Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 12 August 2015
1. Implementation of key government programmes
1.1. Cabinet welcomes the progress of Project Mikondzo, a service-delivery initiative aimed at expanding the reach of social services in the poorest communities of the country. This was demonstrated at De Doorns in the Western Cape, where aid is being provided to 4 021 families whose breadwinners are mostly seasonal farmworkers. The assistance include, among other things, the supply of seed and seedlings for family gardens and funding for the establishment of community-based organisations and cooperatives. The Department of Social Development is also using De Doorns to develop a policy on seasonal workers.
In addition, the South African Social Security Agency rolled out an extensive Social Relief of Distress programme to provide food and other necessities such as school uniforms for children from indigent families. A grant of R1 083 160 from the National Development Agency supports 11 non-centre based Early Childhood Development (ECD) playgroups, with 975 children now attending ECD centres in the area and 789 of them benefiting from government’s ECD subsidy.
1.2. Cabinet commends the ongoing successes of Operation Fiela, the most recent being in the Northern Cape where the integrated operation by the South African Police Service (SAPS), government departments, and provincial and municipal law-enforcement agencies went further in ensuring that people are and feel safe. The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Migration will hold a media briefing next week to provide a detailed update.
1.3. Cabinet commends unions and mining houses for working with government to reviltalise the mining sector, which is the backbone of our economy and urges all parties to implement commitments.
Government, together with business and labour, have been striving to improve decent housing and living conditions in mining towns. Overall R18 billion has been dedicated to ongoing work in distressed mining communities, the bulk of which is from government with mining companies contributing approximately a third of the funding.
1.4. Cabinet approved the inclusion of the Security Cluster Ministers to the Inter-ministerial committee (IMC) on Immigration which was announced by President Zuma.
The IMC, led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, will examine and solve the potential and unintended consequences of the new immigration regulations on various sectors, including tourism and investment. The IMC will comprise of the Ministers of Tourism; Home Affairs; Trade and Industry; Social Development; Small Business Development, and the Security Cluster.
2. Cabinet’s position on key issues in the environment
2.1. Cabinet welcomed the Women’s Day celebrations that took place in Sasolburg in the Free State under the theme: “Women United in Moving South Africa Forward”. Thousands of women gathered at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Sasolburg to recognise the important role that political activism by women played during the struggle for liberation against colonialism and apartheid.
Cabinet calls on all sectors of society to sustain the theme of Women’s Month and to continue working towards ensuring that all women, particularly the girl child, are empowered and freed from societal prejudices so that we can address gender equality in the country.
In addition, President Zuma also released a first-of-its-kind report on the Status of Women in South Africa. The report notes, great strides made in the country since 1994 to improve the status of women. This report was compiled by the Department of Women after hosting dialogues across the country between March and June this year (2015). This report serves as a baseline document for the promotion of women’s socio-economic empowerment, gender equality and human rights.
Government will use the remainder of the month to profile women achievers and their participation in the economy, especially in areas where they are under-represented. These include the Women in Science Awards (13 August) and Women in Water and Sanitation Awards (23 August).
2.2. Cabinet commends the Proteas for making South Africa proud at the Netball World Cup in Sydney, Australia. The South African team is on the verge of qualifying for the semi-finals of the World Cup after having played rigorous and tough games thus far.
According to the International Netball Federation, South Africa is now ranked number five in the world. Cabinet calls on all South Africans to support the Proteas as they continue in the conquest at the World Cup.
2.3. Cabinet has joined President Zuma in conveying its condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the murdered members of the SAPS. Such senseless killings should be condemned by all South Africans.
Policemen and policewomen are central in protecting communities from criminal elements in our society. The senseless murders not only rob the country and society of law-enforcement officers, but they also deprive families of husbands, wives, brothers, sisters and parents.
Cabinet calls on those with information about these senseless murders to come forward and work with law-enforcement agencies to ensure that those responsible are arrested and face the full might of the law.
2.4. Cabinet congratulates Team South Africa on their outstanding performance at the 16th FINA (International Swimming Federation) World Championship in Kazan, Russia during which they won two gold and three silver medals.
