Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 24 October 2018
Cabinet met on Wednesday, 24 October 2018 at Tuynhuys in Cape Town.
A. Issues in the environment
1. Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS)
1.1. Cabinet welcomes the maiden MTBPS by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, which is based on the strong conviction that South Africa can be renewed.
1.2. The 2018 MTBPS highlights the difficult economic and fiscal choices confronting government over the next three years. Economic growth for 2018 has been revised down from 1.5% to 0.7%, and the global environment remains challenging for emerging market economies. The 2018 MTBPS gives effect to the President’s growth economic stimulus and recovery plan, which will be underpinned by fiscal and monetary stability.
1.3. Government remains committed to fiscal sustainability, but there has been slippage since the tabling of the 2018 Budget in February this year. Government remains committed to stabilizing and bringing down debt. Against the backdrop of a difficult economic and fiscal environment, the proposed division of revenue continues to prioritise large social spending programmes that support basic education, health, social welfare, water, sanitation and electricity services.
2. Presidential Health Summit
2.1. Cabinet welcomes the outcomes of the Presidential Health Summit which aim to address the various challenges facing the public health system. The outcomes will strengthen the preparations for the implementation of the National Health Insurance.
3. Land reform
3.1. Cabinet welcomes the consistent implementation of land reform and restitution programmes that redresses the past injustices and help to grow the economy.
3.2. President Cyril Ramaphosa led a land restitution ceremony, where over 4 586 hectares of land were handed to the community of KwaMkhwanazi in Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal.
3.3. The KwaMkhwanazi community will also receive post-settlement packages and support that will assist them to maximise the potential wealth of the land. This shifts communities from subsistence to commercial participants and owners of businesses across the value chains of the assets on their land.
3.4. Government is committed to supporting the sustainability of emerging agricultural enterprises, which includes 262 land reform-related projects to benefit youth and women across all provinces.
4. Destruction of public infrastructure
4.1. Cabinet expressed concern on the destruction of transport infrastructure. This undermines government's commitment to take services to historically disadvantaged communities. No amount of unhappiness should result in the destruction of public property. Such destruction serves to rob the poor of much-needed services.
4.2. Cabinet calls on members of the public to be vigilant and work with law enforcement agencies to bring those responsible to account. Cabinet further noted that the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster will deal with this matter accordingly.
5. National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) appointment process
5.1. Cabinet welcomed the new approach of appointing the NDPP. President Ramaphosa appointed the Advisory Panel to identify and conduct interviews with individuals worthy of consideration to occupy the position of the Head of the National Prosecuting Authority. The panel convened for the first time this week and is expected to submit shortlisted names to the President by 7 December 2018.
6. Constitutional Court Judgement
6.1 Cabinet deliberated on the Constitutional Court Judgement on the use, cultivation and possession of cannabis by an adult person in private for his/her personal consumption and its impact. Members of the public are requested to familiarise themselves with the judgement as the use of cannabis in a public place is prohibited. Furthermore, the judgement did not decriminalise the dealing in cannabis.
6.2 Cabinet acknowledges that the judgement exists in the context of other laws which may be applicable to the use, possession and cultivation of cannabis. Cabinet is taking advice on the matter.
7. School Safety Summit
7.1. Cabinet welcomes the recently held School Safety Summit hosted under the leadership of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. The summit brought together education and external stakeholders to find solutions to safety issues facing the country’s schools as well as to pave the way forward for safer environments in schools.
7.2. This follows incidents of violence at some schools, including the tragic death of the 24-year-old teacher, Mr Gadimang Daniel Mokolobate, who was fatally stabbed by a learner at the Ramotshere Secondary School in Zeerust, North West.
7.3. All stakeholders agreed that violence in general, and in schools in particular, is not acceptable and that further cooperation is required to ensure that schools become safer for both learners and teachers.
8. Matric exams
8.1. Cabinet wishes all learners, especially Grade 12 learners, well over this period. For the first time, the department will this year also administer an examination in South African Sign Language at Home Language level to 58 deaf candidates across 10 schools. The examination extends over five-and-a-half weeks and will conclude on 28 November.
8.2. Learners across the country will also sign a voluntary pledge to commit to upholding the integrity of the examinations by not participating in any malpractice. Parents and guardians are encouraged to support learners during this critical period in their academic journey. It is also vital to motivate learners to finish their schooling.
B. Cabinet decisions
9. Cabinet has approved the declaration of 20 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) as part of the Operation Phakisa: Ocean Economy MPAs Representative Network.
The benefit of the additional designation will, amongst others, allow for further development of the ecotourism and promotion of access to sustainably managed resources for small-scale fisheries. The proposed designations followed negotiations with all the relevant stakeholders. The MPAs will be published in the Government Gazette.
10. Cabinet approved South Africa’s Revised and Aligned Second National Action Programme (NAP) to Combat Desertification, Land Degradation and Mitigate the Effects of Drought (2018-2030). The NAP seeks to contribute towards the conservation and sustainable use of our land and other natural resources.
South Africa ratified the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in 1997. In accordance with Article 9 of the convention, parties are required to develop, prepare and implement a NAP as the central element of the strategy to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought. South Africa developed its first NAP in 2004.
11. Cabinet approved the publication of the Children’s Amendment Bill in the Government Gazette for public comments. The Bill seeks to strengthen coordination of the child-care and protection system through interdepartmental and intersectoral collaboration.
The amendments respond to the North Gauteng High Court Judgement of November 2017, wherein the Department of Social Development was ordered to prepare and introduce the necessary amendments to the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act 38 of 2005) in respect to the legal solution towards the management of the foster-care system.
