Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 13 May 2015
1. Key issues in the environment
1.1. President Jacob Zuma will lead the Africa Day celebrations under the theme: “We are Africa – Opening the doors of learning and culture from Cape to Cairo” on 24 May 2015 at the Mamelodi campus of the University of Pretoria.
In the spirit of Africa Day, Cabinet encourages South Africans, especially the youth, to work together to strengthen their participation in the affairs of our country.
Africa Month is a platform to promote unity amongst African nations and our fellow African brothers and sisters residing in South Africa. The unity of the continent is driven through the African Union’s programmes to attain its vision as articulated in the Agenda 2063. The continent, guided by its citizens, will strive for an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.
Africa Day also presents an opportunity for South Africans to reconnect and recommit themselves in support of all government interventions to develop a better Africa and a better world.
The Africa Month theme, “We are Africa”, is a declaration and celebratory statement of pride that fosters inclusivity from all role players and stakeholders. It is also a call to action for individuals and groups from all backgrounds and walks of life to join the movement for change.
1.2. Cabinet welcomes Operation Fiela\Reclaim 2015, which is a multidisciplinary operation by various state entities to ensure strict compliance with the various laws and regulations governing our society.
This operation aims to deal with issues of criminality such as illegal weapons, drug dens, prostitution rings and other illegal activities.
Cabinet reiterates that this operation is not targeted at foreign nationals, but at the criminality within our country as unmasked through a series of consultations with communities. To this effect, Cabinet dismisses in the strongest terms the assertion that this operation is targeted at foreign nationals.
As a country that prides itself with having the best and the most liberal Constitution in the world, we have taken a centre stage on human rights issues, as such we cannot authorise an operation that will violate the human rights of any individuals or groups.
Cabinet is happy with the progress made through Operation Fiela, which has since its inception resulted in a number of arrests in various raids of trouble hotspots across the country. Cabinet welcomes the response from community members who are partnering with law-enforcement officers in making sure that all are and feel safe in the country.
This operation, which intensifies the fight against crime, also assists to promote and create a safer and more secure South Africa.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Migration will brief the media this weekend to give an update on all its work, including Operation Fiela.
2. Implementation of key government programmes
2.1. Cabinet welcomes the budget votes of various departments and is pleased with the extensive reports provided by Ministers on the progress they have made in improving the lives of the people. The briefings further expanded on the plans of their respective departments for this current financial year.
2.2. Cabinet welcomes the launch of the Moetapele Initiative by the Department of Home Affairs at its Edenvale office on 12 May 2015. This initiative aims to turn some of the offices into ‘model offices’ as incubators of best practice. This will boost the provision of critical services to South Africans and enable them to access government services efficiently.
2.3. Cabinet also welcomes the inaugural South African Migrants Awards which will honour outstanding migrants in South Africa and South Africans working in African countries. Cabinet calls on communities to nominate those who embody the spirit of Ubuntu and are dedicated to the development of the African continent via email through email@example.com
Nominations close on 20 May 2015 and the winners will be announced on Africa Day (25 May). One of the most exciting categories of this awards will recognise a South African community which has succeeded in integrating foreign nationals within itself and live together peacefully.
2.4. Cabinet welcomes the rolling out of mobile land claims offices throughout the country to enable all qualifying persons to lodge land claims. This is in addition to the 14 lodgment offices situated in all provinces.
This process forms part of a comprehensive national communication outreach which implements the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act of 2014, signed into law by President Zuma. The Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act provides for restitution or equitable redress to persons and communities who were dispossessed of land rights after 19 June 1913.
All qualifying South Africans who missed the initial 31 December 1998 deadline to lodge land claims have an extended opportunity until 30 June 2019 to do so.
2.5. Cabinet welcomes the meeting of the Minister of Mineral Resources with the mining industry representatives and stakeholders to discuss the outcome of the Mining Charter 2014 Assessment Report. This report measures the progress of the nine key elements of the Mining Charter.
The Mining Charter was developed with the view of driving the transformational agenda in the critical sector of the economy of the country. The elements to be measured seek to redress the imbalances of the past both in the sharing of the wealth with the previously disadvantaged people and the development of the human resource and ownership of the mines.
3. Key Cabinet decisions
3.1. Cabinet approved the hosting of the 25th International Railway Safety Council Meeting to be held from 4 to 9 October 2015 at the Sandton International Convention Centre, Johannesburg. This international forum brings together railway safety professionals from all over the world to exchange information, experiences, lessons and best practices for improving railway safety.
Hosting this event has the potential to attract foreign investment, which can boost the economy and accelerate public infrastructure investment. This is given further impetus by South Africa’s recent investments in the passenger and freight rail sectors, which have made the country attractive for investments.
3.2. Cabinet approved that the African Maritime Transport Charter be submitted to Parliament for ratification. This is an international agreement that provides for the harmonisation of policies, in order to promote sustained growth and development of African merchant fleets. It will also encourage intra-Africa trade to facilitate economic and socio-economic integration on the continent.
