Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 18 November 2015
1. Implementation of key government programmes
1.1. Cabinet commends the Department of Human Settlements for allocating houses in the Savanna City Integrated Human Settlements project in the Sedibeng District Municipality to indigent groups. Prominent South Africans joined industry stakeholders, including mayors and officials from the Sedibeng District Municipality, in painting the completed houses at the launch as well as gardening.
About 18 000 houses were built, benefitting the elderly, people with disabilities, and child-headed and women-headed families. Cabinet further welcomes the announcement that next year the department will launch a project, which will see the construction of 60 000 houses.
1.2. Cabinet welcomes the progress made by the Tshepo “hope” 10 000 project, which is helping to eradicate youth unemployment in the City of Tshwane. This multimillion-rand project by the City, in collaboration with the University of Pretoria, envisages to train 10 000 unemployed youth by giving them the skills and expertise needed to tender for the procurement of projects.
After completing training the youth establish and run successful cooperatives. So far, over 190 cooperatives have provided job opportunities to many young people. In addition, the city’s departments employ some of the youth that have been trained.
1.3. Cabinet welcomes the upgrading of the R25 (P6-1) road, a 42-kilometre road that links Gauteng and Limpopo. The project, which stretches between Bapsfontein and Bronkhorstspruit, has employed more than 200 people. It will also benefit the agricultural and mining sectors in the area by promoting faster movement of freight trucks that transport goods and services.
2. Key Cabinet decisions
2.1. Cabinet was briefed by the Department of Science and Technology, which will be hosting a major public science week: Science Forum South Africa 2015 under the theme: “Igniting conversation about science” from 8 to 9 December 2015, in Pretoria.
This event provides stakeholders from South Africa, the continent and international partners with a platform for debate and policy learning on the interface between science and society.
2.2. Cabinet approved that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) World Maritime Day Parallel Event be hosted in South Africa in 2020. The Ministry of Transport will therefore convey this decision of Cabinet to the IMO Council meeting scheduled to take place from 23 November to 04 December 2015.
3. Upcoming events
3.1. President Jacob Zuma will host his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for a two-day State Visit from 2 to 3 December. The visit aims to finalise the China-South Africa 5-10 Year Framework on Cooperation that will further entrench the implementation of our agreements since the conclusion of the Beijing Declaration in 2010. It will further deepen and expand on the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership that the two countries share.
South Africa’s relations with China remain central to realising its developmental agenda through its foreign policy as it increases efforts to implement the NDP, collaborate in agriculture, environmental affairs, trade and industry and finance as the country continues to drive the agenda of moving South Africa forward. It is also provides an opportunity to review progress on existing areas of trade and cooperation between the two nations, and to expedite and finalise new areas of cooperation.
3.2. President Zuma will lead a delegation to the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th Session of the Conference of Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP11) to be held from 30 November to 11 December 2015 in Paris, France.
The international negotiations for a new legal agreement will frame the response to climate change, which will come into effect from 2020 onwards. In line with South Africa’s national interest as an African and developing country that will require post-2020 support, South Africa will continue to defend the UNFCCC’s core principles of equity and differentiation.
At the Group of 77+China meeting, South Africa will seek to maintain and strengthen the unity of developing countries to obtain a Paris Agreement that is fair, ambitious, science-based and that produces the development space of developing countries.
3.3. President Zuma will launch the 16 Days of Activism Campaign for No Violence against Women and Children campaign on 25 November 2015 in Naauwpoort, Mahikeng under the theme: “Count Me In: Together Moving a Non-Violent South Africa Forward”. This campaign is commemorated as part of the 365 Days of Activism, which is a continuous campaign that raises awareness on violence against women and children, and mobilises individuals to be counted in the year long activism. Cabinet calls on all South Africans to support this campaign and to use this period to mobilise communities and partner with government to end violence against women and children - #CountMeIn.
3.4. Deputy President Ramaphosa will lead a government delegation in its regular engagement with the South African National Editors’ Forum on 21 November 2015 as part of government’s commitment and ongoing programme to strengthen relations with the media. Government will brief editors on key issues and upcoming plans while affording the editors an opportunity to raise areas of interest with government.
