Statement on the virtual Cabinet Meeting of 29 September 2021
A. Issues in the environment
1. Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) vaccine roll-out
1.1. Cabinet is encouraged by the millions of people in South Africa who have chosen to vaccinate against COVID-19, with over 17 million vaccine doses administered to date.
1.2. Cabinet thanked the religious formations, as well as the sports and arts fraternity, for embarking on vaccination campaigns to encourage the uptake of vaccines.
1.3. The more people get vaccinated, the sooner the country will relax the current Adjusted Alert Level 2 restrictions. This will inevitably result in the full opening of the economy to be able to grow and create much-needed jobs.
1.4. Cabinet reiterates the call that to reduce new infections, we all have to continue wearing a mask in public, washing hands with soap and water or using a 70% alcohol-based sanitiser, and maintaining a safe social distance continues to reinforce the country’s approach in reducing new infections.
2. Vooma Vaccination Weekend campaign from 1 to 2 October 2021
2.1. Cabinet urges unvaccinated South Africans and people living in South Africa to take advantage of the Vooma Vaccination Weekend which will take place around the country on Friday, 1 and Saturday, 2 October 2021.
2.2. The Vooma Vaccination Campaign Weekend is an inclusive national campaign supported by all social partners, including faith-based formations, traditional leaders, organised labour and business. The target for this weekend is to vaccinate at least half a million people.
2.3. This is an opportunity for all adults to be vaccinated free of charge and without appointments at public, private and pop-up vaccination sites.
2.4. You don’t need to have health insurance or medical aid to receive the vaccine. Leadership of government, business, labour and community formations will actively mobilise communities in all parts of the country to roll up their sleeves for the protection that comes with being vaccinated.
2.5. Vooma Vaccination Weekend can help us achieve victory over the virus that has haunted us for more than a year. No-one should miss out on this opportunity. Let’s all Stay Safe.
3. Presidential Visit to Msikaba Bridge
3.1. President Cyril Ramaphosa went to assess the development of infrastructure at the Msikaba Bridge at Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape on Thursday, 23 September 2021. This R1,65 billion infrastructure project forms part of the N2 Wild Coast Road project. Apart from facilitating the convenient movement of people by connecting rural communities to urban centres around the country, the bridge will also stimulate investment and growth.
3.2. The N2 Wild Coast road network is one of government’s key Strategic Integrated Projects to catalyse economic growth at a national, provincial and local level. Cabinet was pleased with the progress in its infrastructure investment drive, which remains a central pillar of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP), with 88 projects worth more than R2.3 trillion in the pipeline.
4. International relations, trade and tourism
4.1. Cabinet welcomed the decision by Germany to remove South Africa from its list of high-risk travel areas and plans by the United States of America to admit fully vaccinated travelers into the country.
4.2. Cabinet however expressed disappointment at the United Kingdom’s (UK) decision to keep South Africa on its travel red list of countries. There is no reasonable basis for keeping South Africa on the list given our progress in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and rapidly declining infection rate and our intensive vaccination programme.
4.3. Cabinet was also briefed by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation on progress made to have South Africa removed from the red list. Cabinet is optimistic that the UK Government will revisit its unfavourable decision, which is not only affecting the tourism industry but businesses from both countries, families and other sectors of the economy.
5. Economic recovery
5.1. Cabinet welcomed the launch of the Business Loss Registration Portal to register businesses affected by the unrest that took place between 9 and 19 July 2021 in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and other affected areas.
5.2. The registration portal collects data from affected businesses to better coordinate relief measures and to inform future interventions. It serves as a single governmental entry point for businesses to indicate the extent of their losses.
5.3. Cabinet called on all affected business owners to register on the portal at www.relief4sa.co.za(link is external). Alternatively, they may call 080 006 00850 for assistance between 08:00 and 17:00 on weekdays.
5.4. Through the Department of Small Business Development, a total of 192 applications from small to medium business owners that were affected by the unrest had been received. Cabinet is pleased that a total of R54,2 million has been approved to be allocated to these business owners.
6. Resumption of South African Airways (SAA) flights
6.1. Cabinet welcomed the recent resumption of flights by the SAA, which operates a few routes between Johannesburg and Cape Town. The national carrier will also fly to African capitals such as Accra (Ghana), Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Harare (Zimbabwe), Lusaka (Zambia) and Maputo (Mozambique), and more destinations will be added to the routes as market conditions improve.
6.2. Cabinet called on all South Africans to support the restructured SAA, which marks the beginning of a new era in South African aviation.
7. Public Administration Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit (PA-EID-TAU)
7.1. Cabinet welcomed the launch of the PA-EID-TAU, which will strengthen government’s efforts in the fight against corruption in the Public Service.
7.2. The PA-EID-TAU will oversee the implementation of public service ethics and anti-corruption policies such as conducting business with the State, performance of other remunerative work, discipline management and implementation of lifestyle audits.
7.3. Cabinet called on public officials to remain resolute in stamping out corruption. By simply taking the lead in reporting all corruption-related activities taking place in government institutions, we can ensure a better tomorrow and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.