3. Key Cabinet decisions
3.1. Cabinet approved the release for public consultation of the Green Paper on National Rail Policy, which addresses freight and passenger rail transportation. This policy, which is aligned to the work of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission, enables the revitalisation of the railway industry through strategic investment-led policy interventions that are aligned to the National Development Plan (NDP).
The aim is to create an efficient transport system that is able to compete locally and internationally, and reduce transportation costs. This will encourage the use of appropriate technologies to increase productivity and acquisition of much-needed skills in the economy. It also improves rural access, increased mobility and job creation.
3.2. Cabinet approved the circulation of the “National Skills Development Strategy and Sector Education and Training Authorities beyond 2016 within the context of an integrated, differentiated post-school education and training system” document for public consultation.
The document addresses the efficiency and effectiveness of skills development institutions and their integration into the broader post-school education and training system.
In particular, it proposes for the next National Skills Development Strategy to prioritise occupations that have been identified as being in high demand for the implementation of national priority programmes. It also addresses the efficiency and effectiveness of governance matters of sector education and training authorities in the issuing of grants for priority occupations.
3.3. Cabinet approved the issuing of a permanent operating licence to Transnet Ports Terminal to operate the manganese container terminal at the Port of Ngqura, located on the east coast of South Africa, 20 kilometres north east of Port Elizabeth and midway between Durban and Cape Town. This is in line with government priorities relating to Operation Phakisa on growing the Oceans Economy. This will result in relocating manganese operations from the ports of Port Elizabeth and Saldanha to the Port of Ngqura.
3.4. Cabinet approved for South Africa to accede to the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, 2010.
The convention ensures compensation for damage to persons and property, cost of clean-up and reinstatement measures, and economic losses resulting from the maritime transport of hazardous and noxious substances that may pollute the ocean. South Africa will be able to access the fund to assist in hazardous and noxious substances incidents once all the parliamentary processes to domesticate this convention have been completed.
4.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the Films and Publications Amendment Bill, 2015 to Parliament. The Bill amends the Films and Publications Act, 1996 (Act 65 of 1996). The amendments provide for technological advances, especially online and social-media platforms, in order to protect children from being exposed to disturbing and harmful media content in all platforms (physical and online).
The Bill strengthens the duties imposed on mobile networks and Internet service providers to protect the public and children during usage of their services. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa will not issue licences or renewals without confirmation from the Film and Publication Board of full compliance with its legislation.
5. Upcoming events
5.1. President Zuma will attend the 35th Ordinary Summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State from 17 to 18 August 2015 in Gaborone, Botswana. At the summit, the President will hand over the chairpersonship of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation. In this role, South Africa has led six SADC Electoral Observation Missions, which certified that all the elections were peaceful and credible.
5.2. Deputy President Ramaphosa will undertake a Working Visit to Japan from 24 to 25 August 2015. This visit includes a courtesy call to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and participation in the South Africa-Japan External Trade Organisation Business Seminar.
Cabinet welcomes the working visit to Japan, which will strengthen the friendship and mutual understanding that exists between the two countries. South Africa and Japan also share similar views on the importance of multilateralism and the need to reform the United Nations (UN) Security Council and UN system at the 70th UN General Assembly meeting next month.
5.3. President Zuma will undertake a Presidential Imbizo to Eersterust, Pretoria on 21 August 2015 to address issues related to substance abuse. The National Drug Master Plan, 2013-2017, coordinates government’s efforts in the fight against alcohol and substance abuse.
Cabinet calls on communities to work with government and law-enforcement agencies to rid our society of substance abuse, which is the cause of numerous social problems, including violence against women and child abuse. Parents and guardians have a critical role to play in ensuring that children are protected and nurtured.
5.4. Cabinet welcomes the opening of the newly upgraded Makgatho Lewanika Mandela Primary School in Mvezo in the Eastern Cape on 25 August 2015 by President Zuma.
The school is part of government’s ongoing work to restore dignity to learners and provide schools in rural areas with more modern facilities. Through the Department of Basic Education’s Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI), government has eradicated a number of poorly constructed schools and created a more conducive learning environment. So far, ASIDI has completed 116 schools and provided water to 499 schools, sanitation to 425 and electricity to 298.
5.5. Deputy President Ramaphosa will attend the International Federation of Library Associations’ World Library and Information Congress taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 15 to 21 August 2015 under the theme: “Dynamic Libraries: Access, Development and Transformation”.
