Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 15 April 2015
1. Recent spate of attack on Foreign nationals
1.1. Cabinet condemns in the strongest terms the recent acts of violence against foreign nationals. At this point, Cabinet would like to extend its heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and a speedy recovery to those who are injured. No amount of frustration or anger can justify these attacks and looting of shops. Whilst noting the issues raised by communities, violence towards another fellow human being can never solve these issues. Rather, it reflects badly on us as a people, going against the very ideals and foundations of our democracy. South Africa fought against colonialism and Apartheid alongside fellow Africans so that all humanity in our continent should be respected and treated with dignity.
1.2. The impact of these attacks has far reaching implications on our economic, social and relations with the continent and the world. South African companies who are running successful businesses in the continent who help to contribute to our revenue and sustaining our economy may suffer the same fate. Recently, South African artists who were to showcase their craft outside our borders of our country, such as BigNuz in Zimbabwe, Kelly Khumalo and Casper in London, have had their concerts cancelled as a result of these attacks. Many of our communities who relied on shops owned by foreign nationals for their bread and butter are now stranded.
Today, South Africa enjoys a free country, which was attained through the contribution of a number of the African Countries. Our own late icon, President Oliver Tambo was accommodated for close to 30 years in Zambia and many other South Africans that lived in exile. Fellow African countries, did not only host our people, they also contributed resources and some paid the ultimate price and lost their own citizens in the course of South Africa attaining democracy. South Africa will never be derailed from pursuing the Pan African vision as encapsulated in AU Agenda 2063, which was since pursued by our forefathers Kwame Nkruma, Azikiwe, Mualimu Julius Nyerere and Nelson Mandela.
President Jacob Zuma has tasked the Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster Ministers together with Ministers of Small Business Development, Trade and Industry and Social Development to engage all the relevant parties to seek a solution. The ministers have also been tasked to deal with the underlying socio-economic conditions which seems to be at the heart of these attacks, so that this matter can be dealt with decisively and comprehensively. The President has further announced the measures undertaken by the South African National Defence Force to bring control to our borders.
Cabinet calls on all communities, organizations and individuals to join hands against these attacks. South Africa is not a violent country and therefore a few individuals cannot be allowed to hold the whole country at ransom. Violence has never been a solution for problems in any society and will never be in South Africa. Not in our name!
2.1. Cabinet noted the decision by the management of the university to remove the Rhodes statue from the campus of the University of Cape Town. South Africa over the last two decades has made huge strides in ensuring that our historical symbols reflect the demographics of our country and our democratic order. Cabinet however, acknowledged that the journey of removing the historically offensive symbols and names within our country has not moved fast enough. Cabinet noted and encourages the current broad debate that have commenced on transformation within our society, noting that transformation has not been fast enough we understand the frustrations of the students. We therefore encourage them to follow the processes as defined in our laws.
2.2. Cabinet calls on South Africans to get involved in the on-going processes led by the Department of Arts and Culture on heritage and nation building. South Africans are reminded that the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999 outlines the consultative processes that should be followed in the case of a removal and or relocation of a statue.
3. Zimbabwe State Visit
3.1. Cabinet welcomes the successful Zimbabwean State visit led by President Robert Gabriel Mugabe. South Africa and Zimbabwe, have and long history of regional affiliation and cultural ties.
The people of Zimbabwe have played a significant historical role in supporting the liberation struggle in South Africa.
The visit elevated the bilateral relations with the establishment of the Bi-National Commission as well as the signing of three agreements and two Memoranda of Understanding.
- The Agreement on the Establishment of the Bi-National Commission elevates our structured bilateral engagement to the highest level with the two Heads of State meeting to review the progress on the agreed bilateral co-operation agreements.
- The Agreement on Cooperation on Water Resources Management and the establishment and functioning of the Joint Water Commission will enhance cooperation in water resources planning, development and management in the spirit of mutual understanding and benefit. The two countries will jointly undertake a study to understand the water resources potential of the river basins in Zimbabwe to supply water to the Republic South Africa; and jointly establish water projects, which will have spin-offs in terms of job creation, economic transformation and skills development and transfer.
- The Agreement Regarding Mutual Assistance between Customs Administrations- Lays the basis for establishing a one-stop border post. This is a standard international model advocated by the World Customs Organisation. The purpose is to enable the two administrations to exchange information, support each other with technical assistance, and undertake surveillance, visits and investigations together and to co-operate towards enhancing the efficiency of operations.