8. 2021 Local Government Elections (LGE)
8.1. Cabinet commends the 1,7 million first-time voters who registered during the voter registration weekend of 18 and 19 September. This was young people’s way of saying they want to play their part in our democracy by electing local leadership.
8.2. As young people constitute the majority of our population, the enthusiasm of young people to be part of our electoral processes is something we welcome and respect.
8.3. The 2021 LGE scheduled to take place on 1 November 2021 provides South Africans with the opportunity to exercise their constitutional right to elect their public representatives.
8.4. Voters who are not able to cast their votes on Election Day and those who are not able to travel to voting stations due to physical infirmity or disability can vote by Special Vote on the two days preceding Election Day. Applications for special votes opened on 20 September 2021 and will close on 4 October 2021 at 17:00.
9. Gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF)
9.1. Cabinet welcomed the double life sentence handed down to Mr Sbusiso Nkosi (36) by the Mpumalanga Division of the High Court on Monday, 13 September 2021, for the rape and murder of Ms Nomcebo Simelane (23) on 5 September 2020.
9.2. The court sentenced the rapist and murderer to two life imprisonment terms and an additional three years’ imprisonment for theft, which will run concurrently.
9.3. This is a firm warning to all perpetrators of GBVF that they will be arrested and face the full might of the law. By working together with the police and law-enforcement agencies, we can make our streets and communities safer for all.
9.4. Report all GBVF-related incidents to the police or call the National GBVF Command Centre: 0800 428 428 or STOP Gender Violence Helpline: 0800 150 150 / *120*7867#
10. Registration of customary marriages
10.1. Cabinet noted the High Court, KwaZulu-Natal Division judgment in the matter involving the applicant, Ms Phumza Ethel Mankayi and the respondents, the Minister of Home Affairs, Ms Ntombizakhe Portia Miya and the Master of the High Court of South Africa. The judgment affirms the rights of people married under the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act, 1998 (Act 120 of 1998).
10.2. Cabinet calls on couples to register their customary marriages at Home Affairs within three months of their marriage. The Minister of Home Affairs has extended the registration period to 30 June 2024. This is to cater for those whose marriages that were not registered within three months. To register, people need to bring proof of lobola negotiations or a letter and an affidavit from people getting married and their witnesses, indicating that a marriage was entered into or celebrated.
10.3. To date, only 99 491 customary marriages have been registered at Home Affairs since the law came into effect in November 2000.
B. Cabinet decisions
1. South Africa Investment Conference (SAIC)
1.1. Cabinet approved the scheduling of the next SAIC to take place in March 2022.
1.2. The conference is on its third year and aims to attract R1,2 trillion investments over five years. The investment drive continues to build on the two previous successful SAICs. The details of the conference and date will be announced at a later stage.
2. Broadcasting Digital Migration (BDM) programme
2.1. Cabinet was apprised on the country’s BDM programme. Substantial progress has been made in migrating some parts of the country from analogue to digital platforms.
2.2. Cabinet approved the revised integrated analogue switch-off implementation plan, which is a schedule to complete the remaining areas by March 2022. South Africa is one of many countries in the world that have committed to expedite the digital migration project, which will lead to a complete analogue switch-off in 2022.
2.3. Cabinet endorsed the collaborative approach adopted towards fast-tracking the finalisation of the migration of the whole country from analogue to digital platforms.
3. National Policy on the Prevention and Management of Learner Pregnancy in Schools
3.1. Cabinet approved the National Policy on the Prevention and Management of Learner Pregnancy in Schools. The policy responds to the 2012 Court Judgement that ruled against the Department of Basic Education on certain clauses that called for learners to take leave of absence from school for up to two years post-delivery.
3.2. The policy provides for an enabling environment to support learners and prevent discrimination against pregnant learners. It also provides for access to comprehensive pregnancy prevention information; counselling and care guidelines, as well as the setting up of policy management and coordinating structures.
3.3. The policy has gone through extensive consultation with all relevant stakeholders and is aligned with all relevant laws.
4. Accession to the 2003 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH)
4.1. Cabinet approved South Africa’s accession to the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of ICH. The convention provides for the safeguarding, preservation and promotion of ICH by the respective member states.
4.2. The ICH includes amongst others community cultural spaces, knowledge, objects and artefacts in communities.
4.3. The convention obliges member states to identify, define and devise appropriate measures for their preservation. It also encourages countries to adopt legal, technical administrative and financial measures to safeguard and promote ICH. The accession will be tabled to Parliament for ratification.
5. UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC)
5.1. Cabinet approved the publication of South Africa’s Review Report on the implementation of the Convention. South Africa ratified the UNCAC in 2004. Member states are peer reviewed on the implementation of the convention.
5.2. South Africa was first reviewed in 2012 on the implementation of the criminalisation and law-enforcement interventions, and also on its international cooperation adherence. The current 2019/20 review report focused on preventative and asset recovery measures.
5.3. The review mechanism promotes constructive collaboration by, amongst others, providing technical assistance programmes to the member states.
6. Postponement for South Africa to host the World Maritime Day Parallel Event (WMDPE)
6.1. The International Maritime Organisation has once again granted South Africa permission to postpone the hosting of the WMDPE owing to COVID-19. The postponement from October 2021 to October 2022, follows the first one in 2020 as a result of the pandemic.
