Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 4 September 2019

Cabinet met on Wednesday, 4 September 2019 at Tuynhuys in Cape Town.

A. Current affairs

Based on an analysis of the current affairs environment, the following was agreed by Cabinet:

1. Gender-Based Violence (GBV)

1.1. Cabinet joins the nation in mourning the killings, rape and abuse of women by men that continue to take place in our country. These horrific attacks on women reflects our collective failure to respond to the cries of the most vulnerable in our midst.

1.2. At its core is the manifestation of a profound lack of adequate response to the continued daily violation of babies, children, the elderly, women living with disabilities, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, intersex and queer/questioning community and migrant women.

1.3. Cabinet has called for the imposition of the maximum sentence to the perpetrators. Notwithstanding the fact that there is a high conviction rate (74%) of GBV and over 4 000 perpetrators who have received life sentences, more still needs to be done. One women killed, raped and abused is one too many.

1.4. The national Register of Sexual Offences will be placed before Parliament for consideration for amendment to the Sexual Offences Act. These amendments will ensure that the register is extended to cover offenders who have committed any sexual offence, as it stands currently the register is limited to only individuals who are convicted and sentenced for violating a minor or an individual who is mentally disabled.

1.5. Cabinet expresses its deepest condolences to the families and friends of Uyinene Mrwetyana, Leighandre Jegels, Nolunde Vumsindo, Meghan Cremer, Jess Hess, Ayakha Jiyane and her three siblings and all women and children who were brutally murdered by men.

1.6. Cabinet temporarily adjourned and released a delegation of Ministers from an ordinary sitting of Cabinet to meet with hundreds of protestors who had gathered at Parliament to protest against GBV. 

1.7. Cabinet has also established an inter-ministerial committee that will work together with civil society to bring an end to GBV. This committee consists of Minister in The Presidency, Mr Jackson Mthembu; Minister of Police, Mr Bheki Cele; Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor; Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu; Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mr Ronald Lamola; Minister of State Security, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo, Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu and Minister of in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

This Committee will mobilize society as a whole against the phenomenon of GBV, and regularly update Cabinet and the public on its efforts to curb GBV.  The Committee will ensure that families and victims of GBV are supported.

1.8 Cabinet reflected on the progress made on the implementation of the Declaration of the Presidential Summit Against GBV and Femicide held in Centurion on 1 and 2 November 2018 to develop a national plan of action against GBV. An Interim Structure was established in January 2019 comprising of representatives of civil-society networks and government departments. A draft National Strategic Plan has been developed, which is based on consultative meetings, which build on the adopted Declaration. Consultations are underway across the country and will result in the envisaged National GBV and Femicide Council, which will be provided with the necessary resources to drive the anti GBV programme.

1.9 Notwithstanding that we have enacted many laws to deal with incidences of violence against women and children, and whilst we appreciate the efforts that police and other law-enforcement agencies – including our prosecutors, magistrates and judges – have made to arrest and sentence those responsible for these heinous crimes, Cabinet calls on all sectors of society, particularly men, to stand up against those who continue rape, abuse and kill women in our society.

1.10 Churches and religious leaders should take a firm stand and use their leadership and influence in communities to build positive social cohesion against GBV. The media should actively contribute towards addressing harmful social norms and beliefs that drive GBV while business leaders should address all forms of violence in the workplace and support our national efforts to eradicate GBV. Cabinet believes that it is only when society as a whole works together that we can end GBV and the killing of women.

1.11 Cabinet has made a call to the South African society to ensure that the boy child is raised in a manner that respects the rights of all people, especially women in society. The boy child must be raised to know that women are their equals and not subordinates to be subjected to all sorts of abuse that end up in them being killed.

2. Public violence and unrest

2.1. Cabinet strongly condemns the recent sporadic violence that erupted in some parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. South Africa is a constitutional democracy that is governed by laws and therefore, all peace-loving people should condemn such unlawful and unruly behaviour in the strongest possible terms. South Africa welcomes everyone who enters legally and abides by its laws. No grievance can justify violent attacks on other people, looting of shops, destruction of property and blocking of roads, which are all illegal and criminal offences punishable by law.

2.2 Cabinet is encouraged by the speed with which the South African Police Service (SAPS) have acted in arresting 483 persons linked to looting, public violence and destruction of property in Gauteng and the 21 arrested in relation to the burning of trucks in KwaZulu-Natal. The loss of 10 lives, eight of whom are South Africans and two foreign nationals as a result of the unrest in Gauteng sadden cabinet. Cabinet expressed its deepest condolences to their families.

2.3 Cabinet also expressed its concern regarding the burning of trucks in KwaZulu-Natal arising from allegations that foreign nationals get preference for work as truck drivers as opposed to South Africans in the freight and logistics industry. Government is currently conducting road blocks with a particular focus on trucks, and if drivers are found to be undocumented foreign nationals, they are immediately sent back to their country of origin.

2. World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa

2.1. South Africa is hosting a number of state leaders as well as over a thousand regional and global leaders from politics, business, civil society and academia at the 28th WEF on Africa, in Cape Town from 4 to 6 September 2019.

2.2. The theme of the summit, in which a number of stakeholders in the South African society and economy are also participating, is: “Shaping Inclusive Growth and Shared Futures in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

2.3. The WEF on Africa is tackling the issues faced by the continent by focusing on how to scale up the transformation of regional architecture related to smart institutions, investment, integration, industry and innovation. The meeting is also addressing the African Union’s Agenda 2063, the blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future.