The congress coincides with government’s roll-out of more than 1 000 school libraries across the country between 18 July 2015 and 18 July 2016 to encourage more learners to read. The Department of Basic Education is also lobbying various private business organisations and non-governmental organisations to support the campaign by donating books and establishing libraries, among other things.
Cabinet appeals to parents and teachers to endeavour to make books accessible to young people, and calls on communities to donate books and establish reading clubs because a reading nation is a winning nation.
5.6. Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom will launch Tourism Month on 16 August 2015 at Euphoria Golf Estate, Mookgophong in Limpopo under the theme: “A Million new opportunities Await”, which is derived from World Tourism Day (27 September) theme: “1 Billion Tourists – 1 Billion Opportunities”.
The international and local themes aim to make tourists aware of the importance of responsible tourism. As part of this, tourists are encouraged to respect cultures, protect heritage, save energy and water, and most importantly, buy regional products to support local jobs.
Cabinet encourages South Africans to explore our fascinating and beautiful country, and by doing so help maintain jobs and support local products.
5.7. The departments of sport and recreation and of women have partnered with G-Sport in honouring South African women who participate in sport.
The Department of Sport and Recreation and G-Sport will bestow honours on deserving women athletes and administrators who strove against all forms of oppression to raise the flag of this country.
The department remains conscious of the work needed in advancing the agenda for equality of all women involved in sport, both in administration and in participation. While the department recognises that more work still needs to be done in this regard, it is committed to joining hands with those who are determined to make a difference in the plight of women.
5.8. Cabinet encourages all South Africans to nominate recipients for the 2016 National Orders Awards, which are the highest awards that South Africa bestows on its citizens and eminent foreign nationals who have contributed towards the advancement of democracy and who have made a significant impact on improving the lives of South Africans.
The six National Orders are the Order of Mendi for Bravery, the Order of Ikhamanga, the Order of the Baobab, the Order of Luthuli, the Order of Mapungubwe, and the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo.
The closing date for nominations is 31 August 2015. Nomination forms can be downloaded from www.presidency.gov.za and must be accompanied by a one-page motivation for the nominated person.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
6.1. Non-executive members to the Board of the South African Post Office.
a. Dr Simosezwe Dugmore Lushaba – (Chairperson);
b. Ms Bulelwa Patricia Soci – (Deputy Chairperson);
c. Mr Robert Nkuna;
d. Mr Mduduzi Eric Zakwe;
e. Mr Zibuse Comfort Ngidi;
f. Ms Nomahlubi Victoria Simamane;
g. Dr Lynette Moretlo Molefi;
h. Ms Marion Lesego Dawn Marole;
i. Mr Joel Sihle Ngubane; and
j. Mr Phetole Elvis Rabohale.
6.2. Non-executive directors to the South African Forestry SOC Ltd
a. Mr Lungile Rudolph Mabece – (Chairperson);
b. Mr Stanley Mandla Mnguni;
c. Mr Gabriel Christiaan Theron;
d. Dr Petros Mbiji Mahlangu;
e. Mr Maroale Jacob Rachidi;
f. Ms Sakekile Baduza;
g. Ms Caroline Phumzile Mavasana Ngwenya;
h. Ms Nazia Carrim; and
i. Dr Pulane Elsie Molokwane.
6.3. Non-executive directors to the Board of Alexkor:
a. Ms Hantsi Bhetilda Mayeza – (Chairperson);
b. Ms Mamoroke Lehobye;
c. Mr Vimal Bansi;
d. Mr Tshediso John Matona;
e. Mr Trevern Marais Haasbroek;
f. Mr John Sembie Danana;
g. Dr Roger Paul (reappointment); and
h. Ms Zukiswa Zandile Ntlangula (reappointment).
6.4. Mr Mathanzima Hubert Mweli – Director-General (DG) in the Department of Basic Education.
6.5. Mr Petrus Mduduzi Shabane – extension of the employment contract of the DG in the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.
6.6. Dr Nontsikelelo Tshayingca-Mashiya – Deputy DG of Institutional Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
6.7. Mr Nkhumeleni Victor Tharage – DG in the Department of Tourism.
Ms Phumla Williams (Acting Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 083 501 0139
13 August 2015