Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 9 March 2022

A. Issues in the environment

1.  Russia-Ukraine conflict

1.1. Cabinet remains deeply concerned by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.  The socio-economic cost of the conflict is devastating and its impact will be felt around the world.

1.2. Cabinet calls for a negotiated diplomatic solution and urged all parties to uphold and protect human rights and abide by their obligations in terms of international law and international humanitarian law.

1.3. Government continues to assist South African citizens to leave Ukraine and a number of them have since returned home. We have also expressed our concern at the ill treatment of Africans trying to cross international borders during this time.

1.4. We believe that developing countries must enjoy a greater share of voice and influence in institutions of global governance. South Africa therefore advocates for a more equitable international system and for the reform of multilateral institutions to promote greater equality.

2. South Africa Investment Conference (SAIC)

2.1. South Africa will host its fourth SAIC on Thursday, 24 March 2022 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. The conference is part of government’s investment drive to attract R1.2 trillion over five years, and it attracts delegates from South Africa and worldwide to discuss investment opportunities.

2.2. Since the first investment conference in 2018, South Africa has attracted R774 billion in commitments across a wide range of economic sectors. Of the 152 investment announcements made previously, 45 projects have already been completed. A further 57 projects are currently under construction.

2.3. As of February 2022, those firms who have completed their reporting, have advised that R314 billion (40,6%) of the committed investment pledges have been expended.

2.4. These new investments will help us to grow the economy, create much-needed jobs and improve the lives of people.

3. Update on the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

3.1. Cabinet acknowledged the country’s efforts towards the fight against COVID-19 but cautioned that the battle is not yet over and urged all people in South Africa to remain vigilant and continue protecting themselves to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

3.2. Cabinet is pleased that almost 32 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered and that over 42 percent of our adult population is fully vaccinated.

3.3. However, unvaccinated people still remain unprotected against COVID-19 and pose a health risk to themselves and those around them. Vaccination remains the best way to fight COVID-19, and Cabinet calls on everyone aged 12 years and above to vaccinate without further delay.

3.4. Booster shots are now freely available for most people and Cabinet calls on those who are eligible to get boosted as soon as possible. We must also continue to wear masks that cover both the mouth and nose, wash or sanitise our hands frequently, keep a safe social distance and ensure adequate ventilation by opening windows.

4. Africa Energy Indaba

4.1. Cabinet welcomed the successful conclusion of the hybrid Africa Energy Indaba held in Cape Town from 1 to 3 March 2022 under the theme: “The Business Meeting of Choice for the African Energy Sector”. The gathering brought together influential global and local players from the energy sector to deliberate on how the African continent can use energy as a catalyst to grow the economy and improve the lives of people.

4.2. South Africa remains committed to achieving an energy mix that is consistent with its development goals and its climate change goals while ensuring security of supply.

5. Security Cluster appointments

5.1. Cabinet welcomed the recent high-level appointments in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the State Security Agency (SSA). President Ramaphosa appointed Adv Andrea Johnson to head the NPA’s Investigating Directorate and Ambassador Thembisile Majola as the new Director-General (DG) of the SSA.

5.2. The President also appointed Adv Navilla Somaru as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the Free State; Adv Matodzi Rachel Makhari-Sekhaolelo as DPP in North West and Adv Nicolette Bell as DPP in the Western Cape.

5.3. These appointments will strengthen our capacity to investigate and prosecute all acts of crime and corruption.

6. Service delivery oversight visit

6.1. Cabinet welcomed the successful oversight visit by the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Ms Patricia de Lille and the Minister in The Presidency, Mr Mondli Gungubele, to the N2 Nodal Project in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday, 8 March 2022.

6.2. The visit forms part of government’s initiative towards a more regular direct assessment of the progress made on the implementation of the Infrastructure Investment Plan to reignite the economy and create jobs.

6.3. This specific project comprises 12 100 new housing opportunities with over 500 000 m² retail, commercial, office and industrial facilities, as well as the full spectrum of community and social facilities.

7. International Women’s Day

7.1. South Africa joined the international community in commemorating International Women’s Day on Tuesday, 8 March 2022. This day is an opportunity to reflect how far we have come in advancing gender equality and what needs to be done to become a more gender equal nation.