- The Memorandum of Understanding on Diplomatic Consultations will establish a mechanism for regular diplomatic talks on issues in Africa and other issues of mutual interest. The key objective of this MoU is to establish a mechanism for regular diplomatic consultations on issues of strengthening bilateral relations, security and cooperation in Africa.
- The Memorandum of Understanding on Trade Cooperation aims to provide a platform for the two countries to consult and share experiences towards boosting economic development. The parties agreed to cooperate through trade promotion, resolution of impediments to trade and building of technical capacity in various areas identified as well as general skills developments.
4. Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
4.1. Cabinet welcomes the launch of the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) by President Jacob Zuma in Ga-Rankuwa, Gauteng on 14 April 2015. This university, which incorporates the former MEDUNSA campus of the University of Limpopo, started its first academic year in 2015 with 5 000 students.
The establishment of Sefako Makgatho University provides an excellent opportunity for the development and training of a new generation of health professionals who will make a positive impact on the lives and livelihoods of the many South Africans still marginalised by poverty and lack of access to health services. The Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University is the first stand-alone health sciences university to be established in the country. Government will continue to invest in education and skills development as a key driver to economic growth and development.
5. Imbizo Focus week
5.1. Cabinet expressed its gratitude to all South Africans who came out in numbers to participate in direct engagement with public representatives during the National Imbizo Focus Week themed “Together we move South Africa Forward”. This is a demonstration of a maturing democracy where citizens actively participate in initiatives aimed at making government accountable as envisioned in the National Development Plan. Political principals interacted with communities and unpacked the pronouncements made by President Jacob Zuma during the 2015 State of the Nation Address.
5.2. The Imbizo also provided an opportunity to political principals to share government plans to improve service delivery and to listen to issues facing communities. Over 70 Izimbizo events took place from the 07 April to 12 April 2015. The events culminated on the 12 April, with an innovative “Imbizo Lounge”, which was hosted simultaneously by three political principals in three provinces.
6. Key Cabinet decisions
6.1. Cabinet welcomes the results of research conducted on 161 091 complaints and queries received by the Presidential Hotline from its inception to end of March 2013. The research established the nature of the cases logged by citizens, identified emerging themes and systemic issues across government. The findings identified a number of issues of concern to citizens that are common across government.
The findings of the research will assist departments in better understanding the issues that concern communities, and the relevant information required by communities. The interventions will improve how we service communities.
6.2. Cabinet received an update report on the analysis of the payment of suppliers within 30 days from receipt of a legitimate invoice. Cabinet has noted the progress made, but raised concerns on some of the departments that still face challenges.
A comparative analysis of the National Departments between 2013 January to October and 2014 January to October 2014 showed an improvement of 39% on the average number of invoices paid within 30 days and a 32% improvement on the average number of invoices that were paid after the 30 days.
National departments reported 155 572 invoices worth R3,8 billion which were paid after 30 days at the same time, 62 887 invoices worth R2,1 billion invoices older than 30 days had not been paid.
Provincial departments for the same period reveal a marginal improvement of 5% in the average number of invoices paid within 30 days. Provinces reported 241 332 invoices worth R13,4 billion which were paid after 30 days and 356 079 invoices worth R21,8 billion invoices older than 30 days which were not paid.
This is a 52% regression in the average number of invoices that is older than 30 days and which have not been paid.
In order to assist departments that are still struggling, Cabinet approved the establishment of a special unit within the Department for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation to follow up with persistently struggling departments. The Unit will work collaboratively with National Treasury and the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA).
In addition a national hotline will be publicised that will be available to suppliers to log instances of delayed payment. This will be taken up with the relevant department and responses will be reported on.
6.3. Cabinet noted the report on the Implementation Evaluation of the Export marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) Incentive Programme and further welcomed the management response and improvement plan by the Department of Trade and Industry. This formed part of the 2013/14 National Evaluation Plan to assess the effectiveness of the Programme in supporting South African manufacturers and exporters.
EMIA assisted 6 766 exporting enterprises across all provinces and paid out claims to a total value of R510 million from 2009/10 to 2012/13. These supported enterprises have created 24 802 jobs. The survey of EMIA participants suggests significant usage of the EMIA incentives by mostly Historically Disadvantaged Individuals and women-owned firms.
