Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 26 August 2015
1. Current issues
1.1. Cabinet welcomed Unit 6 of Medupi Power Station in Lephalale, Limpopo coming into full commercial operation and contributing 800 megawatts (MW) power into the national grid. The Medupi Power Station Project is a greenfield coal-fired power plant comprising six units rated in total at 4 764 MW installed capacity. President Jacob Zuma will launch this unit on 30 August 2015.
Construction of the Medupi Power Station started in May 2007 and all six units are expected to be operational in the first half of 2019. Once completed, it will be the fourth largest coal-fired plant and the largest dry-cooled power station in the world. The planned operational life of the power station is 50 years.
Unit 6 was first synchronised to the national grid on 2 March this year and has been supplying electricity to the national grid intermittently whilst undergoing regular optimisation tests. During this period Unit 6 has been able to alleviate pressure on the national electricity system, helping to either avoid load-shedding altogether or minimise its severity. The unit’s commercial operation has been achieved, well within the normally stipulated period of six months after first synchronisation.
The commercial operation of Unit 6 of the Medupi Power Station is a critical milestone in our effort to build new generating capacity.
1.2. Cabinet further appreciated the current constraints the country still faces on the power supply. While load-shedding is regrettable, Eskom is committed to perform the necessary maintenance to improve the long-term health of our plants with reasonable disruptions. Next Monday (31 August), Unit 2 of the Koeberg Power Station in the Western Cape will be shut down for planned maintenance.
1.3. The unit is expected to return to service after three months. The scheduled shutdown of Koeberg Unit 2 is part of Eskom’s overall maintenance programme for its fleet of power stations. Every 16 to 18 months, each of the two units at Koeberg is shut down for refueling, inspection and maintenance. The routine shutdowns are scheduled so as to avoid having both units out of service at the same time and to avoid the winter months in each year.
1.4. Whilst we continue to make progress in improving our electricity generation capacity, Cabinet calls on South Africans to continue using electricity sparingly.
2. Summit of Heads of State and Government
2.1. Cabinet welcomed the outcomes from the 35th Ordinary Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit of Heads of State and Government, wherein President Zuma led the South African delegation.
The summit adopted the revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2015-2020. The summit further signed three agreements/protocols that will enable the region to address its key challenges of unemployment and poverty eradication in a sustainable way.
- Agreement amending the Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation (Protocol) and Agreement amending the Treaty of the SADC (Treaty). These agreements will allow the Inter-State Defence and Security Committee of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation to serve as a coordinating forum for the Chiefs of Corrections and Prisons in Southern Africa.
- Declaration on Youth Development and Empowerment draws attention to the urgency of youth development and empowerment in the context of regional cooperation, integration, development and peace, and security in the region.
- Protocol on Trade Services to liberalise intra-SADC trade in services with a view to creating a single market for services in the region. The adoption of the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2015-2020 was a major milestone in SADC’s endeavors to promote intra-regional trade.
Cabinet also welcomed the decision of the SADC Double Troika meeting, held on the margins of the SADC Summit attended by Deputy President and SADC Facilitator Cyril Ramaphosa, to reaffirm the current terms of reference for the SADC Commission of Inquiry into the Kingdom of Lesotho.
3. Visit to Japan by Deputy President
3.1. Cabinet welcomed the successful visit of Deputy President Ramaphosa to Japan. He was accompanied by a high-level ministerial and business delegation to promote South Africa as a preferred investment destination.
The Deputy President reassured Japanese investors that South Africa was open for business and briefed them on the country’s sound macro-economic stability and conducive business environment for investment, particularly in ventures that create jobs.
Deputy President Ramaphosa also used the visit to secure commitments from Japan to partner with South Africa in its efforts to combat the scourge of HIV and AIDS, TB and Malaria.
4. Key Cabinet decisions
4.1. Cabinet approved the bid of South Africa and the City of Durban to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. This is the first time that Africa will host the Commonwealth Games and will position South Africa as a sport tourism destination and also provide opportunities for Team South Africa.
Hosting will also make use of the infrastructure legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games is expected to deliver up to R20 billion in output to the economy, translating into an additional R11 billion GDP growth.
4.2. Cabinet approved the publication of South Africa’s 5th Periodic Report (2009-2014) on the Implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women in the Government Gazette, for public comment.
The report provides an overview of the effectiveness of the range of laws, policies and programmes implemented in South Africa and highlights the achievements the country has made on women’s empowerment and gender equality. The report also recognises the persistent challenges and barriers to overcoming inequality and discrimination in the country.
4.3. Cabinet approved for South Africa to join the Advisory Centre on World Trade Organisation (WTO) Law in Geneva.
This is an international organisation that provides legal advice on WTO law, support in WTO dispute settlement proceedings and training in WTO law to developing and least developed countries.
As a member South Africa will be able to source advice on the compatibility of trade measures of other countries that affect South African exports and of trade measures that South Africa wants to introduce. The centre can also assist South Africa in WTO dispute settlement cases.
4.4. Cabinet was briefed on the Minister of Finance, Mr Nhlanhla Nene, assuming the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, for a year. As a result the Minister will host the 2015 annual meeting of the council.
