Statement on Cabinet Meeting of 27 May 2015
1. Africa Day
1.1. Cabinet would like to thank all South Africans who participated in the Africa Day 2015 celebrations, which reflected our commitment to build a united, peaceful and prosperous Africa.
1.2. Cabinet reiterates the call by President Jacob Zuma to all South African institutions and companies to fly the African Union (AU) flag with the South African flag. This is in keeping with the need to embrace the vision of a united, prosperous and peaceful Africa.
2. Implementation of key government programmes
2.1. Cabinet reminds South Africans and foreign nationals travelling with children that the Passport and Travel Documents Act will come into effect from 1 June 2015.
2.2. Under the new legislation, parents travelling with children under the age of 18 are required to produce their unabridged birth certificates. This is part of government’s commitment to safeguard the best interests of children and prevent child trafficking.
3. Key Cabinet decisions
3.1. Cabinet approved the National Learner Transport Policy, which provides guidelines in providing effective, efficient and safe learner public transport services. Its implementation will result in an integrated learner transport service that provides the standards of the kind of vehicles to be used and the tariff structures for the usage of scholar transport services. The policy is also aligned with the South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act 84 of 1996).
3.2. Cabinet approved the submission of South Africa’s 1994 to 2014 Report on the Progress in the Implementation of the African Union Heads of States’ Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa to the AU Secretariat. The report is in preparation for the AU Heads of States Summit to be held in June 2015.
The report, which covers the period 1994 to 2014, assesses and evaluates the effectiveness of our laws, policies and programmes that were developed to increase representation, provision of basic services, job creation, poverty reduction, eradication of violence, and the protection of human rights of women and girls.
3.3. Cabinet approved the National Youth Policy 2020 (NYP2020). The policy replaces the National Youth Policy 2009-2014 which has since expired. The policy was developed after an extensive consultation process with the youth of South Africa from all the nine provinces. It will form the basis for the development of an integrated Youth Development Strategy.
3.4 Cabinet was briefed on the progress made in setting up the Property Management Trading Entity (PMTE). The entity ensures efficiencies and cost-effectiveness in the management of the State property portfolio. Cabinet is satisfied with the development and the refinement of the PMTE business model, which will improve the quality of public buildings.
Cabinet further approved the secondment for Mr P Serote to serve as head of the PMTE, Mr M Govender as head of Facilities and Real Estate Management and Ms BS Mathews as head of Real Estate Registry Services.
4. Upcoming events
4.1. South Africa will host the AU Summit at the Sandton Convention Centre from 7 to 15 June 2015 under the theme: “Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”. The week’s activities will conclude with the Assembly of Heads of State from 14 to 15 June 2015.
The Republic of Zimbabwe, as chair of the AU for 2015, will chair the summit and its related meetings. It will focus on the implementation of decisions taken at the January 2015 Summit, which includes Agenda 2063 and its First 10-Year Implementation Plan; State of Continental Peace and Security, including Terrorism; Women’s Empowerment and Development; Alternative Sources of Funding the AU; Continental integration and operationalising the African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention by 2015.
President Zuma will attend the inauguration of Nigeria’s President-elect Mohammadu Buhari in Abuja, Nigeria on 29 May 2015.
4.2. The World Economic Forum on Africa will take place in Cape Town from 3 to 5 June 2015 under the theme: “Then and Now: Reimagining Africa’s Future.”
Cabinet welcomes all political and business leaders from across the African continent and other parts of the world as the meeting marks 25 years of change in Africa.
South Africa looks forward to participating in the discussions on accelerating inclusive economic growth and development in Africa. The continent remains one of the fastest-growing regions in the world and is an attractive investment destination.
4.3. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, as the Chair of the South African National AIDS Council, will address the opening of the 7th South African AIDS Conference at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban from 9 to 12 June 2015 under the theme: “Reflection, Refocus and Renewal”.