6.4. Cabinet approved for the draft National Gambling Policy Document to be published in the Government gazette for wider public consultation. It aims to improve effectiveness in regulating gambling, improve coordination and cooperation with provinces and repositions the National Gambling Board as a regulator to deal more effectively with illegal gambling.
6.5. Cabinet approved the publication of the draft Liquor Policy for wider public consultation. The draft Liquor Policy will improve the effectiveness of regulating liquor trade and combat illegal trading. Amongst other issues, the proposals address the socio-economic impact of liquor and other costs of alcohol abuse as well as transformation in the liquor industry.
6.6. Cabinet was briefed on the outcomes of a diagnostic evaluation of Early Childhood Development where detailed evaluations were undertaken for Grade R and nutrition interventions for children under five.
Cabinet approved the development of an integrated National Nutrition Plan for South Africa, which holistically addresses nutrition, including the pre-conception period, the first 1 000 days of life, early childhood development and Grade R. The improvement plan from the evaluation on “The Impact of the Introduction of Grade R on Learning Outcomes” emphasises improving the quality of Grade R to maximise its impact on poor children and in poorly performing provinces. This includes the training and development of Grade R teachers and consideration for the appointment of individuals in possession of the relevant higher certificate qualification (NQF level 5) for this purpose.
7.1. Cabinet approved the release of the Insurance Bill, 2015 for public consultation.
The Bill is aligned to the National Development Plan, ensures a sound and well-regulated insurance sector, and promotes financial stability that will support sustainable economic growth by giving effect to higher prudential standards that have been developed in light of the 2008 financial crisis. It gives effect to a new prudential framework for the insurance sector.
The Solvency Assessment and Management regime seeks to introduce a new, forward-looking risk-based approach to insolvency by aligning the capital requirements with the underlying risks of an insurer. It also provides incentives to insurers to adopt more sophisticated risk monitoring and management tools. These measures seek to ensure better protection of policyholders and beneficiaries and contribute to financial stability.
7.2. Cabinet approved the publication of the draft Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Bill, 2014 for public comment. The Amendment Bill proposes amendments to the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Act No. 38 of 2001). This is to address threats to the stability of our financial system posed by money laundering and terrorism financing by ensuring compliance with international measures and standards, within the South African legislative framework.
8. Cabinet’s Position on Current Issues
8.1. Cabinet noted with concern a sharp increase in road fatalities during the Easter weekend, which saw 208 accidents that resulted in 287 deaths, compared to last year’s number of fatalities, which stood at 193 deaths from 148 accidents.
Road safety is the responsibility of all South Africans and the success of our road safety campaigns depend on all road users doing their part. Drivers must obey the rules of the road, not drink and drive, keep to the speed limit and ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy.
8.2. On behalf of the South African people, Cabinet, expresses its deepest condolences to the government and the people of the Republic of Kenya, especially families of the victims who died in the senseless attack at Garissa University College on 2 April 2015.
Cabinet joins President Jacob Zuma in condemning this act of terror and reiterates that South Africa supports Kenya and the international community's efforts at peacekeeping, stability, democracy and nation-building in Somalia.
8.3 Cabinet congratulates the people of Nigeria for conducting a peaceful, transparent credible, free and fair election on the 28 March 2015, as declared by the Independent National Elections Commission of Nigeria. On behalf of South Africans, Cabinet congratulates General Muhammad Buhari on his election as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
8.4 Cabinet congratulates Marlene van Niekerk for becoming the first South African to be shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize. She was recognized for outstanding lifetime achievements in fiction, including works like Triomf and Agaat. She also received the Order of Ikhamanga in 2011 for “her outstanding intellectual contribution to literary arts and culture”.
9. Upcoming events
9.1. Cabinet noted that President Jacob Zuma would be answering questions in Parliament on Thursday, 16 April 2015.
9.2. Cabinet welcomes President Jacob Zuma’s State Visit to Jakarta, Indonesia from 19 to 21 April 2015, which will review the status of bilateral relations to ensure the realization of the five year ‘Plan of Action’, as discussed by the two sides in Pretoria in November 2014.
