Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 18 October 2023
A. ISSUES IN THE ENVIRONMENT
- South Africa’s Census 2022 national results
1.1. Cabinet commended the Statistics South Africa led by Statistician-General, Mr Risenga Maluleke for running South Africa’s first digital census aligned to UN acclaimed methodologies.
1.2. The fourth population and household count in post-apartheid South Africa tells a convincing story of a country that has been developing in the past 29 years.
1.3. For those who lived under Apartheid and remember its impact, the Census 2022 results indicate the emergence of an inclusive South Africa through clears signs towards the redress of the imbalances of our past and improved life for the majority with regard to access to services. The results of the Census 2022 also conclusively demonstrate that South Africa’s development is not by accident, but rather by systematic application of developmental programmes since 1994. Cabinet is therefore encouraged by the progress on various fronts.
1.4. Census 2022 results show that the introduction of no-fee schools, Early Childhood Development and school nutrition programmes have had a positive impact on enrolments and improvements in the outputs of the educational system, specifically functional literacy and secondary school outcomes.
1.5. Other important indicators include significant gains shown in the delivery of services such as access to clean water, electricity, sanitation and refuse removal:
(a) Accordingly, in 2022, 82,4% of households had access to piped water either inside their dwelling or inside their yard.
(b) People with access to a flush toilet increased to 70.8% in 2022.
(c) Households with access to electricity for lighting increased from 58,1% in 1996 to 94,7% in 2022.
(d) Census 2022 also reveals the almost doubling of the number of households from approximately 9,1 million in 1996 to 17,8 million in 2022, and the increase in people living in formal dwellings (from 65.1% in 1996 to 88.5% in 2022). Although these improvements are encouraging, they also hold serious implications for service delivery and basic service infrastructure capacity.
1.6. Government is studying the details of the weaknesses reported in the Census 2022 in greater detail and will identify interventions required from the state.
1.7. Cabinet welcomed the confirmation, through the Census 2022 results. of the strides made since 1994 to make South Africa a better place for all, whilst acknowledging the need to address the challenges that remain.
- Israel/Palestine Conflict
2.1. Since last week, thousands of Israelis and Palestinians have been killed, and far more injured. Many violations of international law have been committed, by all sides, and Cabinet calls for accountability and justice in response to all those crimes. Cabinet condemned the cowardly attack by Hamas that killed and injured innocent people. Similarly, Cabinet condemned the heinous opportunism of the Israeli government to use Hamas’ cowardice to continue its genocide against the people of Palestine.
2.2. Cabinet calls on the on the international community not to allow the perpetration of another holocaust under its watch. The Jewish holocaust is enough stain in the history of mankind, for the international community to fold its arms while the Israeli government perpetrate a Palestinian holocaust.
2.3. Cabinet believes the international community must be seized with finding a permanent security solution for the people of Israel and Palestine through the settlement of the two State solution founded on the 1947 borders.
2.4. Cabinet calls on the Israeli government to stop the bombardment of civilian establishments such as hospitals, schools and homes and for the opening of humanitarian corridors to allow the passage of aid including food and medical supplies to the Gaza Strip.
2.5. Cabinet condemns the bombing by the Israeli government of the Ahli Arab Baptist hospital in Gaza that killed well over 500 people and injuring over 1000, is in fact a war crime which is the most blatant violation of International Humanitarian Law and call on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to immediately act against this breach. The failure to act meaningfully by both the ICC and the United Nations will be a demonstration of the total collapse of a Rules-Based multilateral system.
- Netherlands State Visit
3.1. President Cyril Ramaphosa is currently hosting their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Kingdom of Netherlands on a State Visit from 18 to 20 October 2023.
3.2. The Netherlands is a major investor in the South African economy and one of South Africa’s significant trading partners. Total trade doubled between 2019 and 2022 when it reached R122 billion. The Netherlands is also the fourth largest source of overseas tourists to South Africa.
3.3. The two countries are expected to expand on their existing cooperation by signing a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Fields of Higher, Technical and Vocational Education.
4.1. Cabinet was updated about Eskom’s Generation Systems Performance for the period ending 16 October 2023. Accordingly, Eskom’s power generation capacity is currently averaging 28, 615 MW in comparison to 27,410MW in May 2023.
4.2. Cabinet was also informed of the decline in unplanned outages due to plant breakdown to average 13,743 MW compared to 17, 369 MW in May 2023. This is largely as a result of an effective plant maintenance.
4.3. Cabinet welcomed the addition of another 800MW to the grid with the return of Kusile Unit 1 ahead of schedule. The additional capacity will help reduce higher levels of load-shedding.
