Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 4 November 2015

1. Implementation of key government programmes

1.1. Cabinet welcomes the R20-million Enterprise Development pilot project. This two-year pilot programme aims to revitalise South Africa’s industrial parks, establish specialised industrialised facilities and support the integration of local economic development in order to bolster the small business sector.

The project is a partnership with departments of trade and industry, small business development, National Treasury, and the Middle Income Grant of the African Development Bank. The project envisages to contribute towards job creation, reduce poverty in depressed communities, and improve access to technology and skills for small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).

The initiative will offer support to the SMME sector until December 2017. Based on its successes, government will consider rolling it out across the country.

1.2. Cabinet welcomes the launch by President Jacob Zuma of the Joint Operation Centre in Skukuza. This centre will coordinate operations against the scourge of rhino poaching in that area.

2. Key Cabinet decisions

2.1. Cabinet approved the Black Industrialists Policy, which is part of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP). This policy is in line with the National Development Plan and the Nine-Point Plan announced by President Zuma in the 2015 State of the Nation Address. 

It is also part of government’s broad industrialization initiatives to expand the industrial base and inject new entrepreneurial dynamism in the economy. It calls for bolder policy interventions on the part of the State to expand the industrial base of the country and grow the economy through dedicated support to black industrialists as highlighted in the IPAP.

This policy will focus on the growth and global competitiveness of black-owned enterprises. The intention is to contribute towards shifting the demographic composition of South Africa’s industrial sector and engage black industrialists, who are regarded as the underused sources of jobs, revenue, taxes and innovation. The policy will facilitate meaningful participation of majority black-owned and managed companies in the value chains in the industrial sector of the economy.

The Minister of Trade and Industry will hold a separate media briefing to unpack this policy.

2.2. Cabinet approved South Africa’s Third National Report on the Implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, for submission to the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The protocol governs the movements of Living Modified Organisms, also known as Genetically Modified Organisms resulting from modern biotechnology, from one country to another.

South Africa is the ninth largest producer of genetically modified crops in the world and remains the pioneer for the adoption of genetically modified crops. This is aligned to Section 24 of the Constitution, which advocates for sustainable use of biodiversity

2.3. Cabinet approved South Africa’s initial services offer in terms of the decision of the 9th World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Ministerial Conference to grant preferential treatment to Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

South Africa is committed to implement the WTO agreement, which provides preferential support to the LDCs. Of the 34 countries classified as LDCs, 25 are from Africa. South Africa’s initial offering will be in services in the financial services, telecommunications, tourism and transport sectors. Such an offering forms part form of easing market access for services and service providers into the markets of non-LDCs.

2.4. Cabinet approved a revised remuneration of 5.5% cost-of-living adjustment to be paid to members of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) with effect from 1 April 2015. This is in line with Section 9(1) of the SAHRC Act, 2013 (Act 40 of 2013).

2.5. Cabinet approved the submission of South Africa’s combined Second Periodic Report under the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the Initial Report under the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa.

The report to the African Union (AU) Commission is an evaluation of achievements and challenges in giving effect to civil, political, socio-economic and cultural rights. This is in line with South Africa being party to the AU Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.

2.6. Cabinet approved the introduction of a Lesotho dispensation to commence from 1 February 2016. This follows the special dispensation that was granted to Zimbabwe in 2010, which has subsequently been extended.

This dispensation will assist in better management of the labour flow of Lesotho nationals who come to South Africa in violation of the current immigration mechanisms.

The Minister of Home Affairs will provide more details at a media briefing at a later stage.

2.7. The Minister of Finance briefed Cabinet on the implementation of the Taxation Laws Amendment Act of 2013 and 2014 to take effect 1 March 2016. These reforms are aimed at harmonizing and simplifying the taxation of retirement contributions and benefits. Extending the tax benefit to cover members’ provident funds will enable over one million workers to enjoy a higher take-home salary.

This will also prevent tax avoidance practices by higher-income earners to a maximum of 27.5 per cent of remuneration or taxable income up to R350 000.

The Minister also briefed Cabinet on the principle of annuitisation for all retirement funds, whereby those benefitting from the tax deduction also have to annuitise part of their savings at retirement.

These reforms are being implemented after extensive consultations with all stakeholders within and outside the National Economic Development and Labour Council, with at least 33 meetings held with labour and industry since 2012. The overwhelming majority of stakeholders have indicated their full support for proceeding with the reforms on 1 March 2016.

3. Bills

3.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the Broadcasting Amendment Bill of 2015 to Parliament. The Bill amends the Broadcasting Act, 1999 (Act 4 of 1999) so as to develop and implement a stable corporate governance model that ensures long-term stability and sustainability of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

Government is committed to a strong, independent and relevant public broadcaster, which is accountable to the shareholder, the public and Parliament.