2.4. South Africa’s participation in the WEF on Africa, which brings top leaders together to create the conditions for socio-economic investment, will further enrich our programmes and interventions towards addressing our triple challenge of unemployment, inequality and poverty. This will take us closer to the realisation of Vision 2030 of the National Development Plan, our blueprint to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030.

2.5. Cabinet wishes all participants constructive and fruitful deliberations as they experience the warm Ubuntu hospitality of our country.

3. Employment Equity Amendment Bill

3.1. Cabinet expressed concern at the slow pace of transformation in the workplace following the release of the 19th Commission for Employment Equity report. The report shows disappointingly low compliance levels with the Employment Equity Act, 1998 (Act 55 of 1998) which is aimed at addressing the apartheid legacy of imbalances and inequalities in our labour market.

3.2. In an effort to strengthen the Employment Equity Act of 1998, government will be tabling the Employment Equity Amendment Bill in Parliament.

3.3. The Bill increases fines for contravening the Act and makes it compulsory that employers who want to do business with the government provide an employment equity compliance certificate.

4. Nation-building

4.1. Cabinet joins South Africans in welcoming the Equality Court’s ruling on the restriction of the display of the pre-1994 apartheid era flag, which represents our divisive past. Cabinet supports the ruling that the old flag “impairs the dignity of black people and that those who display the apartheid flag consciously choose oppression over liberation”.

4.2. Symbols that represent the dark days of South Africa, especially the old flag, do not contribute towards building the united, non-racial and non-sexist society as envisioned in the progressive Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996. Cabinet calls on all South Africans to promote and strive for a common national identity as enshrined in our Constitution.

4.3. The display of the old apartheid flag should be restricted to genuine artistic, academic or journalistic expression that are in the public interest.

B. Cabinet decisions

1.  National Crime Statistics Report for 2018/19

1.1. Cabinet approved the release the National Crime Statistics Report for 2018/19.

1.2. The annual crime statistics enable government to monitor key targets, in particular the reduction of reported serious crimes, as set out in the Medium Term Strategic Framework. They could also serve to strengthen the crime-prevention operations and guide the strategies of various government departments.

1.3. Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele will schedule a media briefing to release the findings of the crime statistics.

2. Fishing Rights Allocation Process (FRAP) 2020

2.1. Cabinet gave permission for the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) to revise time frames relating to the allocation process for licenses in 12 fisheries. Accordingly, Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy will shortly gazette the new time frames for the Fishing Rights Allocation Process (FRAP) 2020 process.

2.2. Cabinet believes that it is essential the process is credible, transparent, and furthers transformation of the industry as a whole. New time frames will allow the DEFF to fulfil all regulatory requirements of the FRAP process, including appointing advisory and scientific bodies, undertaking research on fish stocks and implementing socio-economic studies on each fishery.

C. Bills

1. Judicial Matters Amendment Bill of 2019

1.1. Cabinet approved for the submission of the Bill to Parliament.
1.2. The Bill seeks to amend two Acts in order to address gaps identified by the Constitutional Court:

  • The Divorce Act, 1979 (Act 70 of 1979) – the amendment by the Bill further regulates the division of assets and maintenance of parties in divorce proceedings in accordance with a judgment of the Constitutional Court; and
  • The National Prosecuting Authority Act, 1998 (Act 32 of 1998) – the amendment by the Bill deals with aspects pertaining to the term of office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions and the Deputy National Directors of Public Prosecutions in accordance with a judgement of the Constitutional Court.

D. Messages

1. Condolences

Cabinet sent condolences to the:

1.1. family and friends of Umkhonto We Sizwe Veteran and African National Congress Women’s League member, pioneer businesswoman, Dr Thandi Cynthia Ndlovu, who passed away on 24 August 2019. The then Acting President David Mabuza declared a Special Provincial Official Funeral Category 2 for the late struggle stalwart and freedom fighter. Dr Ndlovu received various awards throughout a distinguished career, and she continued to be a leading example to others, both in academic pursuit and as a leading businesswoman. She led an impeccable life as a political activist and a champion for women empowerment. In February, she also witnessed the signing of the Competition Amendment Act, 2018 (Act 18 of 2018) into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

1.2. family and friends of veteran journalist, writer and researcher, Mr Harry Mashabela. In July 1976, he was arrested, together with many seasoned journalists in the country, under the infamous Terrorism Act. He worked for many publications, including the Rand Daily Mail, The Star, Drum and Financial Mail. He was also the author of a number of books including the Townships of the PWV, a People on the Boil (1988) and Mekhukhu: Urban African Cities of the Future (1990).

1.3. family and friends of journalist and eNCA Director of News, Mr Ben Said and SABC sports analyst and journalist, Mr David Kekana. The South African media industry has lost legends who used their journalism skills to inform the public and make South Africa a better place.

1.4. Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and his entire family, following the death of his mother, Mama Sina Sekeku Motsoaledi.

2. Congratulations and well wishes

Cabinet congratulated the:

2.1. 31 players in the Springbok squad who are in Japan representing the country at the Rugby World Cup (RWC). We are confident that they will represent our nation with honour and pride, and wish them well in their quest to bring the RWC trophy home.

2.2. Ndlovu Youth Choir, whose performance touched hearts across the world and earned them a spot in the finals of the America's Got Talent competition.

E.  Appointments

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

1. Ms Mapatane Elizabeth Kgomo as the Deputy Director-General: Infrastructure Delivery Management Support at the Department of Cooperative Governance.

Enquiries: Ms Phumla Williams – Acting Cabinet Spokesperson
Mobile: 083 501 0139

Issued by: Government Communication and Information System

6 September 2019




 

 

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