1. National Council on GBV and Femicide (GBVF) Bill of 2021
1.1. Cabinet approved the publication of the National Council on GBVF Bill of 2021 in the Government Gazette for public comment.
1.2. The Bill responds to the strategic directive from the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on GBVF that was approved by Cabinet in March 2020. The Bill proposes the establishment of a representative independent council to oversee the NSP on GBVF.
2. National Veld and Forest Fire Amendment (NVFFA) Bill of 2021
2.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the National Veld and Forest Fire Amendment Bill of 2021 to Parliament. This Bill was first submitted to Parliament in 2017 and was sent back for further consultation with the public.
2.2. Among other provisions, the Bill establishes structures in the public sector and at community level that will work together to mitigate veldfire risks, and promote effective compliance and law enforcement.
2.3. Uncontrolled veldfires are responsible for environmental degradation, loss of jobs, displacement of communities, and general destruction of infrastructure, livestock, habitat and biodiversity.
D. UPCOMING EVENTS
1. Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium South Africa (SIDSSA)
1.1. Government will be hosting the SIDSSA 2021 on Wednesday, 6 and Thursday, 7 October 2021. The symposium will engage with a range of stakeholders to revitalise the infrastructure pipeline.
1.2. The SIDSSA infrastructure pipeline aims to contribute to industrialisation and job creation as envisaged in the ERRP and the Re-imagined Industrial Strategy. The interventions identified aim to boost demand and ensure effective coordination of all infrastructure players. It is envisaged that these interventions will also contribute to building a resilient economy by accelerating infrastructure delivery. The SIDSSA 2021 is held under the theme: “Quality infrastructure for development, recovery and inclusive growth”.
2. Transport Month 2021
2.1. October is dedicated to bringing a sharp focus to transport issues in the country. This is the 16th year that the country observes Transport Month. Cabinet approved this year’s theme: “Together, let’s fix transport”. The campaign’s slogan is “Brika Bova: Riding the wave to a better transport system for tomorrow”.
2.2. The transport sector is an important socio-economic element in South Africa. This year the campaign will focus on positioning transport as a key enabler in the country’s economic recovery; create an awareness and educate on the safety in all transport modes, and also showcase the improvements made in the transport system.
2.3. The Department of Transport will share the month’s activities with the public and more information is available on www.transport.gov.za.
Cabinet extended its congratulations and well-wishes to:
- Ms Verity Price, a professional speaker and facilitator, for winning the 2021 Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking. She is the sixth woman to win the World Championship in the last 80 years of the competition and the first winner from Africa.
- The Springbok Sevens team, for winning the fourth HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series when they completed the North American double by winning the second of two HSBC Canada Sevens tournaments in Edmond.
Cabinet expressed condolences to the family and friends of:
- Mr Karabo Gungubele (32), the son of Minister in The Presidency, Mr Mondli Gungubele.
- Ms Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi (59), National Freedom Party leader and former Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, who devoted herself to making numerous extraordinary contributions to our democracy and society.
- Mr Jolidee Matongo (46), City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor, who was dedicated to improving conditions and creating opportunities for all the people of Johannesburg and stakeholders in the metropolitan economy.
Cabinet has endorsed the appointment of the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of the Boarder Management Agency;
1. Dr Nakampe Michael Masiapato as Commissioner of the Border Management Authority (BMA).
2. Major General David Chilembe as Deputy Commissioner of Operations at the BMA.
Cabinet concurred with the appointment of the Board members subject to the verification of the qualifications and relevant clearance.
3. Board of directors of the South African National Parks:
(i) Ms Pamela Bulelwa Yako;
(ii) Ms Gertrude Bulelwa Koyana;
(iii) Ms Nandi Nyameka Mayathula-Khoza;
(iv) Ms Yolan Friedmann;
(v) Ms Zukisa Millicent Ramasia;
(vi) Mr Jeoffrey Godfrey Mashele;
(vii) Chief Livhuwani Lyborn Matsila;
(viii) Mr Lourence Bernad Mogakane;
(ix) Mr Fulufhelo Edgar Neluchalani;
(x) Mr Ntsako Brian Ngobeni; and
(xi) Ms Hulisani Helen Mushiane.
4. Board of directors of the South African Biodiversity Institute:
(i) Ms Joanne Yawitch;
(ii) Ms Beryl Delores Ferguson;
(iii) Dr Pulane Elsie Molokwane;
(iv) Dr Lesley Thulani Luthuli;
(v) Mr Paul Graeme Daphne;
(vi) Prof Azwihangwisi Edward Nesamvuni;
(vii) Dr Mmaphaka Ephraim Tau; and
(viii) Dr Reginald Sethole Legoabe.
5. Director General: Department of Higher Education and Training Dr Nkosinathi Sishi
6. Deputy Director General: Marine Transport Department of Transport Mr Mthunzi Edmund d Madiya
7. Deputy Director General: Rail Transport Department of Transport Mr Ngwako Wilson Makaepea
Ms Phumla Williams – Cabinet Spokesperson 083 501 0139