The ability to discharge its mandate is dependent on the optimal performance of the SABC Board in providing strategic direction to the public broadcaster.

3.2. Cabinet approved for the Insurance Bill of 2015 to be introduced in Parliament.

The Bill provides a consolidated legal framework for the prudential supervision of the insurance sector that is consistent with international standards for insurance regulation. The Bill enhances the current risk management, capital and governance requirements. It replaces and consolidates substantial parts of the Long-term Insurance Act, 1998 (Act 52 of 1998) and the Short-term Insurance Act, 1998 (Act 53 of 1998) relating to prudential supervision.

3.3. Cabinet approved the publication of the Draft African Exploration Mining and Finance Bill in the Government Gazette, for public comment. The Bill establishes the African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation through legislation. It also defines its mandate and strategic objectives. It strengthens the governance and oversight of the entity.

3.4. Cabinet approved the introduction of the Protected Disclosures Amendment Bill of 2015 in Parliament. The Bill extends the application of the Protected Disclosures Act, 2000 (Act 26 of 2000) beyond the traditional employer and employee relationship.

The amendments regulate joint liability, introduce a duty to investigate disclosures, provide for immunity against civil and criminal liability in certain circumstances and criminalise intentional false disclosures.

The Bill contributes to government’s commitment to fight fraud and corruption by strengthening the protection of whistleblowers.

3.5. Cabinet approved the introduction of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Bill of 2015 in Parliament. The Bill amends the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act, 1998 (Act 46 of 1998).

The Bill will assist the Road Traffic Infringement Agency and the issuing authorities to be financially stable, and it also introduces efficiencies in serving notices to infringers.

4. Upcoming events

4.1. President Zuma will attend the G20 Summit on 15 and 16 November 2015 in Antalya, Turkey, where the focus will be on inclusive and robust growth through collective action. 

Leaders at the summit will discuss inclusiveness, implementation and investment to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth at a global level.

4.2. President Zuma will undertake an Official Visit to Berlin, Germany on 10 November 2015, where he will be hosted by Chancellor Angela Merkel. The President will also pay a courtesy call to President Joachim Gauck.

During the visit the two countries will reconfirm their commitment to further enhance bilateral and economic relations.

4.3. President Zuma will receive Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the Union Buildings on 17 November 2015.

Following this, Prime Minister Rutte will lead a business delegation to Johannesburg and Cape Town which will focus on agriculture, healthcare, transport, infrastructure, water and energy. 

4.4. South Africa will host the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit in Johannesburg on 4 and 5 December 2015. The objectives of the summit are to profile the 5-10 Year Strategic Programme for Cooperation between South Africa and China (2015-2024) and to promote bilateral agreements between the two countries.

4.5. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead a high-level delegation on an Official Visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran from 7 to 9 November 2015, to further bilateral political and economic relations between the two countries. 

4.6. President Zuma will on 6 November 2015 conduct a Siyahlola monitoring visit to Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga, which will focus on water and sanitation.

A total of 16 600 households are benefitting from Phase 1 of government’s water project in the area, which delivers water to 24 villages in the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality.

Government remains committed to ensuring that all South Africans have access to basic services. Between 2002 and 2014, the percentage of households that have access to water increased from 80 per cent to 86 per cent, while sanitation increased from 62 per cent to 80 per cent.

4.7. President Zuma will attend the inauguration of the President-elect of the United Republic of Tanzania, His Excellency Mr John Pembe Magufuli, on 5 November 2015.

5. Congratulatory message

5.1. Cabinet congratulates the public servants who were nominated in the 3rd National Batho Pele Excellence Awards. The awards take place on 13 November 2015 at Emperor’s Palace, Gauteng under the theme: “Batho Pele – Putting People First”. They reward best practice, good performance and gauge citizens’ satisfaction towards government performance.

5.2. Cabinet congratulates the government and the people of both the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the United Republic of Tanzania for holding peaceful elections. The massive participation by the Ivoirians and Tanzanians in the general elections reflects their understanding of the importance of exercising their civic duty and fundamental rights. It is an indication of the maturation of the democratization process on the continent.

5.3. Cabinet   congratulates the Springbok team for their performance in the International Rugby Board 2015 World Cup. The team brought home the bronze medal.

5.4. Cabinet congratulates the South African swimming team for concluding the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup in Doha, Qatar.

Cameron van der Burgh won a gold medal in the 100 metres breaststroke race, Chad le Clos in the 100 metres butterfly also managed a fourth place finish in the 200 metres backstroke win. Michael Meyer won silver in the 200 metres individual medley. Douglas Erasmus won a bronze medal in the fast pace 50 metres freestyle. Kaylene Corbett came eighth in the 50 metres breaststroke final while Calvyn Justus also finished eighth in the 200 metres freestyle.

