Statement on the virtual Cabinet Meeting of 25 May 2022
A. Issues in the environment
1. Recovery and rebuilding efforts after the floods
1.1. Cabinet expressed its praise and appreciation to all people and organisations involved in recovery and rebuilding efforts following the recent devastating floods in some parts of the country, especially in KwaZulu-Natal. It thanked all non-governmental organisations, faith-based organisations, communities, business people and relief organisations that have provided food, clothes, blankets, dignity packs and school uniforms to vulnerable families to meet their basic needs.
1.2. The National Disaster Management Centre continues to coordinate all spheres of government in its efforts to provide humanitarian relief to all affected households. Sheltering services are being provided to over 7 000 people in the four worst affected districts in KwaZulu-Natal.
1.3. Work has started on building temporary residences for affected families on state-owned land parcels that have been identified in KwaZulu-Natal for possible resettlement. Cabinet affirmed government’s commitment to managing the flood relief funds prudently and transparently. The Auditor-General of South Africa is providing an additional monitoring service and the reprioritisation of funds is in line with the government’s budgeting system.
2. Update on the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
2.1. Cabinet urged all people in South Africa to take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 after latest statistics showed a marked increase in the rate of infections and illnesses associated with the winter season in the country.
2.2. Cabinet reminded everyone to continue safeguarding ourselves and other people by washing or sanitising our hands regularly, wearing a mask when indoors, maintaining a safe social distance, opening windows for ventilation and vaccinating.
2.3. Vaccination remains the best defence against COVID-19 as it prevents severe illness, hospitalisation and even death. You do not need a home address to vaccinate. Any person, with or without an identity document, can get vaccinated for free at all public vaccination sites across the country.
3. Stop racism!
3.1. Cabinet strongly condemned all acts of racism in the country, including the reported incidents at the Good Hope Seminary High School and the University of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape. These deplorable acts go against the constitutional values on which our democratic country was founded, which include human dignity, non-racialism, non-sexism, social justice, equity and respect.
3.2. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 is our guide towards eradicating the despicable divisions and injustices of the past. Parents are urged to teach children to reject racism and embrace diversity, as part of our concerted drive to promote nation-building and social cohesion.
3.3. Let us work together to expose racism wherever it is treated as the norm and send a clear message that there is no space for it in our democratic country.
4. South Africa – Germany relations
4.1. Cabinet welcomed the successful Official Visit by Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, His Excellency Olaf Scholz, to South Africa on Tuesday, 24 May 2022.
4.2. Chancellor Scholz’s Official Visit was at the invitation of President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is leading the government crusade to foster good regional and international relations, as well as attract much-needed investments.
4.3. The two leaders discussed, among others, ways to enhance cooperation in areas such as energy and climate change, trade and investment, and responses to COVID-19 and vaccine demand. They also reflected on developments on the African continent and internationally, including the conflict in Ukraine and its impact on the international economy and food and energy security.
4.4. Germany is not only South Africa’s second-largest trading partner, but it is also the third-largest source of overseas tourists, a major investor and a development partner.
5. 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour
5.1. Cabinet welcomed the successful conclusion of the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour held in Durban from 15 to 20 May 2022. Stakeholders from the around the world attended the conference, which was held in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation.
5.2. After discussing good practices implemented by the different countries and identifying gaps and urgent measures needed to accelerate the elimination of both child and forced labour, they adopted the ‘Durban Call to Action’ to deal with the scourge of child labour.
5.3. Child labour represents the worst of society and exposes children to dangerous situations. It constitutes abuse and prevents children from getting an education and other developmental opportunities. Every child in South Africa has the inalienable right to be protected from exploitative labour practices.
5.4. The right to basic education is enshrined in our Constitution and in terms of the South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act 84 of 1996), “every parent must cause every learner for whom he or she is responsible to attend a school from the first school day of the year in which such learner reaches the age of seven years until the last school day of the year in which such learner reaches the age of 15 years or the ninth grade, whichever occurs first”.
5.5. In terms of the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act 38 of 2005), “no person may use, procure, offer or employ a child for child labour”.