7.2. Cabinet is impressed by the many successes worth celebrating since the dawn of democracy. South Africa has made progress in promoting equality for women in areas like government, civil society, the administration of justice, sport and culture. However, Cabinet reiterates that more still needs to be done to ensure full and equal participation of women in South Africa's economy.
7.3. Cabinet also welcomed the appointment of South Africa to the Chairship of the sixty-sixth session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women to be held from Monday, 14 March to Friday, 25 March 2022.

8. State security

8.1. Cabinet noted the United States Treasury’s arrest of individuals allegedly involved in money laundering. We continue to work with our international partners to stem the flow of illicit funds.

8.2. Our security forces remain on high alert and are in constant liaison with foreign intelligence services, both within South Africa and abroad. Their work includes information exchange on threats presented by violent extremism and terrorism.

9. Public violence

9.1. Cabinet condemned the recent incidents of violence and public clashes in Alexandra near Sandton. No amount of discontent can justify the violation of people’s rights in the country.

9.2. Cabinet welcomed the speedy intervention by law-enforcement agencies, which resulted in calm being restored in the area and the arrest of several alleged perpetrators of public violence.

9.3. Communities are urged to use peaceful means to resolve disputes and to report all illegal activities to law-enforcement agencies.
 
10. Economy

10.1 Cabinet has noted the gross domestic product (GDP) figures released by Statistics South Africa recently which showed that South Africa’s GDP grew by 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021, after shrinking by 1.7 percent in the third quarter of 2021. This brings South Africa’s annual growth rate for 2021 to 4.9 percent.  The main contributors to this growth were recorded in, agriculture, manufacturing, services and transport.

10.2. Cabinet remains resolute to continue working with its social partners towards our inclusive economic growth and create an environment where we will be able to address the challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequalities.

11. Auction of the high demand radio frequency spectrum

11.1. Cabinet congratulated the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa for the commencement of the auction of the high demand radio frequency spectrum, despite the ongoing litigations.

11.2. It also congratulated the bidders who participated in the auction on Tuesday, 8 and Thursday, 10 March 2022, which shows the intent by the telecommunications industry to continue investing in the digital infrastructure in South Africa.

11.3. Government remains committed to creating an enabling environment for radio spectrum to be used optimally, not only by the telecommunications industries but also to benefit the economy and society.

11.4. The licensing of high demand radio spectrum will improve the ability of mobile telecommunications operators to build robust telecommunications with greater penetration and reach. Great benefits of this long-awaited process include the reduction of the costs of data and voice communication.

11.5. The spectrum is also expected to contribute to economic transformation in the various sectors and the proceeds of the auction will inject over R8 billion into the national fiscus.

12. National Lotteries Commission (NLC) investigations

12.1. Cabinet noted the remarkable progress achieved by the Special Investigating Unit Investigation in their intensive investigation of maladministration and corruption within the NLC and urged other law-enforcement agencies dealing with this matter to complete their work as soon as possible. This will ensure the necessary steps can be taken to hold accountable persons or organisations implicated in the unlawful misappropriation of funds earmarked to benefit the poor.

B. Cabinet decisions

1. National Infrastructure Plan (NIP) 2050

1.1. Cabinet approved the NIP 2050 for implementation. The NIP provides catalytic projects that are meant to contribute towards the country’s long-term economic and social developmental goals.

1.2. The plan received a number of written comments after it was published for public comment in August 2021. Inputs were also received from public consultations with various stakeholders in the infrastructure sector. The consultation also included regional and continental bodies such as the Southern African Development Community and African Union Commission for Infrastructure.

1.3. The NIP provides for the development of the country’s infrastructure networks that are aligned to the National Spatial Development Framework and the District Development Model (DDM). It also focuses the construction of infrastructure towards socio-economic development, and also to generate employment and broad-based black economic empowerment opportunities.

2. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Rollout Strategy of 2022

2.1. Cabinet approved the publication of the LPG Rollout Strategy of 2022 in the Government Gazette for public comment. The strategy seeks to contribute towards addressing the country’s energy supply challenges.

