Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 13 March 2019
Cabinet met on Wednesday 13 March 2019 at Tuynhuys in Cape Town.
A. Issues in the environment
1. Good Green Deeds
1.1. Cabinet thanks all South Africans who joined President Cyril Ramaphosa in the launch of the national Good Green Deeds campaign. The campaign, presents an opportunity for the various sectors of society to play their part and become more environmentally conscious. South Africa is one of the signatories to the Paris Agreement on climate change which guides the international efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
1.2. It is the duty and responsibility of all people in South Africa to ensure a clean and healthy environment now and for the future generations. A well-managed environment will contribute in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions, contribute towards food security, water, energy and general livelihoods.
1.3. Cabinet calls on everyone to make the Good Green Deeds campaign a way of living so that our neighbourhoods, communities and the country can become a global example of being clean, green and habitable.
2. Land Claims
2.1. Cabinet is pleased with the continued roll out programme of land reforms that seek to correct the wrongs of the past and build a more equitable society that will benefit all South Africans.
2.2. In advancing the equitable distribution of land, President Ramaphosa led the handover of the settled and finalised 142 hectares of prime land claims to the community of Moretele, who indicated that they will use the land for development.
2.3. These communities lost their rights to land when they were abruptly removed from their properties following the implementation of the provisions of the Natives Land Act of 1913. The Commission on Restitution of Land Rights (CRLR) has spent over R203 million in settling and finalising the claims.
3.1. Cabinet received a report from Deputy President David Mabuza on the work of the joint Special Cabinet Committee on Eskom that was established in response to recent, electricity supply disruptions and its negative impact on the economy. Government’s coordinated efforts to bring financial, operational and structural sustainability to Eskom are proceeding in earnest.
3.2. The Eskom Technical Review Team appointed by the Minister of Public Enterprises and the Board of Eskom started its work this week. It is expected to produce a preliminary report within four (4) weeks. The performance of the power plants remain volatile even though load-shedding has not been implemented since 15 February 2019.There has been a number of major incidents in the distribution areas that have contributed to the power disruptions
3.3. Cabinet noted the good progress that has been made with the recovery of coal stocks across the power stations, but further attention must be given to the Coal Supply Chain. Cabinet however, remains concerned about the performance of the Medupi and Kusile power stations and has mandated the Minister of Public Enterprises to provide a comprehensive recovery plan based on a reassessment of the key drivers of the cost and time overruns for this new build project.
4. ILO commission on the future of work and EDCON agreement
4.1. Cabinet welcomes the global commission’s report which made 10 recommendations grouped into three pillars: investing in the capabilities of people, investing in the institutions of the world of work; and investing in decent, sustainable work. The recommendation directly speaks to the triple challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment.
4.2. Through the work of Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant, South Africa has made progress in improving workplace conditions through gender balanced measures, more transparency in pay, eliminating violence, harassment in the workplace and specific measures to ensure equal opportunities.
4.3. Cabinet also, welcomes the joint efforts of government, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (which includes trade unions) and the private sector (banks and shopping mass landlords) to recapitalize South Africa’s largest clothing retailer – EDCON. In order to conclude an agreement to save Edcon, all parties had to make sacrifices and to work closely together.
4.4. At the heart of efforts to ensure that Edcon stays afloat is the impact on employment. More than 40 000 direct jobs and many more thousands of direct and indirect jobs would have been lost if Edcon had not been recapitalized. Cabinet calls on South Africans to support the call made at the Jobs Summit to buy Proudly South African products and support local industry.
5. Square Kilometer Array (SKA)
5.1. A new era for global science governance was realised when the Minister of Science and Technology, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, on behalf of the South African government, signed the international treaty (called the Rome Convention) in Italy, on 12 March 2019.
5.2. This establishes the Square Kilometer Array Observatory (SKAO), as an intergovernmental organization, tasked with building and operating the world’s most powerful radio astronomy telescope, to be located in South Africa and Australia.
5.3. Cabinet congratulates the partner nations on this historic milestone and reaffirms South Africa’s commitment to the SKA project, continuing on the successful launch of our MeerKAT telescope and South Africa’s critical contribution to the SKA telescope design. The SKA Observatory will be the first international organisation dedicated to science, in which Africa will exercise a strong leadership role, in the science, engineering and policy domains.
6. KwaZulu-Natal flooding
6.1. Cabinet extends its appreciation for the support from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which have also joined forces with government in dispatching aid during the recent floods experienced in some parts of the country.
6.2. In minimising the impact of the recent flash floods in KwaZulu-Natal, government continues to provide aid and support to affected families. Disaster teams and officials are assessing the damage.
6.3. Cabinet urges the public to exercise extreme caution during storms and heavy weather, and not attempt to cross flooded roads, bridges and rivers.
7. Malawi and Mozambique floods
7.1. South Africa through President Ramaphosa received humanitarian and search and rescue requests from his counter parts President of Malawi Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika and President of Mozambique Filipe Jacinto Nyusi respectively.
7.2. A light aircraft has been dispatched with a team of specialists to Malawi to establish the exact humanitarian assistance required. South Africa remains committed to offer whatever assistance within its capacity to SADC member states.
B. Cabinet decisions
1. 2019 White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI)
1.1. Science and innovation often heralds a different way of doing things and allows us to deal with the longstanding challenges in a decisive and cost effective manner. To tap into these benefits, Cabinet approved the 2019 White Paper on STI, which sets the long-term policy direction for a growing role for STI. With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution STI will position us to take advantage of rapid technological advancements.
1.2. The proposals in this White Paper seek to address policy coherence, development of human capabilities, knowledge expansion, innovation; performance and increased investment. These policy proposals will form the basis of the development of the decadal plans involving all the relevant stakeholders.