- Green Hydrogen Summit
5.1. Cabinet welcomed the hosting of the second South Africa Green Hydrogen Summit in Cape Town last week. Green hydrogen has the potential to add additional renewable energy generation capacity and to support the local development of renewable energy.
5.2. On the sidelines of the Summit, South Africa has concluded Heads of Agreements with the intention of launching a SA-H2 Fund that will facilitate the development of the country’s green hydrogen sector. The aim is to attract $1 billion in funding. It is estimated that the hydrogen economy has the potential to add 3.6 per cent to our GDP by 2050 and approximately 370 000 jobs.
- Investment Pledges
6.1. Cabinet welcomed the R100 million investment by electrical components supplier ACTOM in the expansion of its plant in Pretoria. This builds local capacity in manufacturing of electro-mechanical equipment, as the renewable energy market grows. This investment will create jobs and solutions for renewable energy.
6.2. Furthermore, Cabinet welcomed the roll out of a R284 million investment by Moove which will assist small business owners in the transport sector. Moove has purchased over 2 000 vehicles which will for use by transport entrepreneurs.
- Crime and Corruption
7.1. Cabinet commended inter-agency search and seizure operations led by SARS on 12 October 2023, with the close cooperation between intelligence, and law enforcement agencies. These targeted operations helped to prevent revenue losses to the fiscus which amounted to more than R500 million and fourteen individuals targeted during the operation.
- Lady R
8.1. Cabinet welcomes the acknowledgement of US National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan of the seriousness in which President Cyril Ramaphosa had addressed the Lady R matter, and the affirmation of the strong relations between the two countries.
- Avian influenza
9.1. Cabinet was updated on containment measures to limit the spread and impact of avian influenza also known as avian flu’ or ‘bird flu’, which has severely affected the economy and the poultry sector.
9.2. The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza, has met with retailers and South African Poultry Association to discuss possible solutions in the short and the medium-term to increase egg and chicken supply.
9.3. Cabinet has noted that majority of independent poultry and egg producers have not been affected by Avian flu.
- The day of South Africa’s sporting battle against England
10.1. On Saturday, 21 October 2023, two of South Africa’s biggest national teams will play against England in their respective World Cup matches.
10.2. Cabinet calls on the nation to rally behind our national teams in their battle against England at the Cricket World Cup in India and the Rugby World Cup in France.
10.3. Our national teams continue to remind us of the best of South Africa and they are the best display of our unity as a nation with a single national identity – just being a South African.
10.4. As the Proteas and Springboks enter the battle fields, it is our responsibility as the nation to let them feel them the spirit and vibe of the resilient nation behind them.
- National Press Freedom Day in commemoration of 46th Anniversary of Black Wednesday
11.1. The 19th of October in South Africa’s national calendar serves as a reminder of the importance of a free and independent press. On this day in 1977, the Apartheid government banned 19 Black Consciousness Movement organisations and two newspapers, The World and The Weekend World in an attempt to silence the media and political organisations from reporting about the brutal acts of the regime. They also arrested the Editor of The World Newspaper Percy Qoboza and other journalists who used the media to expose the atrocities of apartheid.
11.2. The architects of our democratic dispensation insisted on media freedom as a fundamental tenant of our democracy and it is entrenched in our Constitution. To this day, a free press plays an essential role in building an open and inclusive information society.
(e) CABINET DECISIONS – special Cabinet 4 October 2023
- Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Country Report 2023
1.1. Cabinet approved the South African 2023 Sustainable Development Goals Country Report, and its release by end of September 2023.
1.2. Cabinet confirmed Statistics South Africa as an independent statistics agency and the only source of official statistics in the country.
- South Africa’s Institute for Drug-Free Sport: Non-Compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code
2.1. Cabinet considered and approved the processing of amendments to the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport Amendment Act, 25 of 2006 to ensure alignment and compliance with the WADA Code.
(f) CABINET DECISIONS – 18th October 2023
- Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Operating Framework
1.1. Cabinet noted progress in addressing grey listing deficiencies identified by the FATF, progress with the re-rating of at least 14 technical compliance deficiencies and positive progress in 17 of 22 action items against the original Action Plan.
1.2. Cabinet approved the Updated Operational Framework for Targeted Financial Sanctions to bind the conduct of all agencies involved in the process of designating individuals and entities in terms of amended section 23 of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorism and Related Activities Amendment (POCDARATA) Act.
- Green Hydrogen Commercialisation Strategy (GHCS)
2.1. Cabinet approved GHCS for South Africa for implementation. The GHCS will ensure South Africa becomes a major producer and exporter of green hydrogen.
