Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 4 July 2018
Cabinet met on Wednesday, 4 July 2018, at the Union Buildings, Pretoria.
A. Issues in the environment
1. Mandela Month
Cabinet calls on all South Africans to “Be the Legacy” as we approach Nelson Mandela International Day on 18 July 2018. The United Nations (UN) adopted this day, which allows South Africans and the global community to honour our former President and an international icon, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
Government has declared July as Mandela Month, which falls on his birthday month. As part of the centenary celebration various sectors have embarked on a number of initiatives to pay tribute to the work and legacy of the late President Nelson Mandela. On Friday, a special tribute to his concerns about jobs and young workers will be paid, when the Wear South Africa initiative, with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the SA Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) launches the Nelson Mandela t-shirt in Durban.
The T-shirt is locally made, is available at leading retail stores and profits from the sale of the T-shirt will go to the Nelson Mandela Foundation to fund activities consistent with his vision and life. The Minister of Economic Development will address guests on behalf of Government. Cabinet urges all South Africans to support the buy local campaign and to wear locally-made clothing with pride.
Cabinet calls on all people to become part of the movement for change. By working together as a united, non-racial and non-sexist society, we can uphold the legacy of Madiba. Cabinet calls on all South Africans to dedicate their 67 minutes of their time on 18 July to contribute to making a change for the needy.
Cabinet welcomes the recent primary listing of Old Mutual on the JSE. This listing by a company with a market capitalization of $10bn (R130bn), is a significant vote of confidence in South Africa and the local financial markets.
Cabinet appreciates that the primary listing in South Africa returns Old Mutual to its African roots and ends its period as a London-based financial services group. The commitment by Old Mutual to create a Fund of R500 million to promote local economic development, particularly by small, black-owned businesses, will boost the country’s efforts to build an inclusive economy. We call on other corporates in the financial sector to develop similar developmental funding instruments through dialogue with Government.
The recent World Economic Forum Roundtable on Investment served to showcase the potential of South Africa as a destination for increased and new investment. The Roundtable was attended by a large delegation of Chief Executive Officers of domestic and international firms, who interacted with President Ramaphosa and a delegation of Cabinet Ministers. The discussions were helpful in identifying measures to increase levels of investment and is a significant step towards the Investment Conference that will be convened by the President later this year.
3. Land expropriation
Cabinet appreciates the start of the Parliament’s public participation process to review Section 25 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 which will allow for the expropriation of land without compensation. Parliament set up the Constitutional Review Committee to conduct public hearings countrywide after passing a motion on the expropriation of land without compensation. These public hearings will take place in all the nine provinces until August 2018.
Cabinet calls on all interested parties to participate peacefully in these hearings and appeals to the public to remain tolerant of varying views that may be expressed, in order to ensure that all have a fair opportunity to participate in the hearings.
Cabinet also reflected on the concerns expressed by traditional leaders on land issues. As a result, it has appointed a team of Ministers to interact with the traditional leaders to discuss and seek an amicable solution to their areas of concern. The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Zweli Mkhize, is the convener and is supported by Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.
4. Tax season
Cabinet encourages all taxpayers to submit their annual tax returns for the 2017/18 tax season, which opened for filing on 1 July 2018. Proper and efficient revenue collection ensures fiscal sovereignty, and timeous and accurate submissions ensure that taxpayers remain compliant. Tax revenue helps government to fund the country’s service-delivery projects and other socio-economic development programmes.
5. Petrol price increase
Cabinet has noted the recent fuel increases, which follows from another price increase in the past month. Another fuel price increase is anticipated next month. The Brent Crude Oil Dollar denominated price has been affecting the general prices of petrol, diesel and paraffin. Our currency’s exchange rate to the US dollar has fallen by more than one percent since the beginning of May this year.
These cyclical currency changes, which result in price fluctuations, have impacted negatively on the consumers, particularly the poor. The rise in petrol prices directly affects transport costs, food prices particularly the cost of staple food and medicine.
