill. The outcome of implementing this Bill will contribute towards Cabinet’s efforts to the ease of doing business in South Africa. Businesses will now be subjected to a controlled single tariff structure when engaging with the transportation industry in the country. A neutral structure to oversee this work is proposed to be under the Minister of Transport.
D. Upcoming events
15. District Development Model
15.1. His Excellency the President of the Republic, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa will launch the third District Development Model in the Waterberg District on Tuesday, 26 November 2019 at the Shongoane Sports Ground in Lephalale, Limpopo.
15.2. The Waterberg area is the largest platinum production area in the province, and the mining of coal and petroleum development has increased demand for the commodity for electricity generation. Lephalale is also home to a variety of agricultural activities.
16. Disability Rights Awareness Month
16.1. South Africa commemorates the Disability Rights Awareness Month which started on 3 November to end on 3 December 2019. The theme for this year: “Together building South Africa inclusive of Disability Rights”.
16.2. Government has made progress in providing a social safety net for people with disabilities and continues to forge ahead in its programmes which prioritise the socio-economic inclusion of persons with disabilities.
17. World AIDS Day
17.1. Deputy President Mabuza, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council, will lead the marking of World AIDS Day on 1 December 2019 in Orkney, North West. The World AIDS Day 2019 theme is: “Communities make the difference”.
17.2. World AIDS Day 2019 is an opportunity for countries globally to reflect on their respective contribution in fighting the spread of HIV and AIDS. This year’s theme recognises the essential role communities have played and continue to play in the HIV and AIDS response.
17.3. South Africa has been relentless in its mission to turn around the HIV, AIDS, and TB epidemics, with notable achievements which include scientific advances in HIV treatment and more people receiving antiretroviral treatment.
17.4. Access to antiretroviral therapy in the public health sector has grown from 45 500 patients in 2004 to over 4,7 million in 2019. This is complemented by behavioural change programmes which include regular testing, and using female and male condoms to reduce infection rates.
Cabinet sent condolences to the:
• AmaXhosa Royal Family and the community as a whole, on the passing of His Majesty, King Mpendulo Calvin Zwelonke Sigcawu.
• family and friends of the seasoned broadcaster and thought leader, Mr Xolani Gwala. President Ramaphosa declared a Special Provincial Official Funeral Category 2 for Mr Gwala. He was buried at Impendle in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday, 9 November 2019.
• family and friends of former SABC Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Solly Mokoetle.
• family and friends of businessman, Mr Allan Gray, who founded the asset management company of the same name.
• family and friends of the well-known South African writer, activist and poet, Mr Sandile Dikeni.
• family and friends of actor, Mr Andile Gumbi, who was well-known for his roles on Isibaya and The Lion King.
• family and friends of former YoTV presenter and member of the music group Jozi, Mr Luther Cohen.
Cabinet extended its congratulations to:
- Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza, as the elected Chairperson of the African Union Specialised Technical Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.
- All South Africans who came out in their numbers to welcome our victorious national rugby team, the Springboks from the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
- Brad Binder for emerging victorious at the Malaysian Moto2 Grand Prix. We wish him well for the next season when he competes in the MotoGP class with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team.
- Chad le Clos for winning gold both in the 100 and 200 metres butterfly at the FINA Swimming World Cup in Doha, Qatar.
- Caitlin Rooskrantz for qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Japan after becoming the first South African to win a gold at the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.
- Teddy Nzama, who was crowned the 2019 Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa Barista Champion of the international competition held in London.
- Team SA athletes who represented the country at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai. A total of 11 medals with two of these being gold. Anrune Weyers: Women's 400m T47 (Gold), Women’s 200m T47 (Silver), Women's 100m T47 (Bronze); Ntando Mahlangu: Men’s 100m T61 (Gold); Simone Kruger: Women's Discus F38 (Silver); Mpumelelo Mhlongo: Men's 100m T64 (Silver), Men's Long Jump T64 (Bronze); Charl Du Toit: Men's 400m T37 (Bronze); Reinhardt Hamman: Men's Javelin Throw F38 (Bronze); Anika Johanna Pretorius: Women's 100m T13 (Bronze); and Sheryl James: Women's 400m T37 (Bronze).
- Luyolo Yiba, who was crowned the winner of Season 15 of Idols South Africa.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
20. Defence Force Service Commission:
a. Adv Motlatjo Josephine Ralefatane;
b. Adv Linda Mbana; and
c. Ms Salome Velma Mabilane.
Ms Phumla Williams – Acting Cabinet Spokesperson
Cell: 083 501 0139