3.3. Cabinet approved submission of the Amendment to the Agreement of the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO) to Parliament for ratification. ITSO is an intergovernmental organisation that ensures that Intelsat Ltd, a satellite operator, provides public telecommunications services – including voice, data and video – on a global and non-discriminatory basis.
The amendment protects the long-term viability of the Common Heritage of Parties, and ensures the continuity of global coverage and global connectivity. Ratification is also part of South Africa’s international priorities to contribute to a better world and to the development of Africa.
4. Cabinet’s position on current issues
4.1. Cabinet is saddened by the passing of Seaparankwe, Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati and extends condolences to her family and friends. Dr Mompati dedicated her life to the struggle for freedom and was involved in various initiatives including the historic Women`s March of August 1956.
In 1954, she joined the African National Congress (ANC) and was elected to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC Women’s League. She went into exile in 1962 where she underwent military training and held office as secretary and head of the women’s section of the ANC in Tanzania.
As the chief representative of the ANC in the United Kingdom she became part of the delegation that opened talks with the then South African government at Groote Schuur in 1990. In August 1992, she addressed the United Nations (UN) Special Committee against Apartheid in New York on the subject of women. The day was then declared by the UN as an International Day of Solidarity with Women in South Africa.
As a true servant of the people, she played an indelible role in the development of our country serving as a Member of Parliament, South Africa’s Ambassador to Switzerland from 1996 to 2000 and the Mayor of Vryburg (Naledi) in North West.
She devoted her life to the liberation of our country and showed an unwavering determination to serve her people.
4.2. Cabinet is saddened by the passing of Lieutenant General Bongani Isidore Mbatha and extends condolences to his family and friends.
General Mbatha joined Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military wing of the ANC in 1978 and then served in various capacities, including the head of the logistics.
In 1994, General Mbatha was integrated into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) where he underwent extensive training in various disciplines.
He moved through the ranks within the SANDF, serving in a number of positions until he was promoted to a Lieutenant General responsible for Logistics in 2014, the position he occupied until his death.
5. Upcoming events
5.1. President Zuma will attend the coronation of the King of AmaXhosa, His Majesty King Mpendulo Calvin Sigcawu (Ah! Zwelonke) at Nqadu Great Place in Willowvale, Eastern Cape on 15 May 2015.
Cabinet congratulates King Sigcawu on his coronation and looks forward to working with the AmaGcaleka Kingdom in building vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities.
5.2. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will attend the Alternative Sanitation Indaba taking place on 15 May 2015 under the theme: “It is not all about flushing”. The Indaba will also provide an opportunity for service providers of alternative sanitation technology to showcase their products.
5.3. The Department of Social Development, in partnership with the South African Social Security Agency and National Development Agency, will launch Child Protection Week at the Franklin Sports Ground in Kokstad, KwaZulu-Natal on 25 May 2015 under the theme: “Working together to protect children”. The week will conclude on 31 May 2015 in Gauteng.
This awareness campaign aims to mobilise all sectors of society to care for and protect children. Moreover, it intends to make adults and children aware of the statutory protection a child enjoys under the Constitution, legislations, policies and international instruments.
Cabinet calls on parents and guardians to always put the safety of their children first and ensure that they are taken care of by responsible adults. Parents and guardians are encouraged to teach children to be aware of potentially dangerous situations, including unacceptable behavior or actions by adults. It is the responsibility of parents and guardians to know the whereabouts of their children and to take reasonable precautions to ensure their safety and protection.
5.4. The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Dr Siyabonga Cwele, will hold an Imbizo at the Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu, Eastern Cape to celebrate the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day on 17 May 2015. The event is held to encourage people to increasingly use technology to improve their lives.
The Minister will detail what government is doing to use technology to improve service delivery to all South Africans, especially those who live in rural areas. The Imbizo is held in partnership with the Eastern Cape Provincial Government, traditional leaders and the South African Communications Forum. Annually, 17 May marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union.
The purpose of this event is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communications technologies can bring to societies and economies, and ways to bridge the digital divide.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
6.1. Adv Motlatjo Josephine Ralefatane as the Chairperson of the Board of .zaDNA.
6.2. Dr Thomas Kwadwo Gyedu-Ababio as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Inkomati-Usuthu Catchment Management Agency.
6.3. Dr GV Andrews as the Chief Operations Officer: Department of Health.
6.4. Mr NM Ratshoma as the Deputy Director-General (DDG) of Economic Policy: National Treasury.
6.5. Mr KG Sukdev as the CEO of the Government Pensions Administration Agency.
6.6. Mr AD Mogajane as the DDG of Public Finance: National Treasury.
Acting Cabinet Spokesperson
Cell: 083 501 0139
13 May 2015