C. Upcoming events
1. Gender-Based Violence (GBV)
1.1. President Ramaphosa will open the Booysen’s Magistrate Court in Gauteng on Thursday 28 March 2019. He will together with various NGOs sign a declaration, which begins to implement the decisions of the inaugural Presidential Summit on GBV and Femicide held in November 2018.
1.2. He will also launch the Plettenberg Bay Magistrate’s Court in the Western Cape which will provide services for Family Court, civil cases (including Small Claims Court matters), Sexual Offences Court, regional courts and district courts.
1.3. Government has introduced a number of interventions to supports victims of abuse. A total of 54 Thuthuzela Care Centres across the country serve as one stop facilities to reduce secondary victimization and the time of finalizing sexual abuse cases.
1.4. Cabinet strongly condemns any form of abuse, including verbal abuse against women and children. Government remains committed to be at the forefront of the fight to end GBV. South Africans are encouraged to report all suspected cases of rape, sexual assault or any form of violence to the police on the toll-free number 0800 428 428. Incidents of child abuse can be reported to Childline South Africa’s toll-free line – 0800 055 555.
2. Land Restitution
2.1. Through the CRLR the Deputy President, David Mabuza, as the Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform, together with the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, will on Saturday, 16 March 2019, officiate at the Presidential Handover ceremony for settled and finalised land claims in Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal.
2.2. The Ubizo Community Land Claim consists of 2548 – 7861 Hectares of land and is made up of 149 historically disposed households. There are 894 land restitution beneficiaries (30% of which are women), who are direct descendants of this community that will benefit from this handover. The total value of the assets is R136 million.
3. Human Rights Month
3.1. South Africa will commemorate Human Rights Month under the theme: “The Year of Indigenous Languages: Promoting and Deepening a Human Rights Culture” focusing on the importance of indigenous languages.
3.2. Cabinet encourages South Africans to give effect to the rights enshrined in our Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 and the Bill of Rights, by preserving and promoting indigenous languages.
3.3. The national event will be celebrated on Thursday 21 March 2019 at Sharpeville in Gauteng where 59 years ago residents peacefully protested against the unjust pass laws and were subsequently gunned down by the apartheid police.
3.4. Human Rights Month also includes Anti-Racism Week from 14 to 21 March 2019, and will be used to further highlight the detrimental effects of racism on society.
1.1. All stakeholders who partnered with government in securing that South Africa hosts the 2023 Netball World Cup, which will be the first on African soil. Cabinet appreciates the confidence expressed by the International Netball Federation. The country looks forward to giving a warm Ubuntu welcome to the 16 nations who will play 60 matches during the 10-day tournament in the International Convention Centre in Cape Town.
1.2. Ms Nomzamo Mbatha who was crowned as the winner of the Goddess Beauty Award at the International Women of Power Awards in Los Angeles, USA. Mbatha will be recognised for her talents on TV as a media personality and an actress, as well as on her work with the United Nations.
1.3. Mr Vincent Cosa for the bravery he displayed in rescuing a child during a flash flood in Johannesburg.
1.4. Ms Nosipho Mkhupheka for winning the Forbes Woman Africa Public Sector Awards on Friday, 08 March 2019. Ms Mkhupheka won her award for her commitment to serving people with dignity and beyond office hours and has been recognized for serving the people of Scottsburg in KZN diligently.
1.5. Professor Mashudu Tshifularo and his team from the University of Pretoria who pioneered in the world’s first surgical procedure using 3D-printed middle ear bones, for conductive hearing loss rehabilitation. This was done at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, on 13 March 2019.
Cabinet sends condolences to the family and friends of:
2.1. The Minister of COGTA Dr Zweli Mkhize who sadly lost his older brother Mr Jabulani Gerald Mkhize on Sunday 10 March. He will be laid to rest on the 16 March at his family home in Willowfountain Pietermaritzburg, KZN.
2.2. Mr Sibusiso Khwinana who played the character of Lefa in the recently released local movie Matwetwe. He was also a founding member of the Independent Theatre Makers Movement, which aims to establish a generation of self-reliant artists by encouraging them to take ownership of their work and acknowledge their potential.
2.3. The victims of the tragic Ethiopian Airlines plane which crashed while en route to Nairobi in Kenya from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, killing all passengers and crew members’ on board.
2.4. All those who lost their lives in the recent floods in some parts of the South Africa as well as in Malawi and Mozambique.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
1. Mr Mandla Reginald Sithole: Chief Financial Officer in the Department of Public Works;
2. Mr Enoch Godongwana and Ms Bongiwe Kunene: Non-executive directors on the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) Board of Directors (Board) for a period of three (3) years with effect from 1 April 2019;
3. Reappointment of Ms Malijeng Theresa Ngqaleni and Ms Martie Jacoba Janse Van Ransburg: Non-executive directors on the DBSA Board for a three years period with effect from 01 April 2019;
4. Members to the Bloem Water Board:
a. Mr Tefetso Bernard Phitsane (Chairperson);
b. Adv. Tshepiso Doreen Segoe-Backward (Deputy Chairperson);
c. Mr Zolani Mkiva;
d. Mr James Jonathan Price;
e. Ms Theda Ntikile Sandlana-Thebe;
f. Ms Dipitseng Maropeng Manamela;
g. Mr Luvuyo Xola Ntoyi;
h. Mr Louis Evelyn van Rheede van Oudtshoorn;
i. Mr TM Manyoni; and
j. Ms Mmathebe Annah Faith Moja.
Ms Phumla Williams
Acting Director-General (GCIS)
Cell: 083 501 0139
14 March 2019