2.2. The strategy deals with, amongst others, the structural features of the current LPG market, existing infrastructure, the pricing structure and the current local manufacturing capacity of the LPG cylinders. The strategy also deals with the safety and awareness campaign to raise the profile of domestic gas as an environmentally friendly fuel.

3. Exploration Strategy for the Mining Industry of South Africa

3.1. Cabinet approved the Exploration Strategy for the Mining Industry of South Africa. The strategy will, amongst others, provide immediate interventions in its implementation plan to undertake a comprehensive geoscience mapping to improve the country’s geoscience data.

3.2. The strategy also proposes a collaboration between the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy with the Industrial Development Corporation to ensure that exploration provides for the inclusion of the emerging exploration companies. It also reinforces the research role to be played by research institutions such as MINTEK and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, and the skills development programme.

3.3. The strategy is the product of a broader consultation between government, industry and other social partners. The mining industry remains the vital lifeblood of the country’s economic ecosystem.

4. Operationalisation of the Batho Pele Revitalisation Strategy of 2021

4.1. Cabinet approved the operationalisation of the Batho Pele Revitalisation Strategy of 2021. The strategy is an outcome of a number of researches conducted by both government and non-governmental institutions on the effectiveness of the 1997 Batho Pele Policy.

4.2. The strategy provides the five pillars which will guide the minimum standards to be adhered to by all departments. The proposed interventions will give effect to a citizen-centred public service delivery programme.

4.3. This strategy will give effect to the strengthening of a capable, ethical and developmental state, which remain a critical intervention in serving the citizens of South Africa. It will also strengthen the implementation of the eight principles of Batho Pele. Ultimately, it seeks to drive behavioural change within the Public Service.

5. Amendment to the policy on high-demand spectrum and the policy direction on the licensing of a wireless open access network (WOAN)

5.1. Cabinet approved the amendment of the policy on high-demand spectrum and the policy direction on the licensing of a WOAN to be published for public comment. The proposed amendments remove the requirements to license the WOAN.

5.2. Cabinet had in 2019 approved this policy on high-demand spectrum and the policy direction on the licensing of a WOAN to give effect to the Electronic Communications Act, 2005 (Act 36 of 2005). The licensing of high-demand spectrum remains critical to the country’s economic recovery drive.

6. Taxi Relief Fund (TRF) to mitigate the impact of COVID-19

6.1. Cabinet approved the extension of the cut-off date for applications for the COVID-19 TRF, from 31 March 2022 to 31 March 2023. The TRF, with a budget of about R1,135 billion, was allocated as a once-off payment to mitigate the negative financial impact of COVID-19 on the taxi industry.

6.2. The National Empowerment Fund is responsible for the disbursement of the compensation to all legal taxi operators with valid operating licences, including minibus-taxis, metered taxis and e-hailing partners.

C. Bills

1. South African Post Office (SAPO) Amendment Bill of 2021

1.1. Cabinet approved the publication of the SAPO Amendment Bill for public comment. The Bill seeks to amend the SAPO Act, 2011 (Act 22 of 2011).

1.2. The proposed amendments seek to enable SAPO to take advantage of the technological developments in its environment. It will be able to revise its duties and expand its mandate. It will be a service provider of a universal postal and courier; an integrated logistics; e-commerce and will be a digital hub for business and communities. The proposed amendments, which are aligned to the National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper of 2016, also make improvements to the governance provisions of the SAPO.

2. South African Postbank Amendment Bill of 2021

2.1 Cabinet approved the submission of the South African Postbank Amendment Bill of 2021 to Parliament. The Bill amends the Post Bank Act, 2010 (Act 9 of 2010) to align it with the Banks Act, 1990 (Act 94 of 1990). It provides for the establishment of the South African Postbank Holding Company in terms of the Banks Act of 1990.

2.2 The Bill has gone through public consultation to strengthen it. Once adopted into law, the Postbank will be able to operate as a separate entity with its regulatory framework outside of the SAPO.

3. Radioactive Waste Management Fund Bill

3.1 Cabinet approved the publication of the Radioactive Waste Management Fund Bill for public comment. The Bill provides for the creation of the fund as directed by the Radioactive Waste Management Policy.

3.2 The funds will be collected to be used towards the management of radioactive waste. It will enable the setting up of the infrastructure to handle, provide storage and oversee the permanent disposal of the radioactive waste. The fund will be managed through the National Radioactive Disposal Institute.

