Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 28 February 2018
Cabinet met on Wednesday, 28 February 2018, at Tuynhuys, Cape Town.
A. Issues in the environment
1. National Budget Speech
1.1. Cabinet appreciates the overwhelming confidence expressed in the 2018 National Budget which was tabled in Parliament, Cape Town, last week. In the recent spirit of renewal that has gripped our great nation, Cabinet calls on all South Africans to partner with government to grow our economy and create much-needed jobs.
1.2. The reduction in expenditure of R85 billion over the next three years demonstrates government’s commitment to fiscal consolidation and the prudent allocation of resources to grow the economy.
1.3. The steps announced to slow the pace of debt accumulation and contain the budget deficit greatly improve our fiscal framework and give South Africans confidence in the future prospects of our economy.
1.4. Cabinet is resolute that the interventions will reflect in our country’s economic growth, affirm its economic standing and safeguard its investment grade status.
1.5. The 2018 National Budget supports the poor in our society through a comprehensive social assistance programme and fee-free tertiary education for students from poor households.
1.6. As a response to the concern raised on the Value-Added Tax (VAT) increases proposed, Cabinet is considering expanding the list of basic goods that are zero-rated on VAT.
2. Nelson Mandela Centenary
2.1. Cabinet joins President Cyril Ramaphosa in his call on South Africans to reaffirm a shared commitment to serve people as we continue to celebrate the centenary of the birth of former President Nelson Mandela. Madiba is the first President of a Democratic South Africa and would have turned 100 years of age on 18 July 2018.
2.2. Madiba is a global icon who is revered worldwide as a Champion of Human Rights, non-racism and non-sexism. He played a critical role in unifying South Africans, and inspiring democratic unity across Africa and the globe.
2.3. The first celebration of Nelson Mandela’s centenary took place during the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2018. A number of events will be held throughout the country this year to reflect on the life of Tata Madiba.
2.4. Cabinet calls upon all South Africans to join in the centenary celebrations in their workplaces, schools, churches and civic organisations. It calls on each one of us this year to emulate the values of Nelson Mandela by working in our respective ways to build a united, non-racist, non-sexist and prosperous country.
2.5. The country also celebrates the centenary of one of the great daughters of the African soil Mama Albertina Sisulu, who dedicated her life to fight for the emancipation of women and the liberation of South Africa. Cabinet will in the next meeting also outline a programme for the celebration of the Centenary of Mama Albertina Sisulu.
3.1. Cabinet appreciates the relentless efforts made by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Drought together with stakeholders in all spheres of government and society in dealing with the persistent drought conditions that have hit several parts of the country.
3.2. Apart from the fact that South Africa is a water-scarce country, the effects of global warming continue to affect the rain patterns, thus causing our dam levels to remain low.
3.3. The Inter-Ministerial Task Team on Drought continues to facilitate work between national government, provinces and municipalities in all drought-affected areas. This includes implementing short, medium and long-term measures to address and mitigate the potential impact of this drought.
3.4. Government has made funds available to provide short-term assistance to affected provinces. It has provided a relief grant worth R473 million and an additional R6 billion in the 2018/19 financial year to augment water infrastructure in the Western Cape‚ Eastern Cape and Northern Cape.
3.5. Cabinet calls on all to continue to work with government in conserving water by using it responsibly and sparingly. Cabinet remains committed to making South Africa a country of choice for visitors and potential investors alike.
4. Police killings
4.1. Cabinet expresses condolences to the families and friends of the five police officers and a former soldier who were recently brutally murdered in an attack on the Ngcobo Police Station in the Eastern Cape.
4.2. Cabinet strongly condemns any senseless killing of our servicemen and women. The loss of one police officer, soldier or any other person who serves to protect society and our people is unacceptable.
4.3. Cabinet has committed, through the Minister of Police, to do whatever possible to capacitate our police stations to prevent such attacks in the future.
4.4. Cabinet further appeals to parents and society at large to ensure children are kept safe at all times and to partner with law-enforcement agencies to protect the rights of our children. Any form of abuse against a child must be exposed and reported immediately. By working together, we can keep our communities safe and ensure that criminal elements have no place to hide.
B. Cabinet decisions
1. Cabinet approved the Draft Revised White Paper on National Transport Policy to be published for public comments. The policy aims to provide a transport system that is integrated with other related sector plans so as to reduce both the cost of commuting and doing business. It also aligns the country’s transportation plans to the global transportation trends.
2. Cabinet approved the Green Paper on Roads Policy for South Africa to be published for public comments. The policy provides the overarching framework that ensures South Africa’s roads are better managed, safer and include all modes of transport to deliver a sustainable approach to roads management. It guides the road regulations, infrastructure, safety, road funding and non- motorised transport.
3. Cabinet was briefed on the findings of the 2015/16 National Survey of Research and Experimental Development (R&D Survey).
R&D is an integral part of the country’s socio-economic development. This has been collective efforts of government, industry and research institutions. The report is available on the Department of Science and Technology (DST) website: www.dst.gov.za.
4. Cabinet approved the designs of the 2018 commemorative collector’s coin series, which will be produced by the South African Mint Company. The 2018 designs collection will be celebrating the Nelson Mandela Centenary. These collections were preceded by the 2017 commemorative coins that celebrated South Africa under the theme of Freedom, Democracy and Cultures.