Cabinet assures South Africans that government is making an effort to alleviate the challenges faced by poor communities. National Treasury has appointed a nine-member panel of experts to review the current list of Value-Added Tax (VAT) zero-rated items currently consisting of 19 basic food items. President Cyril Ramaphosa is leading the team, comprising representative from both government and private sector, to draw in more investors into the country so as to grow our economy and create much-needed jobs, particularly for unemployed youth.
Cabinet appeals to the private sector to lend a hand, by delaying to transfer the impact of the fuel prices to the consumer. This will go a long way in cushioning the poor, who will be directly affected by these price fluctuations. Growing our economy will go a long way in stabilising our economy. Cabinet also appeals to the private sector to partner with government for the benefit of all affected South Africans, particularly the poor.
6. Payment of social grants
Cabinet was briefed by the Minister of Social Development, Susan Shabangu, on the recent widespread delays in scheduled social grant payments to beneficiaries. Cabinet appreciates that social grants are a lifeline to the most vulnerable members of our society and therefore such inconvenience is very much regrettable. It expressed its sincere apology to all affected beneficiaries.
Minister Shabangu has assured Cabinet that the technical glitches were a result of the transition of the payments from an old system to a new South African Social Security Agency/South African Post Office system. She has assured Cabinet that most, of the affected beneficiaries have since been paid. Meanwhile, dedicated teams are working hard to stabilise the systems to prevent a recurrence of such delays in the future.
7. Health Inquiry
Cabinet welcomes the release today of the interim report by the Competition Market Inquiry into the private healthcare industry. The Inquiry is chaired by the ex-Chief Justice, Sandile Ngcobo and has heard evidence from a number of stakeholders in the past three years. The provisional report will be open for public comments for a period of two months. The final report will be submitted to the Minister of Economic Development, by the end of 2018, and will be tabled in parliament.
8. Khartoum Declaration
Cabinet welcomes the agreement on a permanent ceasefire between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, and the signing of the Khartoum Declaration. This raises hope of a deal to end their country’s devastating war.
The declaration stipulates that the ceasefire arrangement includes disengagement, separation of forces in close proximity, withdrawal of all allied troops, opening of humanitarian corridors and the release of prisoners of war and political detainees. The agreement also allows members of the African Union (AU) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development to deploy forces to supervise the ceasefire.
Cabinet encourages all parties to work together to ensure that the ceasefire finally leads to ending the war and ensure the return of peace and economic development in South Sudan.
9. African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFRA)
Cabinet welcomes South Africa’s signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement with the AU. The signing of this agreement by South Africa brings the number of countries who have signed to forty nine.
The AfCFTA takes the continent closer to the creation of the world’s biggest free trade area. It is expected to yield great socio-economic benefits for all countries in the continent.
According to the UN, it is estimated that the AfCFTA will boost intra Africa trade by 53% by eliminating import duties and non-tariff barriers. This agreement is potentially poised to create an African market of more than 1.2 billion people with an economy worth US$2.5 trillion.
The Minister of Trade and Industry will commence the process to get the Agreement ratified through Parliament.
10. African Agenda
Cabinet welcomes the 6th Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Summit held on 29 June 2018 in Botswana, which was attended by President Ramaphosa. The summit underscored the importance of the regional integration agenda that promotes economic integration, industrialisation and economic diversification of the SACU economies.
President Ramaphosa also led a delegation to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, for the 31st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of AU Heads of State and Government. The summit took place from 1 to 2 July 2018 under the theme: “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”. It presented a unique opportunity to reflect on and address specific challenges related to the fight against corruption in the continent.
President Ramaphosa is currently hosting a State Visit by his Ghanaian counterpart, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, from 4 to 5 July 2018, to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two nations. South Africa and Ghana continue to enjoy strong relations anchored by a shared history of friendship and solidarity. Trade and investment cooperation between the two nations includes mining, retail, insurance, science and technology, transport, tourism, banking, telecommunication, construction, services, franchising, manufacturing, fishing, advertising, aviation and energy.