3.3 South Africa benefits on clean energy generated through the Koeberg Nuclear Power   Station. Also, South Africa remains one of the biggest producers of the radiopharmaceuticals products that diagnose and treat cancer in the world.

D. Upcoming Events

1. Official Visit by the President of Mozambique

1.1. President Cyril Ramaphosa will be hosting his Mozambican counterpart, His Excellency President Filipe Nyusi on Friday, 11 March 2022.

1.2. The visit will further strengthen mutual, regional and continental cooperation between the two nations. It also reinforces bilateral relations and cooperation between South Africa and Mozambique, both politically and economically.

2.  Presidential Imbizo in North West

1.1. On Saturday, 12 March 2022, President Ramaphosa will lead a delegation to North West to conduct a Presidential Imbizo. During this event, the President and leaders from all three spheres of government will interact with communities in North West.

1.2. The inaugural Presidential Imbizo of 2022 provides a platform for the President to engage with communities on their experiences of daily life and service delivery by government. Citizens will also engage directly on their proposals on how we can grow South Africa together, without leaving anyone behind.

1.3. Building on the DDM, which calls for greater cooperation between citizens and public representatives, Cabinet urges communities in North West to use this opportunity to engage directly with the President and to make their concerns or proposals heard.

2. Human Rights Day

2.1. Cabinet welcomes the series of dialogues and events under the theme: “The Year of Unity and Renewal: Protecting and Preserving our Human Rights Gains” being conducted as part of commemorating this year’s Human Rights Day on Monday, 21 March 2022. This also contributes to assessing the progress of the nation’s constitutional democratic project.

2.2. Cabinet calls on all South Africans to use Human Rights Month to foster greater social cohesion, nation-building and a shared national identity. It is our duty as a nation to strive for inclusive socio-economic development, while ensuring that we combat racism, racial discrimination and all related intolerances.

3. National Water Week

3.1. The National Water Week campaign takes place from Sunday, 20 to Saturday, 26 March 2022, and focuses on the need to protect and conserve our water resources.

3.2. Despite much heavier than normal rainfall in many parts of the country over the past few months, South Africa remains a water-scarce country. It is one of the 30 driest countries in the world and most of its water comes from rainfall.

3.3. Cabinet reassures citizens that our tap water is safe for human consumption, as confirmed by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, and reports about unsafe drinking water linked to typhoid fever are false. Government is prioritising water reticulation in communities.

E. Messages

1. Congratulations

Cabinet extended its congratulations and well-wishes to the:

South African Women’s cricket team, who are flying the national flag high at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand.

Athlete Stephen Mokoka, who has broken the men’s 50 km world record in a time of two hours, 40 minutes and 13 seconds, in the Nedbank Runified Breaking Barrriers race held in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape, on Sunday, 6 March 2022.

2. Condolences

Cabinet expressed condolences to the family and friends of:

 Mr Mandla Ka-Mabuza (47), an artist, orator and former President of the South African Students’ Congress. He was the former public servant in the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure.

F. Appointments

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

1. Mr Zane-Udien Dangor as DG at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

2. Ms Phindile Patronella Mkwanazi as Deputy DG: Learning and Professional Development at the National School of Government.

3. Mr David Mamphitha as Chief Executive Officer of the Mine Health and Safety Council.

4. Persons to serve in the International Air Services Council:

(a) Ms Nomveliso Ntanjana (Chairperson);
(b) Mr Nare Thupana (Vice Chairperson);
(c) Mr Grant Reagon Son;
(d) Mr Tumelo Chipfupa; and
(e) Ms Pfumelani Dorcas Mbulayeni.

5. Persons to serve in the Air Services Licensing Council:

(a) Mr Leroy Musa Nsibande (Chairperson);
(b) Ms Raesibe Sharon Kekana (Vice Chairperson);
(c) Mr Rickie Rodger Rennie;
(d) Ms Zonica Leanda Mtshali; and
(e) Mr Ramovha Emmanuel Mbuwe.

Enquiries:

Ms Phumla Williams – Cabinet Spokesperson
Cell: 083 501 0139

Issued by: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)

10 March 2022




 

 

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