2.2. Government has identified possible funding for green hydrogen projects and the draft Green Paper received extensive feedback from stakeholders.
2.3. The GHCS gives effect to the Hydrogen South Africa Strategy that was approved by Cabinet in 2007 to prepare the country for a hydrogen economy. It is also framed within the Hydrogen Society Roadmap developed by the Department of Science and Innovation and approved by Cabinet in 2021.
- Ratification of the Protocol to Amend the Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft
3.1. Cabinet approved the ratification of the protocol that is in place to combat unruly and disruptive behaviour by some passengers on board aircrafts.
3.2. The Protocol to Amend the Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft was agreed to in Montréal, Canada on 4 April 2014 and came into force on 1 January 2020.
- Co-Hosting of the 3rd African Union Men’s Conference on Positive Masculinity in Leadership to End Violence against Women and Girls
4.1. Cabinet approved the co-hosting of the 3rd African Union Men’s Conference on Positive Masculinity in Leadership to End Violence against Women and Girls with the Republic of the Comoros
4.2. The Conference will take place from 27 – 28 November 2023 in Johannesburg under the theme “Making Agreements to consolidate regional political commitment towards EVAWG in Africa”.
- Just Energy Transition
5.1. The Cabinet noted progress on the development of the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan (JET IP) implementation plan.
5.2. Cabinet further welcomed the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Kingdom of Denmark as members of the JET IP International Partners Group (IPG) and welcomes the new JET IP pledges made by these countries as well as by Canada, Spain and Switzerland in 2023.
5.3. Cabinet remains concerned on the non-commitment of developed countries to meaningful fund through grants the Just Energy Transition and reiterated South Africa’s commitment to a just transition in line with its energy needs.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and relevant clearance.
- Ms Irene Mashudu Tendani as Chief Financial Officer at the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.
- Ms Shireen Said as Deputy Director-General: Constitutional Development at the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
- Mr Lucky Charles Mohalaba as DDG: Court Administration at the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
- Mr Siza Dennis Sibande as Senior Executive Officer: Property Management Trading Entity of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure.
- Ms Luyanda Kafile as DDG: Programme Management Office and Special Projects in the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure.
- Appointment of members of the Onderstepoort Biological Products Board
6.1. Prof. Peace Mabeta
6.2. Dr Natalie Skeepers
6.3. Mr Mokutule Kgobokoe
6.4. Ms Sinovuyo Matai
6.5. Mr Rajesh Mahabeer
6.6. Dr Len Konar
6.7. Dr Linda Makuleni – Tompson
- Appointment of Board of Trustees of the Independent Development Trust
7.1. Mr Kwazikwenkosi Innocent Mshengu
7.2. Ms Lindelwa Nonjabulo Dlamini
(h) UPCOMING EVENTS
- Medium Term Budget Policy Statement
1.1. Cabinet encouraged South Africans to tune into the 2023 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) on 1 November 2023.
1.2. The MTBPS details adjustments to the national budget and it is an important part of South Africa’s open and accountable budget process.
- District Development Model Presidential Imbizo
2.1. The upcoming District Development Model Presidential Imbizo in the JB Marks Municipality, within the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality in the North West on 20 October 2023, will allow government to hear first-hand the challenges faced by communities and communicate its interventions to address those challenges.
- Disability Rights Awareness Month
3.1. Cabinet approved the concept approach to this year’s commemoration of Disability Rights Awareness Month, which is commemorated annually from 3 November to 3 December. The theme for 2023 is: “Consolidate and Accelerate Rights of Persons with Disabilities into the Future”.
3.2. The campaign focuses on raising awareness on persons with disabilities in our society, and also celebrates the progress the country has made to provide space for the active participation of people with disabilities in our drive for economic growth. The Minister in The Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities will soon unpack programmes for the awareness month.
- South Africa 2023 World Food Day
4.1. South Africa 2023 World Food Day will be held on 26 October 2023 in KwaZulu Natal, King Cetshwayo District in Umhlathuze Local Municipality. World Food Day focuses on our food security conditions, and interventions to address poverty. The Census 2022 results pointed out that while South African households participate in agricultural production for consumption, very few participate in food production for the market. This is the work that government will be seized with as part of nurturing our vibrant agriculture sector for the full value chains including agro-processing in our quest for national food security and job creation.
- African Growth and Opportunity Act Forum (AGOA)
5.1. South Africa will host the 20th AGOA Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa from 2 to 4 November 2023.
5.2. The AGOA is a unilateral trade preference scheme that provides qualifying Sub-Saharan African countries with duty-free, quota-free access into the United States market. The Forum will also feature the ‘Made in Africa Exhibition’ showcasing regional value chains on the continent.