1. Cabinet approved the submission of the Customary Initiation Bill of 2018 to Parliament. The Bill seeks to protect, promote and regulate the governance aspect of the practice of customary initiation.
It provides national norms and standards aimed at the protection of life and the prevention of injuries and all forms of abuse experienced by initiates.
2. Cabinet approved for the submission of the National Qualifications Framework Amendment Bill of 2016 to Parliament. The Bill, which amends the National Qualifications Framework Act, 2008 (Act 67 of 2008), strengthens the Act by improving measures to deal with issues of misrepresentation, imposes consequences on persons who misrepresent their qualifications or organisations that issue invalid qualifications.
It also proposes regulations to ensure that fraudulent qualifications are referred to the relevant professional bodies (database of individuals who misrepresented their qualifications). It also addresses the accreditation of foreign qualifications.
3. Cabinet approved the Railway Safety Bill of 2017 to be published for public comments. The Bill seeks to improve railway safety and create a governance structure to oversee the work of the Rail Safety Regulator of South Africa. It is also aligned to the National Rail Policy regarding the strengthening of safety monitoring, and the promotion and enforcement of safety in our railways.
4. Cabinet approved for the Draft Economic Regulation of Transport Bill of 2017 to be published for public comments and consultation. The Bill addresses the regulatory and capacity gaps in respect of provision of a cost-effective and efficient transport system.
D. Upcoming events
1. South Africa will be hosting the Southern African Development Community Ministers of Labour, Employment and Social Security, as Chair, from 1 to 2 March 2018 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The theme of the conference is: “Horizon decent work: Advancing connectivity, coherence and inclusivity”. Participants will include social partners – organised business, labour and community.
2. President Ramaphosa in his capacity as the Chair of SADC will undertake consultative visits to Angola, Botswana and Namibia from 2 to 3 March 2018. He will be accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu and Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Maphisa Nqakula.
3. South Africa will co-host the 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) from 7 to 9 March 2018 in Cape Town under the theme: “Uniting the World for a Tobacco-free Generation”. This is the first hosting in Africa.
The WTCOH calls for committed action and provides a platform for governments, civil-society organisations, United Nations agencies, international organisations, health workers and other stakeholders to discuss shared knowledge and experiences, particularly regarding to youth and women who are exposed to tobacco use.
Hosting the conference contributes towards addressing the National Development Plan’s goals by creating awareness and education on the harmful effects of tobacco use, and the need to intensify tobacco control measures.
4. On the 10 and 11 March the IEC will open the Voting Registration Centres for people to come and register and check their registration details.
Cabinet urges all eligible voters to visit their voting stations to update the voters’ roll in preparation for the 2019 general elections. Cabinet particularly calls on first-time voters to ensure they participate in their constitutional democratic right to vote by going to register to vote.
This registration weekend is a milestone towards the culmination of a two-year project to obtain the residential addresses of all registered voters.
The voting stations will be open between 08:00 and 17:00 to assist new voters to register to vote, and allow registered voters who have relocated to reregister in their correct voting district and update their address details on the voters’ roll.
1. Cabinet commends all teachers who were honoured at the 18th National Teaching Awards which took place in Johannesburg on Saturday, 17 February 2018. The awards recognised outstanding teaching and leadership in several categories, including the Nelson Mandela Lifetime Achievement Award and Professor Kader Asmal Award.
2. Cabinet conveys its condolences to Deputy Minister Obed Bapela on the loss of his wife Constance Bapela, who served the country as a counselor at the time of her passing.
3. Cabinet joins President Ramaphosa in conveying condolences to the family, friends and associates of the political economist and author, Prof Johannes “Sampie” Terreblanche, who passed on at the age of 84.
4. Cabinet congratulates Minister Naledi Pandor on her recognition by Leiden University in the Netherlands as an Oort Honorary Visiting Professor of Astronomy and Development. This is in recognition of the Minister’s extraordinary accomplishment in harnessing science, particularly astronomy, as a tool for global development and societal benefit.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
1. Ms Lerato Matabogeas Deputy Director-General (DDG): Trade and Investment South
Africa, Department of Trade and Industry (the dti).
2. Ms Shandokane Evelyn Masotjaas DDG: Consumer and Corporate Regulation, the dti.
3. Ms Vuyelwa Vumendlini as DDG: International and Regional Economic Policy, National Treasury.
4. Mr Joseph Tebogo Leshope as Chief Operations Officer of SENTECH.
5. Ms Vuyo Zitumane as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Amatola Water.
6. Adv Seeng Catherine Ntsaba-Letele as Chief Ombud of the Community Schemes Ombud Service.
7. Mr Edward Mamadise as CEO of the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications.
8. Dr Sagren Moodley as the representative from the DST on the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions.
9. Reappointments to the Patent Examination Board:
a. Ms Shanaaz Tiry Mahomed;
b. Ms Sandra Cleiland;
c. Prof Christiena Maria van der Bank; and
d. Adv Nhlanhla Paul Sibisi.
Ms Phumla Williams – Acting Cabinet Spokesperson
Cell: 083 501 0139
1 March 2018