Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 6 August 2014
1. Women’s Month/ National Women’s Day celebrations
1.1. Cabinet welcomes plans for the national Women's Day celebrations and all activities planned throughout the month of August. President Jacob Zuma will lead the national event to be held at King Zwelithini Stadium, in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal, on 9 August 2014 under the theme: “Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Women’s Charter and 20 Years of Freedom: together moving non-racial and non-sexist South Africa forward”.
As part of the celebrations of women’s month, government will host several events to profile women in different sectors and showcase the achievements we have made as a country. Some of the events planned include the Women Awards in Construction, 14 August, Women in Science Awards, 15 August, Female Farmer of the Year Awards, 22 August and Women in Water Awards, 29 August.
As part of the celebrations, the Minister of Human Settlements together with the provincial MEC’s in the special meeting (MINMEC) held on 4 July 2014, approved a programme to deliver 1 956 houses in each of the nine provinces. The programme pays tribute to women who marched to the Union Buildings protesting against the pass laws in 1956.
The first launch of this programme took place at Ratanda Township, Lesedi Local Municipality in Gauteng on the 4 August 2014. A total of 17 604 houses will be built by women and the beneficiaries will be women, the elderly and child headed households as stipulated by Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu during her recent budget speech.
Cabinet calls on all South Africans to support and participate in the Women’s Month programmes and activities throughout the month to ensure that women achievements are celebrated. The National Women’s Month Programme is attached.
2. Key programme implementation
Cabinet welcomes and appreciates the progress on implementation of key government programmes which reflect our commitment to moving South Africa forward.
2.1. The opening of the R30-million Transnet Wagons Refurbishing Facility at De Aar, in the Northern Cape will boost the local economy and improve the living conditions of communities. More than 100 direct jobs have already been created and a further 300 jobs are expected. The Wagons Refurbishing Facility is part of Transnet’s R300 billion infrastructure plan to revamp and modernise the country’s rail, pipeline and ports network which will create 588 000 new jobs. Young people in the area will also benefit from the development of a Youth Multi-Purpose Precinct. This project forms part of a number of government infrastructure projects coordinated through the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Committee.
2.2. As part of government’s drive to expand the capabilities of the South African manufacturing industry, to increase the country’s industrial base and create the much needed jobs, an R80 million facility was launched in Epping Cape Town. This 120 MW solar PV module production facility was officially launched on 6 August 2014 by Jinko Solar, a Chinese multinational company. This is part of the roll-out of the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPPP). The facility is expected to produce 1 300 solar panels per day, with an expected R600 million turnover per year. Since the inception of this programme, Jinko Solar has deployed over 300MW of solar PV panels, reaching approximately 30% market share.
The plant, which is the newest and most modern of its type on the continent, is expected to produce 120 Megawatts by the end of the year. This is part of government’s drive to expand the capabilities of the South African manufacturing industry, to increase the country’s industrial base and create the much needed jobs in Epping. The Green Economy has been identified as a key focus area in the Industrial Policy Action Plan and provides significant opportunities for job creation, localisation and economic growth.
2.3. Cabinet is pleased with the launch of the Renewable Energy Centre of Excellence in Upington, Northern Cape which represents another initiative to move South Africa forward. The centre is the result of strong collaboration among academia, the private sector, and government in the area of renewable energy. The centre will support research, development and innovation in the energy sector, informing and influencing policy decisions and supporting human capital development. This will contribute significantly towards expanding the Green Economy, and transforming the skills profile of the province and region. Renewable energy presents numerous exciting investment prospects, including massive job creation opportunities
2.4. Cabinet welcomes the launch of the Hydrogen Fuel Cells (HFC) technology electrification project on 5 August 2014 which is the culmination of robust and productive deliberations between government and the Anglo-Ballard partnership. This project to derive power from fuel cell technology is the world's first fuel cell mini-grid electrification field trial. Of particular interest is the pivotal role of the development and deployment of this technology in localisation of the energy value chain specifically the use of fuel cell technology as an alternative generation technology. This project will deepen industrialisation of South Africa’s economy and enable us to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy and contribute significantly to employment creation.
3. Key Cabinet decisions
3.1. Cabinet approved South Africa’s initial transport sector offer under the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Trade in Services Negotiations. This sector is critical to South Africa’s growth and job creation prospects, both as an intermediate input to merchandise trade and as a tradable service in its own right. Intra-regional integration of transport services can generate commercially valuable market opportunities for South African service suppliers as well as investment across the transport sectors in the region. As income is generated by exporting services within value chains, South African companies could obtain commercial benefits and simultaneously contribute to the development of the regional transport sector.