The regional intergovernmental body promotes consistent implementation of measures to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism across the southern and eastern Africa region.
The aim of South Africa’s membership is to strengthen measures regionally against money laundering and financing of terrorism, which promotes national security both domestically and regionally.
4.5. Cabinet continues to condemn the senseless killing of police officers. Cabinet calls on members of public to work with the police in assisting to arrest the perpetrators of these killings. The law-enforcement agencies are working round the clock to ensure all the perpetrators of these criminal acts are apprehended. Cabinet thanks the members of the public who contributed to the arrest of the three people linked to police killings.
5.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the Foreign Service Bill, 2015 to Parliament.
The Bill provides for a single Foreign Service system and creates an enabling legislative framework through which the current Foreign Service will be managed and regulated by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
The Bill will be operationalised in the context of the Constitution, existing legislations applicable to the Public Service, security services and it is aligned to the NDP in enhancing service delivery.
This will enhance efficiency, accountability and cost-effectiveness of capitalizing on opportunities abroad to advance South Africa’s foreign policy and developmental agenda.
5.2. Cabinet approved the tabling of the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Bill, 2015 in Parliament. The Bill contributes to the NDP’s key target of broadening social cohesion and unity while addressing the inequalities of the past by providing for the statutory recognition of the Khoisan communities and leaders.
It proposes the establishment of an Advisory Committee on Khoisan matters which will assist government with the recognition process relating to Khoisan communities and leaders.
The Bill also consolidates existing national traditional leadership legislation which will result in the repeal of the National House of Traditional Leaders Act, 2009 (Act 22 of 2009) and the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act, 2003 (Act 41 of 2003).
6. Upcoming events
6.1. President Zuma will launch the War on Water Leaks project, announced in his 2015 State of the Nation Address, in Port Elizabeth on 28 August 2015, as part of government’s programme to address water loss from leaks.
The project will train 15 000 young people as artisans and plumbers to fix leaks within their communities; it will give them skills to start their own businesses or find suitable employment. The first intake of 3 000 is being recruited for the current financial year.
Water leaks account for nearly 40 per cent of the nation’s water loss and costs the country R7 billion a year.
6.2. President Zuma will attend the 70th Anniversary of the End of the Occupation of China and World War II in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from 2 to 4 September 2015, and will have a bilateral engagement with President Xi Jinping.
South Africa’s relations with the PRC is at the level of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership underpinned by the Beijing Declaration on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which covers all relations between the two countries.
6.3. Cabinet calls on all South Africans to celebrate our history and diverse cultures as the country marks Heritage Month in September under the theme: “Our indigenous knowledge, our heritage: Towards the identification, promotion and preservation of South African’s living heritage”.
This year’s commemoration will take the format of a cultural fair and communities are encouraged to use their living heritage such as food, craft, dance and music to promote cultural diversity, human rights, nation-building and economic development.
6.4. South Africa will also celebrate Tourism Month in September, which is an opportune time for families to visit the country’s heritage sites to reconnect with our past.
During Heritage Month, the Department of Arts and Culture will undertake a sod turning on the National Heroes Acre in Pretoria to signal the start of construction of a national monument that will depict the pre-colonial era, liberation struggle and the different heroes who fought for social progress.
6.5. The annual South African Police Service (SAPS) National Commemoration Day on 6 September 2015 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria will celebrate the courage and dedication of officers who paid the ultimate price to protect communities.
Through the SAPS recruitment campaign an additional 6 252 members will be enlisted during the 2015/16 financial year to enhance detective services, visible policing, crime intelligence, forensic services, including protection and security services.
Cabinet calls on our youth to consider a career in the SAPS, which offers numerous opportunities. More information can be obtained on www.saps.gov.za.
6.6. The annual Public Service Month will take place across the Public Service in September under the theme “Moving South Africa forward: Taking the Public Service to the people”.
The month will highlight government services, dedication, commitment and excellence in public service delivery. Feedback will be provided on progress made following the 2014 public service-wide consultative meetings and engagements with frontline public servants on “reinventing the way public servants work”.
An efficient public service is a key requirement to deliver on the NDP and Cabinet calls on public servants to recommit to the Batho Pele principles by delivering high quality, cost-effective and efficient services to all South Africans.
6.7. Cabinet was briefed on progress made for hosting the XIV World Forestry Congress of the Food and Agriculture Organisation to be held from 7 to 11 September 2015 in the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre, KwaZulu-Natal.
The theme “Forests and People: Investing in a Sustainable Future” reflects people-centered forestry, forestry’s role in socio-economic development, needs and opportunities for investments, and the role of forests in economic development. This relates directly to government’s priorities on poverty eradication, rural development and job creation. The congress will also focus on water scarcity and climate change.
This is the first World Forestry Congress to be held in Africa and provides an opportunity to profile the continent on the global forestry stage. An outreach programme will inform the public, including vulnerable groups, about possible participation.
The congress will follow National Arbor Week (1 to 7 September) under the theme “Here’s to a new Forest” and appeals to South Africans to plant just one tree today and help invest in a sustainable future.