5.3. Seven hundred (700) delegates are expected to attend the Forum, comprising of 35 sub-Saharan Africa Trade Ministers including SA, the United States Trade Representative, a US Congress delegation, African Regional Economic Communities, civil society as well as business sector representatives.
- National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations
6.1. The National Senior Certificate (matric) exams will commence on 30 October 2023. Cabinet extends its well wishes to the Class of 2023 and all other learners who will be writing their final examinations. Cabinet calls on parents and guardians to support learners during this critical period in their academic journey.
- 7th Global Alcohol Policy Conference
7.1. South Africa will host the 7th Global Alcohol Policy Conference in Cape Town from 24-26 October 2023. The conference will highlight the need for proactive steps at both national and global levels to address harm caused by alcohol harms by promoting science-based policies.
1.1. The world champion Springboks for qualifying for the Semi Finals of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France and keeping the dream alive of becoming back-to-back world champions. #Stronger Together.
1.2. The Proteas, for beating Australia in their second-round robin match in the ICC World Cup 2023, in India.
1.3. Grammy Award winner, Black Coffee for becoming the first South African DJ and producer to perform at a sold-out show at the Madison Square Garden in New York on 7 October 2023.
1.4. Ms Mary Vilakazi, who became the first woman to be appointed CEO of FirstRand. She began her career at accounting firm PwC, where she was b one of the firm’s youngest partners in 2005. She has served in multiple executive and non-executive directorship positions, and was the Chief Operating Officer at FirstRand, before her promotion to CEO.
1.5. Cabinet congratulated South Africans who have made the Most Influential People of African Descent Class of 2023 honourees in two global 100 lists: (i) Health & Wellness Edition and (ii) 100 Under 40 Edition. MIPAD highlights individuals, organisations and governments who have distinguished themselves in the advancement of people of African descent worldwide. South Africans who were honoured in the Under 40 Edition are Khosi Twala- Big Brother Africa Titans Winner, and Nwabisa Matyumza, Director Africa, MultiChoice. In the 100 Health Care Edition, South African honourees were Dr Joe Phaahla, the Minister of Health, Geetha Tharmaratnam, Chief Impact Investment Officer, WHO Foundation, and Kuseni Dlamini, Chairman, Aspen Pharma Group.
1.6. Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Mr Ronald Lamola on his election as Vice President of the Asian African Legal Consultative Organisation during the 61st Annual meeting in Indonesia.
1.7. Mr Stavros Nicolaou who is a Senior Executive at Aspen Pharmacare Group for being awarded Greece’s 2023 Public Service Award as part of that country’s Argo Awards. The Argo Awards are bestowed to outstanding Greeks abroad who excel in the various sectors.
1.8. South Africa’s Special Olympics team who were once more honoured on the 3rd of October 2023 by President Cyril Ramaphosa for their excellent performance at this year’s Special Olympics World Games in Germany in June 2023. The national team returned with a whooping 49 medals of which 22 were gold, 20 silver and 7 bronze.
Cabinet expressed condolences to the family and friends of:
2.1. Mme Lydia Komape, a retired trade unionist and former member of the National Assembly from 1994 to 2009 and the Limpopo Provincial Legislature from 2009 to 2019. She was committed to advancing workers’ rights, the empowerment of rural women and the liberation of our people.
2.2. Former national rugby player and Junior Springbok coach Eric Sauls, who was the head coach of the South African team that won the country’s first U21 world title in 1999.
2.3. Professor Hoosen ‘Jerry’ Coovadia, a leading scientist who was at the forefront of the campaign to make anti-retroviral therapies available to HIV and AIDS patients in the 1990’s and beyond. His ground-breaking research programme in mother-to-child transmission of HIV and AIDS as well as the promotion of new treatment regimens helped to save millions of lives.
2.4. Members of the SANDF who tragically lost their lives in two separate incidents. Six soldiers died following a fire that reached the SA Army Combat Training Centre at the Lohatla military base in the Northern Cape. In addition, four members of 8 South Africa Infantry Battalion died on their way to Lohatla in an accident.
2.5. The Royal Eswatini Police Service and the family of the late Commissioner William Dlamini who passed away in transit to Eswatini from Angola where he attended the 26th Interpol African Regional Conference.
2.6. The government and people of Afghanistan following the devastating earthquake that resulted in thousands of lives lost.
2.7. The Government and people Finland on passing away of former President Attisahri. President Attisahri and President Ramaphosa led the Irish peace process in the 1990s.
Ms Nomonde Mnukwa – Acting Government Spokesperson
Mobile: 083 653 7485
Issued by: Government Communications
19 October 2023