B. Cabinet decisions
1. Accession to the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED)
1.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the ICPPED to Parliament for consideration of South Africa acceding to the convention. The convention is a universally binding treaty of the United Nations (UN) that deals with the violation of human rights through the enforced disappearance of people.
1.2. The convention defines the enforced disappearance to include abduction, arrest, detention or any other forms which may result in the perpetrator’s refusal to acknowledge or even conceal the whereabouts of the victim.
1.3. Once acceded to be domesticated into our laws, South Africa will be expected to report every two years to the UN on how it is giving effect to the convention. The convention provides preventative measures the member countries need to put in place to prevent the enforced disappearance of persons in their respective countries.
2. South Africa’s fourth Country Report on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights
2.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the fourth Country Report on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The UN Universal Periodic Review will review the report later this year. Since being a signatory to the UN Human Rights Convention, South Africa has been reviewed three times, with the last review done in September 2017.
2.2. The report provides an update on the 187 accepted recommendations from the 2017 review process. Inputs were drawn from verified data, information from relevant departments, Chapter 9 institutions and relevant civil-society organisations.
2.3. Cabinet is pleased with the progress made in implementing the recommendations and also with those areas that are still work in progress. The report will be made public once it has been tabled to the UN in August 2022.
3. Mine Water Management Policy of 2022
3.1. Cabinet approved the Mine Water Management Policy of 2022 for implementation. The policy provides mechanisms to protect and conserve water usage. It balances the mine economic activities with the mandate to provide sustainable water usage for the country.
3.2. Amongst other interventions, the policy clarifies the roles and responsibilities within the three spheres of government with regard to mine water issues. The proposed changes will resolve the challenges of instituting sanctions on polluters and make it easy to invoke the polluter pays principle. The policy is developed in line with the National Water Act, 1998 (Act 36 of 1998).
4. Report on the Framework on Gender Responsive Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring Evaluation and Audit
4.1. Cabinet received the progress report on the implementation of the Framework on Gender Responsive Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring Evaluation and Audit.
4.2. Cabinet appreciated the great progress made by a number of government departments in institutionalising the framework that was adopted in 2019 for implementation.
4.3. More departments have since put in place policy priorities to guide the mainstreaming programmes targeting women, youth and persons with disabilities. Cabinet has called for tighter monitoring and reporting, especially on some of the departments that have not yet reported.
5. Nelson Mandela Youth Dialogue (NMYD)
5.1. Cabinet endorsed the NMYD to take place annually starting in 2022. The inaugural NMYD will take place from 7 to 20 July 2022. This is the Presidential initiative to afford the youth of the Continent a platform to engage in constructive dialogues on matters that affect them.
5.2. The dialogues – which will be anchored on our international icon former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela – will start conversations to inculcate the culture of an ethical leadership in Africa.
5.3. They will afford young people an opportunity to share their rich cultural heritage. The initiative will also strengthen people-to-people relations amongst the youth of the continent. The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities will provide details of the programme for the events at a later stage.
6. 2021/22 Annual Performance Monitoring Report on Women Empowerment and Gender Equality, Youth Development and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
6.1. Cabinet received the annual performance monitoring report for the 2021/22 report on the empowerment of women, youth and persons with disabilities. The report tracks the key indicators in the promotion of equity, level of employment and the ownership and participation of these groups in the activities of the departments and the state-owned entities.
6.2. The report is compiled against the gender-responsive planning budgeting, monitoring, evaluation and Auditing framework which was adopted by Cabinet in 2019.
1. Mine Health and Safety Amendment Bill
1.1. Cabinet approved the publication of the Mine Health and Safety Amendment Bill for public comments. The Bill seeks to improve the health and safety of the mine employees, including the environment in which mining operations take place. The Bill amends the current Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 (Act 29 of 1996).
1.2. The revised amendments provide, among others, clarity on some of the concepts in the Act, strengthen the health and safety regulatory framework and align it with international best practices with regard to safety in the mines.
2. The Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill of 2022
2.1. Cabinet approved the publication of the Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill of 2022 for public comments and that the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mr Ronald Lamola, can give notice with particulars of the proposed amendment to the Constitution.
