Statement on the Virtual Cabinet Meeting of Wednesday, 23 September 2020
Statement on the Virtual Cabinet Meeting of Wednesday, 23 September 2020
A. ISSUES IN THE ENVIRONMENT
1. Update on the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)1.1. In his address to the nation on Wednesday, 16 September 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the move to Alert Level 1 of the national lockdown with effect from Monday, 21 September 2020. This has further opened up more economic activities in the country, which will contribute immensely to rebuilding the economy, restoring growth and creating much-needed jobs.
1.2. The announcements made by the President were favourably welcomed by all sectors of the South African society – including labour, business, civil society and political formations.
1.3. The national state of disaster regulations which give effect to the announcements by the President, were gazetted on Friday, 18 September 2020. The new regulations eased certain restrictions implemented since March 2020 to prevent the spread of the virus. They include, amongst others, the permissible number of people at public gatherings, events and funerals, as well as the opening of borders for travel within Africa and internationally, effective from 1 October 2020.
1.4. Cabinet has encouraged further engagement with the traditional leadership to address issues related to initiation schools and practices, which are still prohibited during Alert Level 1. More information on the gazetted regulations is accessible on the government website (www.gov.za).
1.5. Cabinet urges all people in South Africa to continue observing the COVID-19 health protocols such as maintaining social distancing, wearing a mask in public and regularly washing hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
1.6. Cabinet also encourages the public to download the COVID Alert mobile app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app – which has been zero-rated by mobile networks and can be downloaded without any data costs – will improve contact tracing by alerting users if they have been in close contact with other users who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past14 days. The App does not gather any personal information or track a user’s location.
2. Gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF)2.1. Cabinet remains determined to fight the scourge of GBVF by strengthening the security cluster structures; legislative framework; providing psychosocial support and advocacy programmes within communities.
2.2. Based on data obtained through the South African Police Service (SAPS), government has sadly identified 30 GBVF hotspots around the country. Cabinet has assured the affected communities that working with the police, intervention measures will be strengthened to ensure the protection and safety of women and children.
2.3. Cabinet has welcomed and appreciated the R50-million donation from the United Kingdom which will extend the Solidarity Fund’s ongoing efforts to counter the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will focus on projects that support and promote women.
2.4. Cabinet also expressed concern at disturbing reports of human-trafficking incidences involving women and children in the country. Police are following up and investigating all reported cases related to human and drug trafficking.
2.5. Cabinet appeals to the public to report these heinous crimes to the police immediately instead of using social media platforms, which makes it difficult for law-enforcement agencies to respond quickly and adequately. The public is again cautioned to refrain from peddling fake news, which may cause unnecessary panic, inflame emotions and incite violence in our society.
2.6. Anyone with information should contact the SAPS on the Crime Stop number 08600 10111 or use the free MySAPS Application, which can be downloaded on any iPhone or smartphone.
3. Destruction and theft of public infrastructure3.1. Cabinet welcomes the recent arrests of suspects in Johannesburg and Cape Town involved in stealing copper cables and train signal cables. Police also acted swiftly in arresting people involved in the destruction of the main road in Msinga, KwaZulu-Natal.
3.2. Cabinet commends this breakthrough made by the police on the theft and vandalizing of the rail infrastructure; a serious crime which resulted in some instances in the loss of innocent lives due to train collusions.
3.3. Public infrastructure remains the cornerstone of driving our economy. It remains a critical component in our drive to grow the economy and create the much-needed jobs. Cabinet calls on all South Africans to report these criminal activities to the police.
4.South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) online service4.1. Cabinet welcomed the launch of the online grant application portal by the SASSA, which enables applications to be lodged on https://services.sassa.gov.za. The portal – which will initially be piloted on Child Support, Older Persons and Foster Child grants – will save potential beneficiaries transport costs and the inconvenience of standing in queues.
4.2. Cabinet encourages new applicants to use the self-service as it helps to eliminate the potential risk of contracting COVID-19 at overcrowded public places.
5. United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)5.1. President Ramaphosa participated in the virtual UNGA Debate of the 75th Session of the UNGA on Tuesday, 22 September 2020 under the theme: “The Future We Want, the UN We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism”.
5.2. Cabinet advocates that the anniversary be used as an opportunity to achieve much-needed reforms of the UN Security Council (UNSC) to reflect contemporary realities in the world.
5.3. South Africa will preside over the UNSC for a second time in December 2020 as it completes its third term as an elected member of the UNSC.
6. G20 Trade and Investment Ministerial Meeting6.1. Cabinet welcomed the outcomes of the G20 Trade and Investment Ministerial Meeting hosted virtually by Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, 22 September 2020. The meeting brought together Trade Ministers from key economies, including the United States, China, Japan, India, Brazil and Germany. South Africa was represented by Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel.
6.2. In its statement, the meeting outlined the importance of economic diversification, which lays the basis for support to build the country’s domestic manufacturing capabilities in critical sectors, including pharmaceuticals and food.
6.3. The meeting also supported measures to promote women’s economic empowerment and micro, small and medium enterprises and recognised the risks of illicit trade.
7. Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Council of Ministers Meeting7.1. Cabinet welcomed the outcomes of the SACU Council of Ministers Meeting held on Monday, 21 September 2020. Finance and Trade Ministers from Namibia, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and South Africa attended the meeting, which was chaired by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and South Africa was represented by Minister Patel.
7.2. The council considered the role of SACU in the context of the new African Continental Free Trade Agreement. It resolved that the future work of the council will focus on building and developing SACU countries into a stronger manufacturing and innovation hub that can provide goods and services across the continent.
B. CABINET DECISIONS
1. Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (PC4IR) Report1.1. Cabinet approved the publication of the PC4IR Report in the Government Gazette. The report makes proposals to reinvigorate the country’s industrialisation aspirations and improve our global and continental economic competiveness to enhance inclusive growth.
1.2. Key drivers of the PC4IR Strategy include economic competiveness, responding to service delivery challenges, human capacity investment and responding to COVID-19.
1.3. This gives effect to the 2018 State of the Nation Address, which directed that a Digital Industrial Revolution Commission would respond to rapid technological advances and ensure the nation’s prosperity.
2. Transport Month 2020 Campaign2.1. Cabinet approved the 2020 October Transport Month campaign programme under the theme: “Together Shaping the Future of Transport”. Cabinet approved in 2005 that October be dedicated to raising awareness on transport as one of the critical economic enablers.
2.2. This year’s programmes will focus on three areas namely (1) developments in the transport sector, in reopening of the economy in the face of COVID-19; (2) safety in all modes of transport, and (3) transformation, empowerment and formalisation of the taxi industry.
2.3. The national month-long programme will focus on the various sectors of the transport industry. It will culminate in the National Taxi Lekgotla at the end of October 2020, which will consolidate inputs from the Provincial Taxi Makgotla.
1. Correctional Services Amendment Bill of 20201.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the Correctional Services Amendment Bill of 2020 to Parliament. The amendments are primarily in response to the Constitutional Court judgement handed down in the Phaahla Judgement on 3 May 2019.
1.2. The amendments entrench the right to a fair trial as contemplated in Section 35(3)(n) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 in the application of the Section 136 (1) of the Correctional Services Act, 1998 (Act 111 of 1998).
2. SAPS Amendment Bill of 20202.1. Cabinet approved publication of the Bill in the Government Gazette for public comments. The Bill amends the SAPS Act, 1995 (Act 68 of 1995), to bring it in line with the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 and to ensure optimal policing.
2.2. It provides, amongst others, a legal framework in the governance of the police service and the establishment of community-based neighbourhood forums. The Bill also takes into consideration the recommendations that came out of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry led by retired Judge Ian Farlam.
D. UPCOMING EVENT
1. Heritage Day1.1. Heritage Day is being celebrated today, 24 September 2020 under the Heritage Month theme: “Celebrating South Africa’s Living Human Treasures”. President Ramaphosa will make a televised address to the nation.
1.2. South Africans are encouraged to use Heritage Month to celebrate our rich culture and heritage, and engage in nation-building and social cohesion activities. President Ramaphosa has encouraged South Africans to join the global phenomenon and take up the Jerusalema dance challenge on Heritage Day.
1.3. Cabinet has appreciated the ingenuity of Master KG (born Kgaogelo Moagi) for producing Jerusalema, the popular song featuring vocalist and songwriter Nomcebo Zikode. Cabinet thanks them for bringing to the fore the country’s artistic musical skills and capability, on this song that has taken the world by storm. They are our official Arts and Culture Ambassadors to the World.
Cabinet sent condolences to the family and friends of:1.1. veteran detective, Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear, who was killed outside his home in Bishop Lavis in Cape Town. He had dedicated three decades of his life to the SAPS and was investigating organised crime in the country.
1.2. Sergeant Thabile Mapoma, who was brutally murdered in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape.
1.3. SA Rugby Executive Council member, Mr Monde Tabata, aged 60. Mr Tabata was passionate about an inclusive and successful future for rugby in South Africa.
1.4. Reverend Emmanuel Motolla of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC). Cabinet also extended condolences to members of the ZCC and wished them strength and fortitude during this difficult time.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
1. Small Enterprise Finance Agency (sefa):1.1. Mr Mxolisi Dalukhanyo Matshamba as the Chief Executive Officer;
1.2. Ms Sedzani Mudau (Non-Executive Director on the sefa Board);
1.3. Ms Ziyanda Buthelezi-Ngcobo (Non-Executive Director on the sefa Board); and
1.4. Ms Hilda-Marie Tsoadi (Industrial Development Corporation representative on the sefa Board).
2. Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda):2.1. Dr Joy Ndlovu as the Chairperson of the Seda Board; and
2.2. Dr Stella Bvuma (Non-Executive Director on the Seda Board).
3. Extension of the fixed-term employment contract of Mr Ian van Niekerk as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Broadband Infraco.
4. Mr Molatlhegi Khunou Kgauwe as the CFO of the State Information Technology Agency.
5. Ms Marelize Potgieter as the Deputy Director-General (DDG): Court Administration Services at the Office of the Chief Justice.
6. Mr Brightboy Nhlakanipho Nkontwana as the DDG: Negotiations, Labour Relations and Remunerations at the Department of Public Service and Administration.
Ms Phumla Williams – Cabinet Spokesperson
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