B. Cabinet decisions
11. Cabinet approved the concept paper and plan for National Women’s Day and Month in August 2018. The theme for this year is “100 Years of Albertina Sisulu: Women United in Moving South Africa Forward”. This year’s programme coincides with the triple centenaries of the birth of Nelson Mandela, Albertina Sisulu and the formation of the Bantu Women’s League.
The Women’s Month activities will mobilise society and build partnerships to decisively address key issues facing women and girls, particularly gender-based violence, women’s economic empowerment, access to land, harmful practices and other sectoral issues in the context of the National Development Plan (NDP) and South Africa’s international commitments. The Minister in The Presidency responsible for Women, Bathabile Dlamini, will unpack the full programme at a later stage.
12. Cabinet approved the submission of the National Gambling Amendment Bill of 2018 to Parliament. The Bill has already gone through public consultation with all the relevant stakeholders.
The Bill makes intervention in the electronic gambling, advertising of gambling and location of the gambling premises. It also replaces the current National Gambling Board with the National Gambling Regulator (NGR). Working with the provincial authorities, the NGR will develop the standard operating criteria that will serve as a mini standard to guide self-regulating bodies such as in the horse-racing sector.
13. Cabinet approved the submission of the Competition Amendment Bill of 2018 to Parliament. The amendments provide for an extension of the mandate of the competition authorities and the Executive to address high levels of economic concentration, limited transformation in the South African economy and abuse of market power by dominant firms. The Bill has already been gazetted for public comment and discussed with all the relevant stakeholders.
D. Upcoming Events
14. 100 Men March
Under the umbrella of the national “Send Me – Thuma Mina” campaign led by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), a historic “100 Years of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu: Men’s March against Violence on Women and Children” will take place on Tuesday, 10 July 2018.
The march, which is being coordinated by the GCIS, will start at 10:00 from Church Square and end at the southern lawns of the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
Cabinet invites all men and boys to respond to the “Send Me – Thuma Mina” rallying call by participating in the march, and taking a stand against the scourge of violence against women and children. Men from diverse sectors, racial, political and religious backgrounds will be united in their stance to stop violence against women and children.
15. National Imbizo Focus Week
Government will embark on its National Imbizo Focus Week from 9 to 15 July 2018, where members of the Executive will engage directly with citizens across the country.
One of the cornerstones of democratic South Africa has been government’s steadfast commitment to embark on regular participatory and responsive public-engagement programmes to outline government policies and plans.
Cabinet encourages all communities in the spirit of “Thuma Mina” to participate in the izimbizo with government officials and use the opportunity to address service-delivery challenges.
16. 10th BRICS Summit
South Africa is ready to host, in the spirit of Ubuntu (Humanity), the 10th summit of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) bloc from 25 to 27 July 2018, at the Sandton Convention Centre in Gauteng. On Friday, 6 July 2018, President Ramaphosa is scheduled to engage with Team South Africa over breakfast on the readiness to host the 10th BRICS Summit.
The theme: “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution”, reflects the core priorities of the BRICS members, notably to strive towards the creation of an inclusive society and global partnerships that will bring prosperity to all humankind. The theme also aligns and ensures strategic continuity with South Africa’s chairship of both the Southern African Development Community and the Indian Ocean Rim Association.
South Africa will use its chairship to ensure continuity for BRICS and bring specific focus to the opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
17. Roundtable of African Ministers of Arts and Culture
The Department of Arts and Culture is hosting the Roundtable of African Ministers of Arts and Culture in Durban from 5 to 6 July 2018. The event seeks to report on information access to profile the impact of library and information services within the context of the AU Agenda 2063, which is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years.
18. MeerKAT telescope/Square Kilometer Array (SKA)
President Ramaphosa is expected to launch the 64-dish radio telescope, known as the MeerKAT, as a precursor to the SKA telescope. The MeerKAT is located 90 km outside the small town of Carnarvon in the Northern Cape.
The MeerKAT telescope will be instrumental in significantly increasing knowledge of how the Universe was formed, how it works and what may shape its future. The completion of the instrument is a significant milestone that should be celebrated by South Africa and Africa at large.
19. Cabinet sends its heartfelt condolences to the former President Jacob Zuma and his family and friends on the death of his son, Vusi Nhlakanipho Zuma, earlier this week.