12. Cabinet approved the introduction of the Postal Services Amendment Bill to Parliament. The Bill gives effect to the National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper that was approved by Cabinet in September 2016.
The intended outcomes are to have a competitive, viable and sustainable South African Post Office that provides/facilitates universal services and access as well as the transformation of the postal sector. The Bill also provides an approach to assigning physical addresses to rural and traditional communities.
This Bill has already gone through public consultation.
D. Upcoming events
13. South African International Investment Conference
President Ramaphosa will on Friday, 26 October 2018, preside over South Africa’s inaugural Investment Conference at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. This is part of a combination of efforts to attract investments and grow our economy.
Additionally, the four investment envoys who were appointed by the President will report back to the conference on progress made.
14. Group of Twenty (G20) Summit
President Ramaphosa has been invited by the Federal Chancellor of Germany, Dr Angela Merkel, to participate in the G20 Investment Summit – German Business and the Compact with Africa (CwA) Countries, and a Business Roundtable, both of which will be held in Berlin, Germany on 30 October 2018.
The G20 Investment Summit will bring together German business and CwA Countries to explore investment opportunities under the framework of the G20 Partnership with Africa. German investors will present flagship projects currently undertaken in the CwA Countries and explore further opportunities on the continent. The President will attend the summit in the capacity of Co-Chair of the G20 Africa Advisory Group.
The G20 Conference on the CwA will focus on ways in which the G20, African countries and development institutions can cooperate to promote private investment and economic participation in African states. The meeting will also undertake preparatory work in this field for the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
15. National Imbizo Focus Week
Members of the Executive will participate in the GCIS’s 9th National Imbizo Focus Week of the fifth democratic administration, which will take place from 12 to 25 November 2018. This coincides with the Cabinet Programme of Action Reporting Week.
The Imbizo Focus Week will provide a platform for members of the National Executive as well as provincial and local government leaders to undertake community meetings and Izimbizo countrywide, over this period, to demonstrate government’s implementation of the 2014-2019 Medium Term Strategic Framework and to respond to issues being raised by citizens, which impact on the safety, growth and development of our communities.
The two weeks of activism takes place against the backdrop of celebrations of the centenaries of Struggle icons Mama Albertina Sisulu and Tata Nelson Mandela, both of whom epitomised the value of regular consultation and interaction with the communities they served.
16. Cabinet congratulates the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, who received two prestigious Kochon prizes, at an award ceremony held at The Hague, The Netherlands. The first prize is in the Minister’s individual capacity for his role and political leadership in the fight against tuberculosis (TB) globally.
The second prize, which the Minister will share with the Right Honourable Nick Hebert, Member of Parliament (MP) in the United Kingdom, will be in their capacity as co-chairs of the Global TB Caucus of MPs from all over the world. The Kochon Prize is awarded annually to individuals and/or organisations that have made a significant contribution to combating TB either in their countries or globally.
17. Cabinet welcomes the World Travel Awards 2018 which voted South Africa as Africa’s Leading Destination. Durban in KwaZulu-Natal was also recognised as Africa’s Leading City Destination and scooped the prestigious title of Africa’s Leading Cruise Port. Cape Town, in the Western Cape landed the title of Africa’s Leading Festival and Event Destination.
18. Cabinet welcomes the premiering of a local film titled Nommer 37 by film-maker Joshua Bradley in the United States on 2 November 2018. The crime thriller set in the Cape Flats was funded by the Department of Trade and Industry through its South African Emerging Black Filmmakers Incentive scheme. This will contribute in attracting foreign direct investment into the South African film industry.
19. Cabinet joins President Ramaphosa in expressing sadness and condolences:
19.1. at the tragic passing away of more than 27 people, in a multiple vehicle accident on the N1 North in Limpopo. Road users are urged to exercise caution on our roads and must ensure that they obey the rules of the road at all times.
19.2. at the passing of Struggle icon, Mama Agnes Msimang. Mama Msimang was a committed gender activist and former Deputy President of the African National Congress (ANC) Women’s League. She was amongst countless women who mobilised their communities across South Africa against the apartheid system. She will be laid to rest on Friday, 26 October. The funeral service will start at 8:00 at Our Lady of Cedars Catholic Church in Woodmead, Johannesburg.
19.3. at the passing Struggle stalwart and recipient of the National Order of Mendi for Bravery in Silver Eric “Stalin” Mtshali.
19.4. at the passing of ANC stalwart Moss Chikane. Mr Chikane became an MP in 1994 after the country's first democratic elections. In 2005, he was appointed as South Africa’s Ambassador to Germany.
19.5. to the people of Sweden as well as the family of Lisbet Palme‚ 87‚ who has passed on. Lisbet Palme was the widow of the former Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme who was assassinated in 1986 and whom President Ramaphosa has described as a “Friend of South Africa”.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
21. SENTECH SOC LIMITED Board:
a. Ms Maureen Makole Manyama (non-executive director); and
b. Ms Precious Nompumelelo Sibiya (non-executive director).
22. Reappointment of Ms Gugulethu Brightness Nokukhanya (Poppy) Khoza as the Director: Civil Aviation of the South Africa Civil Aviation Authority Board.
23. Dr Molefi Motuku as the Chief Executive Officer of Mintek (South Africa’s national mineral research organisation).
24. Mr Terries Salani Ndove as Deputy Director-General: Land Redistribution and Development at the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.
Ms Phumla Williams – Acting Cabinet Spokesperson
Cell: 083 501 0139
25 October 2018