6. Conferences

6.1. Cabinet welcomes delegates attending the 4th BRICS International Competition Conference from 12 to 13 November 2015 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre, Durban under the theme: “Competition and Inclusive Growth”.

This brings together experts in competition law to explore how competition policy can contribute to inclusive growth and economic development in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries.

South Africa’s strong competition regulation enables citizens to participate fairly in the national economy. It promotes the involvement of more people in the productive sectors of the economy and levels the playing field in business.

South Africa’s competition regulation contributes to greater citizen participation and it has made material strides in combating cartels and price-fixing. It has led the way in the application of public interest considerations in mergers and acquisitions.

6.2. Transport Minister Dipuo Peters will attend the Second Global Conference for Ministers of Transport from 18 to 20 November 2015 in Brazil, where South Africa will table its Mid-Term Country Report of progress made on the implementation of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 Global Plan.

South Africa committed itself to reduce road carnage by 50 per cent from 13 967 to below 7 000 by 2020. South Africa is making significant strides in achieving the targets as set out in the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 Global Plan, despite challenges currently facing the country.

7. Cabinet’s position on key issues in the environment

7.1. Addressing constraints to job creation remains a top priority for government. The Medium Term Budget Policy Statement highlighted a global economic growth that has slowed, with depressed commodity prices and increased unemployment in many parts of the world.

This was reflected in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, which for the third quarter of 2015 recorded unemployment at 25.5 per cent, marginally up from 25.4 per cent in the same quarter last year.

This underscores the need for all sectors to work with government in support of the country’s initiatives to create employment opportunities and get more South Africans into work.
Government, through the Nine-Point Plan, is working to ignite growth and create jobs by unlocking new opportunities in strategic economic areas.

7.2. Cabinet welcomes the announcement by President Zuma of a zero-percent increase at tertiary institutions for the 2016 academic year. This decision brings much needed monetary relief, especially to the poor, working class and lower middle class families with university students.

Cabinet further welcomes the decision by the President to establish a commission to look into all the issues raised by the students. The President will be announcing the commission together with its terms of reference in due course.

7.3. Cabinet welcomes the interventions by the Department of Water and Sanitation to assist communities in KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State affected by the recent drought. Areas that are supplied by the country’s larger regional water supply dams and schemes remain water secure as these systems are currently in a positive water balance with a national average dam storage at 66 per cent full.

Cabinet welcomes the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Water Security chaired by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Pravin Gordhan. The IMC consists of Ministers of Rural Development and Land Reform; Water and Sanitation, and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The committee will discuss and propose further interventions to the communities mostly affected by the drought.

7.4. Cabinet noted developments in Nigeria regarding MTN’s US$5.2 billion fine by the Nigerian Communications Commission. Cabinet trusts that the discussions underway between MTN and Nigerian authorities will result in the speedy resolution of the disputes so as to ensure MTN continues its business of investing in the Nigerian economy.

8. Condolences

8.1. Cabinet was saddened about the untimely death of Chumani Nqakula, the son of Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Charles Nqakula, a Member of Parliament. Cabinet conveys its sincerest condolences to the Nqakula family and friends.

8.2. Cabinet extends its heartfelt condolences to the family and relatives of Public Service and Administration Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi, on the passing of his 95-year-old mother, Mmatlou Elizabeth Ramatlhodi.

9. Appointments

All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.

1. Mr Mogojare Richard Seleka as the Director-General (DG) in the Department of Public Enterprises; and

2. Mr Robert Moeketsa Ramasodi as the Deputy DG: Agricultural Production, Health and Food Security in the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

9.1. Board of the Road Traffic Management Corporation:

a) Ms Daphline Harridene Charlotte-Ann Ewertse – Non-Executive Member; and
b) Mr Thulani Matiki Norman Kgomo – Non-Executive Member.

9.2. Board of the Public Investment Corporation:

a) Ms Lindiwe Toyi – Non-Executive Director;
b) Ms Sandra Beswick – Non-Executive Director;
c) Ms Tantaswa Fubu – Non-Executive Director;
d) Dr Claudia Manning – Non-Executive Director;
e) Mr Pitsi Paul Moloto – Non-Executive Director; and
f) Ms Matshepo Faith More – re-appointment as Chief Financial Officer.

9.3. Board of the Housing Development Agency:

a) Mr Mavuso Walter Msimang – Chairperson;
b) Mr Maanda Emmanuel Mutheiwana;
c) Mr Pravin Amar Singh;
d) Mr Thuthuka Siphumezile Songelwa; and
e) Mr Nkululeko Nkosingiphile Vilakazi – representative of the Minister of Public Works.

Enquiries: Ms Phumla Williams (Acting Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 083 501 0139

Issued by:
Government Communications
5 November 2015




 

 

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