President Jacob Zuma will also attend the Asia-Africa Summit between 22 to 23 April in Jakarta, which will strengthen South-South cooperation towards socio-economic growth for both regions.
The visit will conclude with the 60th Anniversary of the Bandung Conference of 1955 and the 10th Anniversary of the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP) on 24 April 2015, which will take place in Bandung, West Java. It was at Bandung that leaders of our movement namely Moses Kotane and Maulvi Cachalia brought the principles of non-racialism and self-determination to the world agenda.
9.3. Cabinet calls on all South Africans to join the Freedom Month celebrations, which usher in the country’s third decade of freedom by promoting human dignity and pursuing a common national agenda towards building a united and prosperous South Africa.
Our national celebration will culminate on Freedom Day, 27 April 2015 under the theme: “Celebrating the Beginning of the Third Decade of our Freedom through Accelerating Radical Economic Transformation”.
South Africans are also reminded of the many sacrifices made by our compatriots and women in the fight against the brutal apartheid system so that we can all enjoy the freedom we have today.
In honor of South Africans who contributed to the advancement of our democracy, President Jacob Zuma will on Freedom Day bestow National Orders at a ceremony at the Union Buildings.
Cabinet extends its congratulations to all recipients and expresses is gratitude for their contribution.
9.4 Cabinet approved that South Africa will host the African Union (AU) 25th Ordinary Session at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the Sandton International Convention Centre in Johannesburg, from 7-15 June 2015. South Africa offered to host after the Republic of Chad withdrew.
The primary objective of the summit will be to review progress made in the attainment of continental objectives, with a particular focus on the 2015 theme, the “Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”. The other key issues will be the state of peace and security in Africa, combating the Ebola Viral Disease and socio-economic impact on the continent, alternative sources of funding of the African Union, the adoption of the First Ten Years Implementation Plan of the AU Agenda 2063 and the reform of the United Nations in its 70th Anniversary.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearances.
10.1. Dr Diane Cecile Parker as Deputy-Director General: University Education in the Department of Higher Education.
10.2. Mr Abel Makalene Mawela, as the Non-Executive Director to the Export Credit Insurance Corporation Board.
10.3. Mr Tefetso Bernard Phitsane as a non-executive member for the Board of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa.
10.4. Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors:
a) Ms Lise Keech;
b) Mr Abel Dlamini;
c) Mr Thiru Pillay;
d) Mr Zola Luxolo Fihlani;
e) Ms Amanda Lethukuthula Mazibuko;
f) Ms Noluphumzo Leonora Noxaka;
g) Ms Rene Aloise Kenosi (reappointment);
h) Mr Alexander Van der Watt (reappointment); and
i) Mr Michael Sass (reappointment).
10.5. South African Council on International Relations (SACOIR):
a) Prof Maxi Schoeman (Academia);
b) Prof Anthoni Van Nieuwkerk (Academia);
c) Dr Siphamandla Zondi (Academia);
d) Prof Shamil Jeppie (Academia);
e) Prof Sekgothe Mokgoatsana (Academia);
f) Ms Chichi Maponya (Business);
g) Ms Danisa Baloyi (Business);
h) Dr Thandi Cynthia Ndlovu (Business);
i) Ms Nonhlanhla Mjoli-Mncube (Business);
j) Mr Billy Masetlha (Business);
k) Mr Dennis George (Labour);
l) Mr Joel Mfingwana (Labour);
m) Dr Somadoda Fikeni (Civil Society);
n) General Moyo Mudau (Civil Society);
o) Mr Aziz Pahad (Civil Society);
p) Mr Tshepo Mashiane (Civil Society);
q) Amb Griffiths Mandlenkosi Memela (Civil Society);
r) Mr Jimmy Gotyana (Civil Society); and
s) Mr Kenny Morolong (Civil Society).
10.6. Defence Force Service Commission:
a) Ms Sebina Hlapolosa;
b) Prof Malegapuru William Makgoba; and
c) Mr Joseph Maselele Jongile.
10.7. Mr Kevin Wakeford as Chief Executive Officer of Armaments Corporation of South Africa (Armscor).
10.8. Professor Ntomb’fikile Mazibuko as the Executive Chairperson of the Council of the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority.
Enquiries: Ms Phumla Williams (Acting Cabinet Spokesperson)
Contact: 083 501 0139
Issued by: Government Communications
17 April 2015