7. Congratulatory message
7.1. Cabinet wishes success to the country’s athletes competing in the 15th World Championships in Athletics currently taking place in Beijing, China and those participating in the 11th All-Africa Games between 4 and 19 September 2015 in Brazzaville, Congo.
Cabinet calls on South Africans to unite behind our athletes as they fly our flag high and make the nation proud.
7.2. Cabinet joins President Zuma in congratulating the SABC journalists Dennis Tshetlhane and Sam Msibi for winning the Television Category of the SADC Media Awards, and high-school learner Imbelani Matibe for winning the SADC Essay School Category Competition.
7.3. Cabinet thanks all the South Africans that joined in the celebrations of the Women’s Month. The events that were held by various organisations and government which celebrated the success we have made in addressing the gender disparities in our society. The month was used to reflect on the challenges we still face in respective the abuse of women and children
7.4. Cabinet wishes Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, who was admitted over the weekend to the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, a speedy recovery. He has since been discharged and is recuperating at home.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
8.1. South African Weather Services Board:
a) Ms Ntsoaki Mngomezulu – (re-appointment and Chairperson);
b) Dr Nolulamo Nobambiswano (Lulu) Gwagwa – (re-appointment and Deputy Chairperson);
c) Mr Rowan Graham Nicholls – (re-appointment);
d) Mr Jonty Tshipa – (re-appointment);
e) Prof Elizabeth Mokotong – (re-appointment);
f) Ms Kea Modimoeng;
g) Adv Derek Block;
h) Ms Sowbakiam Mudly-Padayachie;
i) Ms Nandipha Daphne Madiba;
j) Dr David Jasper Gilbert Rees;
k) Mr David Lefutso;
l) Ms Judy Beaumont – (Director-General (DG) of Environmental Affairs representative); and
m) Dr Linda Makuleni – (Chief Executive Officer (CEO)).
8.2. iSimangaliso Board:
a) Mr Paul Ndukuzempi Buyani Zwane – (re-appointment and Chairperson);
b) Ms Barbara Schreiner – (Deputy Chairperson);
c) Prof Antonia Thandi Nzama – (re-appointment);
d) Ms Poppy Senelisiwe Dlamini – (re-appointment);
e) Mr Zwelenzima Thwalizwe Gumede – (re-appointment);
f) Ms Thobile Etherfrida Mhlongo – (re-appointment);
g) Ms Sibongile Daphne Nene;
h) Mr Satish Roopa;
i) Ms Thumeka Sharon Ntloko – (DG of Environmental Affairs representative);
j) Mr Andrew Zaloumis – (CEO); and
k) Mr Bhekithemba Langalibalele – (Department of Tourism representative).
8.3. Non-executive members appointed to the Board of the Cross-Border Road Transport Agency:
a) Ms Reitumetse Masemola; and
b) Barend Christoffel Deysel.
8.4. Non-executive members appointed to the Ports Regulator:
a) Mr Thaba Mufamadi – (Chairperson);
b) Ms Anjue Hirachun;
c) Mr Riad Khan;
d) Mr Lindelwe Mabandla;
e) Ms Gerdileen Taylor;
f) Adv Gugulethu Abigail Thimane;
g) Ms Patricia Ntombizodwa Mazibuko – (re-appointment);
h) Mr Aubrey Bongani Ngcobo – (re-appointment);
i) Ms Thato Abegail Tsautse – (re-appointment); and
j) Mr Andile Mahlalutye – (re-appointment).
8.5. Non-executive appointments to the Board of the Air Traffic Navigation Services:
a) Ms Phindile Riba – (Chairperson);
b) Mr President Qiniso Dhlamini;
c) Dr Bridget Ssamula;
d) Mr Bennet Phonthana Malebo;
e) Mr Isaac Nkama;
f) Ms Shaila Hari;
g) Mr Daniel Gray Mwanza;
h) Adv Edwin Matane Mphahlele;
i) Mr Sfiso Norbert Buthelezi;
j) Ms Nwabisa Mtshali;
k) Mr Arthur James Bradshaw; and
l) Ms Hlengiwe Thandeka Makhathini – (re-appointment).
8.6. Non-executive members appointed to the Board of Small Enterprise Development Agency:
a) Ms Anjue Hirachund; and
b) Ms Zanele Monnakgotla.
8.7. Board of the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority:
a) Ms MW Hlahla – (Chairperson);
b) Mr JRD Modise – (Deputy Chairperson);
c) Mr SN Khondlo;
d) Dr MJ Ellman;
e) Ms ZP Manase;
f) Ms SFS Makhathini;
g) Ms M Nakene; and
h) Mr S Roopa.
8.8. Mr Ian van Niekerk – Chief Financial Officer of Broadband Infraco.
8.9. Mr Zukile Christopher Mvalo – Deputy DG: Skills Development in the Department of Higher Education and Training.
8.10. Ms Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter – Deputy DG: International Trade and Economic Development in the Department of Trade and Industry.
8.11. Mr Tshediso John Matona – Secretary for National Planning in the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
Ms Phumla Williams (Acting Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 083 501 0139
28 August 2015