3.5. South Africa will mark World AIDS Day under a theme - “Towards an HIV-Free Generation: RISE. ACT. PROTECT. ZERO" – which is a call to action by communities. This year’s theme is informed by the United Nations World AIDS Day theme for 2011 to 2015 is: “Getting to Zero”. The 2015 World AIDS Day will further strengthen the dialogue around stigma and discrimination, and mobilise communities to respond to and expand access to prevention, treatment and support services.
The main event to commemorate World AIDS Day will be held in KwaZulu-Natal. This will set the tone for South Africa’s hosting of the 21st International AIDS Conference at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban from 17 to 22 July 2016. South Africa continues to make progress in the fight against HIV and AIDS, having expanded the country’s HIV treatment programme, with over three million people on antiretroviral treatment, further reducing mother-to-child transmission and recording improved tuberculosis indicators.
3.6. Cabinet encourages South Africans to participate in the Izimbizo events planned across the country during National Imbizo Focus Week from 30 November to 6 December 2015. This platform enables citizens to engage with members of the Executive.
National Imbizo Focus Week will take place under the theme: “Together we move South Africa forward” and will update communities on government’s implementation of the Nine-Point Plan towards igniting economic growth and creating jobs, as outlined by President Zuma in his February 2015 State of the Nation Address. Members of the Executive will also use the opportunity to galvanise community participation in tackling various social ills, including matters relating to violence against women and children.
3.7. December is Reconciliation Month and South Africa will mark Reconciliation Day on 16 December in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape under the theme: “Bridging the divide: Building a common South African nationhood towards a national developmental state”. The month has a special significance for the nation as it promotes reconciliation, peace and social cohesion on which the country’s new democratic dispensation was founded.
Cabinet encourages all South Africans to use the month to reach out to one another as the nation continues to work together to build a united and prosperous nation.
3.8. Cabinet reminds taxpayers who have not yet submitted their tax returns for the 2014/15 tax year that the deadline for submission is 27 November 2015. Cabinet thanks all taxpayers for partnering with government in providing much-needed services that help improve the lives of thousands of communities across the country.
3.9. Cabinet congratulates the Department of Social Development’s Gender-Based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC) for winning the Global Best Contact Centre Award in Las Vegas, USA, on Thursday, 5 November 2015. The GBVCC is a 24-hour call centre dedicated to providing support and counselling to victims of gender- based violence. This is another success story that shows a caring government that is resolute in the fight to stop Gender based violence.
3.10. Cabinet congratulates Eskom for operating 100 days without cutting power supply (load-shedding). Eskom reached this milestone on Tuesday, 17 November 2015. The 100 days of uninterrupted electricity supply does not suggest we must be complacent. Instead, Cabinet calls on communities to continue observing the energy saving interventions.
3.11. Cabinet congratulates nominees of the 2015 SA Sport Awards to be held on 22 November 2015 at the Sand du Plessis Theatre in Mangaung, Free State. The awards, convened under the theme: “Excellence is not being your best; it is doing your best”, celebrates 10 years of recognising and honouring individuals and teams who have excelled both on and off the field. South Africans are encouraged to support the event by voting for the 2015 Sports Star of the Year.
4. Cabinet’s position on key issues in the environment
4.1. Cabinet joined President Zuma and the international community in strongly condemning the recent terrorist attacks that took place in Beirut (Lebanon), Baghdad (Iraq), Yola (Nigeria) and Paris (France), which resulted in the loss of innocent lives and destruction of property. South Africa stands firm in its condemnation of all attacks targeting innocent civilians and reiterates its stance that terrorism, in whatever form and from whichever quarter, cannot be condoned.
4.2. Cabinet supports the actions of the Government Committee of Ministers on Water Scarcity and Drought to mitigate the effects of the drought and urges communities to use water sparingly in order to secure future supply.
Government has added R96,6 million to the initial R352,6 million set aside to support the country’s drought relief efforts. This includes the purchase of 45 water tankers for the distribution of water to affected areas, borehole drilling and rehabilitation, water conservation and demand management, and water source augmentations.
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform will in the worst affected regions allow the relocation of livestock onto state-owned land where there is still better pasture. In addition the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has coordinated with Mayors to implement various water saving measures under the guidance of the Department of Water and Sanitation.
These include introducing water restrictions; monitoring adherence to water restrictions; applying penalties where necessary; prioritising the repair of water leaks; promoting water-efficient technologies such as low-flush toilet cisterns; rainwater harvesting and the use of grey water for irrigation.