2.2. The Bill amends Section 6(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996, which proclaims that South Africa’s 11 official languages are Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu.
2.3. The amendments will give recognition to the South African Sign Language (SL)as the 12th official language of the country and will advance its cultural acceptance and affirm equal rights for all South Africans, irrespective of their disabilities. The Department of Basic Education already recognises the SASL as a home language.
D. Upcoming events
1. Child Protection Week
1.1. South Africa will mark National Child Protection Week from 29 May to 4 June 2022 under the theme: “Let us Protect Children during COVID-19 and Beyond”.
1.2. During the week, special attention will be drawn to the national issue of teenage pregnancy, which saw a spike during COVID-19 of teenagers giving birth in 2020.
1.3. Cabinet called for a combined effort from parents, civil society, religious groupings and the community at large to help change the rise in teenage pregnancy.
2. World Economic Forum (WEF)
2.1. South Africa is participating in the WEF in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland from 22 to 26 May 2022, under the theme: “Working Together, Restoring Trust”.
2.2. South Africa values the opportunity to be part of the solution and share our experiences at the global forum. Our nation’s presence at WEF is also critical to growing our reputation as a global investment destination, sharing with the world our vision for the future and highlighting new developments within the country.
3. Youth Month
3.1. Cabinet approved the Youth Month Programme for 2022 under the theme: “Promoting sustainable livelihood and resilience of young people for a better tomorrow”. The official Youth Day will be commemorated in the Eastern Cape.
3.2. This year marks the 46th anniversary of the 16 June 1976 student uprising in Soweto when young people protested against the imposition of Afrikaans by the apartheid regime as a medium of instruction.
3.3. In the spirit of June 1976, Cabinet called on the nation’s youth to tackle the challenge of rising youth unemployment by participating in developmental programmes such as learnerships and internships.
3.4. Government has developed programmes to support youth employment and the creation of short-term jobs. Businesses are also encouraged to draw more young people into employment by creating opportunities for youth.
3.5. The youth programme for the whole of June includes various activities ranging from launching the young trailblazers campaign, launching the NYDA Brand Ambassador Programme and a number of National Youth Service activations across the country.
3.6. The Minister in The Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities will soon unpack the full programme. All youth activities will be expected to comply with COVID-19 health protocols.
4. Communal Land Summit
4.1. Government, in partnership with the National House of Traditional Leaders, will convene a Communal Land Summit on Friday, 27 and Saturday, 28 May 2022 to discuss issues related to land ownership.
4.2. These include the process of transferring communal land from the State to the appropriate rights holders, which is important for the empowerment of rural communities. The lack of formal land ownership in communal areas not only dilutes the rights of people to own the land they live in but limits their abilities to use it to improve their lives economically.
Cabinet extended its congratulations and well-wishes to:
Cabinet expressed condolences to the family and friends of:
- Dr Deborah Fraser (56), the multi-award-winning gospel artist who was recently honoured with a Doctor of Philosophy in Sacred Music by the Christian Leadership Academy.
- Dr Namane Magau (70), the respected scholar and esteemed member of the South African National AIDS Council Board of Trustees.
- Mr Mike Schüssler (60), the renowned South African economist who was a stalwart of the industry and provided telling insights into the state of the South African economy.
- Mr Jamie Bartlett (56), the acclaimed, multi-award-winning South African stage and TV actor, who was best known for his roles as Mike O'Reilly in Isidingo and David Genaro in Rhythm City.
- Cabinet also joined President Ramaphosa in extending condolences to the government and people of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) following the passing of His Royal Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (73), President of the UAE.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
1. Mr Bongani Sinenhlanhla Dladla as Chief Executive Officer of the Construction Industry Development Board.
2. Mr Shabeer Hamid Khan as Accountant General at National Treasury.
3. Ms Mendoe Ntswahlana as Chief Procurement Officer at National Treasury.
4. Cabinet concurred with the appointment of the following candidates to fill vacancies in the Board of Directors of the Central Energy Fund:
(i) Mr Mosimaneotsile Jim Besnaar;
(ii) Ms Unati Nombakuse-Figlan.
Ms Phumla Williams
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