20. Cabinet expresses its condolences to the family and friends of the late renowned photographer, David Goldblatt. Our country remains proud of his work that exposed the abuse and brutality of apartheid.
21. Cabinet also expresses its condolences to the family and friends of the miner who died at the Sibanye-Stilwater’s Khomanani Mine in Driefontein in Mpumalanga and remains concerned over the safety of miners at the mine.
22. Cabinet congratulates the National Library of South Africa (NLSA), which celebrated 200 years of its existence. Earlier this year, the NLSA marked this milestone by hosting an open exhibition titled “Treasure House of Knowledge”.
23. Cabinet welcomes the decision by the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation to declare the Makhonjwa Mountains in Mpumalanga, also known as the Barberton Greenstone Belt, as a World Heritage Site. This is South Africa’s 10th World Heritage Site.
Cabinet calls on all stakeholders in the tourism sector to market all the heritage sites in South Africa as tourism is one of the accelerators towards developing our economy and creating jobs for local people.
24. Cabinet commemorates with pride the 63rd anniversary of the historic adoption of the Freedom Charter which formed the basis of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
Today its core principles are reflected in the principles of the then Organisation of African Unity (now AU) and the United Nation has aligned its Universal Declaration of Human Rights to these principles.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
25. Mr Sibusiso E Bukhosini as the Chief Executive Officer for iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority.
26. Adv Mmadikeledi Suzan Malebe as the Deputy Director-General (DDG): Mineral Regulation, in the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR).
27. Ms Buyisiwe Faith Ntokozo Ngcwabe as the DDG: Mineral Policy and Promotion, in the DMR.
Cabinet also made appointments to the following bodies:
27.1. Financial Reporting Standards Council
27.2. South African National Biodiversity Institute Board
27.3. South African National Parks (SANParks)
27.4. Road Accident Fund
Extension of term of members of the Financial Reporting Standards Council:
a. Mr Garth Dennis Coppin;
b. Ms Dumisani Manana;
c. Ms Christine Ramon (Deputy Chairperson);
d. Ms Dawn Earp;
e. Mr Khaya Dludla;
f. Mr Bruce Mackenzie;
g. Ms Tania Wimberley;
h. Dr Suresh P Kana (Chairperson); and
i. Adv. Rory Wayne Voller.
South African National Biodiversity Institute Board:
a. Dr Lesley Thulani Luthuli;
b. Ms Thandiwe Godongwana;
c. Prof Brian William van Wilgen;
d. Dr Crispian Garth Olver;
e. Ms Ntsoaki Mngomezulu;
f. Ms Venete Jarlene Klein;
g. Ms Beryl Ferguson;
h. Ms Judy Hermans;
i. Department of Science and Technology representative;
j. Ms Skumsa Mancotywa (Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) representative); and
k. Dr Moshibudi Rampedi.
South African National Parks (SANParks) Board members:
a. Ms Joanne Yawitch;
b. Dr Kungeka Njobe;
c. Ms Sophie Molokoane;
d. Ms Tanya Abrahamse;
e. Adv Tshepiso Mphahlane;
f. Ms Tasneem Essop;
g. Dr Urshanie Govender;
h. Prof Elizabeth Mokotong;
i. Mr Tale Daniel Motsepe;
j. Mr Lourence Benard Mokgakane (People and Parks representative);
k. Mr Shonisani Munzhedzi (DEA representative); and
l. Mr Fundisile Mketeni.
Non-Executive Directors to the Board of the Road Accident Fund (RAF):
a. Dr Peter Mathebula – Chairperson
b. Ms Koko Mashigo
c. Dr Fanie Bale
d. Mr Moses Nyama
e. Dr Nomonde Mabuya-Moloele
f. Mr Thulani Tshabalala
g. Ms Dineo Molefe
h. Dr Mohamed Fazel Randera
i. Mr Khotso Mothobi (re-appointment)
j. Dr Maria Peenze (re-appointment)
Ms Phumla Williams – Acting Cabinet Spokesperson
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