4.3. President Jacob Zuma led the South African delegation to the G20 Leaders Summit in Antalya, Turkey from 15 to 16 November 2015. The theme of the summit was inclusiveness, investment and implementation. South Africa is among 51 countries that signed the Agreement on Automatic Exchange to Tax Information in Berlin, Germany in October 2015. Countries will begin exchanging information in 2017, which will be underpinned by legislation currently before Parliament. President Zuma welcomed the conclusion of the 15 action items of the G20/Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project, which were critical to ensuring fairness and securing sub-Saharan Africa’s revenue base.
4.4. Members of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Council of Ministers met on 11 November 2015 in Windhoek, Namibia on the eve of the inauguration of the SACU headquarters and the informal discussion by the SACU Heads of State and Government. The council used the opportunity to reflect on the progress made on the Six-Point Plan since their last meeting and re-emphasized their commitment to SACU. The council agreed that SACU should move beyond revenue-sharing to a developmental initiative that will support integration in the region. Members also adopted a roadmap and work plan towards the summit that will be held in June 2016.
4.5. Cabinet welcomes the 2014-15 Audit Outcomes of national and provincial government. The report shows consistent improvement in almost all aspects of national and provincial government audit outcomes. It points to a steady trend towards good governance and sound financial management and reinforces good governance as more departments have received clean audits. The improvement further shows that government is working hard to ensure accountability in all areas of its work.
Despite this improvement, government has resolved to continue supporting departments with negative findings and to ensure that the whole government machinery is functioning optimally.
4.6. Cabinet welcomes the appointment by President Zuma of Judge Mandisa Muriel Maya as the Deputy President of the Supreme Court of Appeal in terms of section 174(4) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 and Justice Nonkosi Zoliswa Mhlantla as a judge of the Constitutional Court in terms of Section 174(3) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 respectively.
The appointments strengthens South Africa’s commitment to gender equality at the highest level and advances the transformation of the judiciary. Cabinet congratulates both judges and wish them all the best in the execution of this critical responsibility in the South African Judiciary.
4.7. Cabinet congratulates Dr S’thembile Ngidi who made history when she graduated from the College of Medicine South Africa as KwaZulu-Natal's first black female oncologist and only the second in the country.
4.8. Cabinet commends South African filmmaker Reina-Marie Loader whose documentary ‘Horn’ received many accolades, including a nomination for the Rhino Conservation Awards 2015 in July in the category Best Awareness, Education and Funding, and winning the award for the Best Conservation Film at the 2015 International Film Festival in New York City, USA.
4.9. Cabinet extends its condolences to the family and friends of the Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Ms Pamela Tshwete, on the loss of her mother, Mama Ruth Nomzi Zondeki.
4.10. Cabinet extends its condolences to the government of New Zealand, family, friends and the New Zealand Rugby Union on the loss of the rugby superstar, Jonah Tali Lomu, who has made a huge impact on the game.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
5.1. Extension of the Contract for five years of Mr Maswahle Diphofa – Director-General (DG): Department of Public Service and Administration.
5.2. Extension of the Contract for twelve months of Ms Nonkululeko Sindane – DG: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
5.3. Mr Livhuwani Tommy Makhode as the Deputy DG: Institutional Planning and Support in the Department of Science and Technology.
5.4. Mr Rory Gallocher as the Chief Executive Officer of the Social Housing Regulatory Authority.
5.5. Dr Pradish Rampersadh as the new Executive Director for the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions.
5.6. Mr Mark Barnes as the Group Chief Executive Officer of the South African Post Office.
5.7. Board of the Development Bank of Southern Africa:
i. Mr Jabulani Philip Moleketi – (re-appointment and Chairperson);
ii. Mr Msokoli Frans Baleni – (re-appointment and Deputy Chairperson);
iii. Ms Martie Janse van Rensburg – (Non-Executive Director);
iv. Ms Malijeng Theresa Ngqaleni – (Non-Executive Director); and
v. Ms Kameshni Naidoo – (re-appointment as Executive Director).
5.8. Board of the South African Special Risk Insurance Association Limited:
i. Ms Margaret Octavia Ndlovu – (re-appointment and Non-Executive Director); and
ii. Ms Bulelwa Mnkangisa – (re-appointment and Non-Executive Director).
Ms Phumla Williams (Acting Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 083 501 0139
19 November 2015