3.2. Cabinet was briefed on the outcomes of the 2013 rhino census conducted in the Kruger National Park and approved the recommended strategic interventions to secure the rhino population. The Minister of Environmental Affairs will at a later stage conduct a separate media briefing on this matter.
3.3. Cabinet approved the new Zimbabwean Dispensation process. The Minster of Home Affairs will conduct a separate media briefing to announce details of this process.
3.4. Cabinet approved that a full review be undertaken of Provincial Development Finance Institutions (PDFIs) based on the findings and recommendations from a desktop review, by National Treasury to assess current financial status and development effectiveness. The full-scale review of the PDFIs will assist to ensure their mandates are coordinated and effective in support of Government’s social and economic policy objectives and also ensuring efficient allocation and use of Government resources.
3.5. Cabinet welcomed the progress on the Turnaround Strategy to rebuild the Department of Public Works and the Close-out Report of the Stabilisation Phase. Cabinet is satisfied with progress recorded in turning around the department. The Minister of Public Works will conduct a separate media briefing to explain the details of this report.
4. Cabinet’s position on current issues
4.1. Cabinet welcomes the amended Employment Equity Act which came into force on 1 August 2014. The amended Act promotes transformation, fairer labour practices and protects against unfair discrimination. It further strengthens implementation and enforcement mechanisms by, for example increasing fines for non-compliance. Cabinet calls on employers to comply with the provisions of the Act and work with government to transform the workplace. Furthermore, the Department of Labour is conducting public road shows to educate the public about employment equity and its impact.
4.2. Cabinet congratulates Team South Africa on its outstanding performance during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland which won them 13 gold, 10 silver and 17 bronze medals. South Africa achieved 7th place in the medal rankings and was the best performing African country. Cabinet calls on South Africans to honour and celebrate the achievements of our South African athletes on Friday, 8 August 2014, when open buses will be carrying the athletes from Olympic House in Johannesburg at 11h00.
4.3. Cabinet also congratulates the national cricket team (Proteas) under the leadership of Test Captain Hashim Amla for winning the Test series in Sri Lanka and regaining the number one International Cricket Council World Test ranking.
4.4. Cabinet congratulates Zolani "Last Born" Tete for winning the International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight title in Japan.
4.5. Cabinet sends condolences to the family and friends of the man who lost his life as a result of the earthquake on Tuesday and wishes a speedy recovery to those who were injured. Through the National Disaster Management, government is attending to the affected communities.
5. Upcoming events
5.1 President Jacob Zuma will attend the 34th Ordinary Summit of Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State and Government on 17 and 18 August 2014 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. SADC continues to be the primary vehicle for South Africa’s foreign policy on regional development and integration. Pertinent issues to be discussed at the Summit include the Review of the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan, the SADC Vision 2050, SADC Tribunal and the Food and Nutrition Strategy and Regional Agricultural Policy.
5.2 The inaugural Mining Lekgotla will be held on 13 and 14 August 2014 at Gallagher Estate, Johannesburg under the theme: “Building on the contribution of mining since the advent of democracy: The past we acknowledge and the future we build.” The Lekgotla allows for strategic interaction between stakeholders in the South African mining industry and other role players. Cabinet urges all partners to work towards the implementation of the Framework Agreement for a Sustainable Mining Industry and reaffirms that Government will monitor compliance with the Mining Charter.
5.3 The Centre for Public Service innovation will hold its 8th Public Sector Innovation Conference on 19 and 20 August 2014 in Cape Town under the theme “Building an Innovative State Machinery for Maximised Service Delivery Impact”. Cabinet wishes delegates fruitful deliberations as innovation in the public sector is vital to help us achieve Vision 2030 as outlined in the National Development Plan. Cabinet also commends all nominees for the Public Sector Innovation Awards which recognises and rewards innovation that improves the lives of all South Africans.
6.1 Cabinet noted the appointment of the following Non-Executive Directors to serve on the Board of the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa SOC Limited.
a) Ms Andiswa Mosai, and
b) Mr Lefentse Cuitzen Radikeledi (National Treasury representative).
6.2 Cabinet noted the appointment of the following Non-Executive members to serve on the Board of the South African Bureau of Standards.
a) Mr Jeff Molobela (Chairperson),
b) Ms Doris Elekanyani Ndlovu,
c) Nivashnee Naraindath,
d) Anna-Marie Lotter (dti representative),
e) Dr Michael John Ellman (re-appointment),
f) Ms Venete Jarlene Klein (re-appointment),
g) Mr Webster Masvikwa (re-appointment), and
h) Mr Guy Harris (re-appointment).
Enquiries: Phumla Williams, Acting Cabinet Spokesperson
Cell: 083 501 0139
Issued by: Government Communications
07 August 2014