This conference, which is held every two years, has become a barometer for government and South Africans to track advances made in controlling HIV infections. It also provides an opportunity for people working with HIV and AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and Tuberculosis (TB) to share experiences and insights.
South Africa has the largest antiretroviral (ARV) programme in the world, with three million people on ARVs as of December 2014. This has significantly contributed to reducing new HIV infections and mortality from AIDS, and ensured child survival and prolonged life. Diligent planning is a major part of the success of this flagship programme, which ensures adequate availability of ARVs at every public health facility.
South Africa, through the Department of Science and Technology (DST), has been investing in HIV research for many years. The DST's investment in HIV research began in 1999 when together with the Department of Health, we established the South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative.
By 2009, the DST’s support for HIV research was expanded to include other interventions such as diagnostics, ARVs, microbicides, in addition to vaccines. We created the South African HIV Research and Innovation Platform (SHARP) to fund pioneering HIV and AIDS research and facilitate the development of innovative solutions to the epidemic.
We are currently supporting a number of HIV-related projects at various stages of development through a programme called the Strategic Health Innovation Partnership, which incorporates SHARP under the auspices of the South African Medical Research Council. The role of this programme is to facilitate the interaction of South African HIV and AIDS researchers, and to create a National Network of Collaborating Research Centres in HIV and AIDS.
Currently, a number of multi-institutional, multidisciplinary, product development projects covering diagnostics, vaccines and microbicides are being pursued to advance the objectives of SHARP. South Africa attaches particular importance to the fight against AIDS, with prevention at the heart of the country’s National Strategic Plan for HIV, STIs and TB (2012-2016).
4.4 Environment Month Programme
In June South Africa will celebrate key environment days. Led by the Department of Environmental Affairs, on 5th June, we will celebrate the World Environment Day in Kimberley, Northern Cape.
The World Oceans Day on the 8th June will be hosted in Bloemfontein, Free State with various partners in the implementation of the Operation Phakisa Oceans Economy sharing information with local communities about opportunities in the ocean economy and related areas.
On the 17th June South Africa will celebrate the World Day to Combat Desertification in Nqutu village, KwaZulu-Natal. All these key environment days are aimed at heightening public awareness about the environment while also exposing young people in all the host provinces to opportunities in the sector.
4.5 Launch of the Tripartite FTA in Sharm-el-Shaik
The COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) will be launched on 10 June 2015 in Sharm-el-Shaik, Egypt. The TFTA will create a market of 26 countries, with a combined population of over 625 million and a GDP of over $1 trillion.
The launch signifies the conclusion of the negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement which sets rules and a framework within which tariff preferences and other commitments will be implemented. Negotiations on tariffs and rules of origin will continue as part of the built-in agenda.
The launch of the TFTA is a significant milestone for the African Continent and is rooted in the African Union (AU) Lagos Plan of Action and the Abuja Treaty which aim to establish the African Economic Community. We believe that this sends a powerful message that Africa is committed to its economic integration agenda and in creating a conducive environment for trade and investment.
The negotiations towards the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) were launched in June 2011 in a Summit hosted by President Jacob Zuma in Sandton, South Africa.
4.6 Launch of the negotiations for Continental FTA at the AU Summit in June
The launch of the Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) negotiations by the AU Summit takes place on 15 June 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The CFTA will, create a market of over 1.3 billion people with a combined GDP of over $2 trillion. It will build on the Tripartite Free Trade Area and progress achieved in the regional economic communities. It will also give traders and investors access to a growing market and provides a basis for enhanced intra-Africa trade.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
5.1. Representatives from the Department of Public Enterprises to the Special Economic
Zones Advisory Board:
a) Ms Jacky Molisane (designate member);
b) Ms Nontsikelelo Rose Mbono (alternate member).
5.2. Dr Reginald Cassius Lubisi – Director-General in The Presidency and Cabinet Secretary (renewed for five years).
5.3. Mr Christopher Kobla Gavor – Valuer-General: Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.
Ms Phumla Williams (Acting Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 083 501 0139
28 May 2015