Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 24 May 2023
A. Issues in the Environment
1.1. Cabinet noted the progress made in the implementation of the Energy Action Plan, while it acknowledges significant constraints that still remain against the national grid.
1.2. As the country enters the Winter period, Cabinet welcomed the finalisation of the Contract for 400 megawatts (MW) of additional capacity through the Standard Offer Programme which will be online before the end of May 2023.
1.3. Furthermore, the Department of Health has identified 213 hospitals for exclusion from load-shedding, with 76 of these already excluded and work to add another 46 hospitals at an advanced stage.
1.4. Cabinet further welcomed the imminent launch of the Energy One-Stop Shop on 31 May 2023 by Invest SA to speed up the regulatory processes that will assist new power-generating companies to come on board.
1.5. It has noted progress made at the Kusile Power Station to restore 3 200 MW, through units 1, 2, 3 and 5, to the national grid by the end of 2023.
1.6. Cabinet is concerned about the continued circulation of fake news, through social media alleging an imminent national grid collapse that will result in a total blackout. Eskom has assured government of plans in place for the system safeguards to prevent a national blackout.
1.7. Cabinet reiterates calls to all people in South Africa to continue to save electricity. The target is to save at least 1 000 MW every day, which equals saving one stage of load-shedding each day.
1.8. The Minister of Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, will update the country on the implementation of the Energy Action Plan on Friday, 26 May 2023, through a media briefing.
2.1. Government has established a technical working committee, led by the National Department of Health, in response of the outbreak of cholera in Hammanskraal in the City of Tshwane, which has already claimed 15 lives as of 24 May 2023.
2.2. Extensive work is underway to test all possible sources of the contamination, be they water sources, tankers delivering water, taps and the Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW). To date, no evidence of cholera bacteria has been found in these sources, giving confidence to the likelihood that the cholera outbreak could be from a once-off contamination event, with the current cases being a result of secondary and tertiary contamination.
2.3. As these interventions unfold, residents of Hammanskraal are encouraged to boil tap water and add a pinch of salt before drinking it. In addition, anyone with a runny tummy, nausea or gastrointestinal symptoms must immediately visit their doctor or local clinic.
2.4. The Minister of Water and Sanitation, Mr Senzo Mchunu, will meet with the City of Tshwane Mayor, Cllr Cilliers Brink, on Friday 26 May 2023 in an effort to develop a joint plan for the long overdue refurbishment of the Rooiwal WWTW.
2.5. For more information you can call the 24-hour hotline of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) on 082 883 9920. Cholera treatment guidelines are online at www.nicd.ac.za.
- Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS)
3.1. Cabinet is encouraged that the 2023 first QLFS has indicated a sixth consecutive quarterly increase on the number of jobs and that the employment of 16.2 million people is inching closer to the 16.4 million employed people in pre-Coronavirus (COVID)-19 days. This is a clear indication that the South African economy is firmly recovering from the impact of that pandemic.
3.2. The first quarter employment figures show 209 000 jobs were created in the formal sector and 107 000 jobs in the informal sector during the first quarter of the year.
- South Africa – United States (US) relations
4.1. Cabinet affirmed that relations between South Africa and the US remain cordial, strong and mutually beneficial following a meeting between the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor and US Ambassador to South Africa, Mr Reuben E Brigety, over his remarks alleging that South Africa supplied weapons to Russia.
4.2. Cabinet reiterated that established diplomatic channels are available to all nations, including the US, to raise issues as they arise in the management of the bilateral relations.
4.3. Cabinet welcomed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa of the establishment of an independent inquiry to probe the allegations of the supply of weapons from South Africa to Russia. Details of the inquiry will be announced in due course.
- South Africa – Singapore relations
5.1. President Ramaphosa hosted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of the Republic of Singapore on Tuesday, 16 May 2023.
5.2. Singapore is a significant investor in South Africa, with investments totalling over R5 billion in sectors such as manufacturing, financial services and real estate. Signed agreements between the two countries aim to strengthen trade, investment, education and defence cooperation.
- Western Cape District Development Model (DDM) Presidential Imbizo
6.1. President Ramaphosa undertook the sixth DDM Presidential Imbizo to the Western Cape, Drakenstein Local Municipality, Cape Winelands District, on Friday, 19 May 2023.
6.2. The President led a delegation from all three spheres of government under the theme: “Leave No One behind”. The Imbizo was preceded by the President’s visit to the nearby Vlakkeland Catalytic Human Settlement Development, which is the largest public housing development to date in the Drakenstein Local Municipality. The development that commenced in 2017 will upon completion provide 2 556 houses to qualifying beneficiaries.
6.3. The construction of 942 houses in the First Phase is underway, with 454 completed and 301 under construction. The importance of this project is that it caters for a variety of housing options from those with an income of R0 to R3 500 (under Breaking New Ground), to Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme, for those earning between R3,501 and R22 000 per annum. Both Social Housing opportunities as well as opportunities for Military Veterans are available in this project.
- Oversight Visit to eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality and uMgungundlovu District Municipality on 18 and 19 May 2023
7.1. Deputy President Paul Mashatile engaged stakeholders in education and training, agriculture, commerce and industry during an oversight visit to the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality and uMgungundlovu District Municipality as part of the DDM oversight visits.
7.2. One of the key projects visited was the Ntshongweni Catalytic Project site, where a Smart City is being constructed between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. The project will revitalise economic activity in the area, contributing about R15 billion worth of investments in the next 10 to 15 years.
- Water infrastructure
8.1. President Ramaphosa visited the Lesotho Highlands Water Project on Tuesday, 23 May 2023 during which he participated in the sod-turning ceremony of Phase 2 of the project. Signed a number of years back and having faced delays, this ceremony signified the pacing up of this critical binational initiative. The Lesotho Highlands Water Project is critical in ensuring security of water supply in Gauteng, the Free State, Mpumalanga, North West and Northern Cape.
8.2. The investment in water infrastructure to uplift the lives of South Africans continues with the allocation of over R14 billion to municipalities to address water infrastructure backlogs, through the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant (RBIG) and the Water Services Infrastructure Grant (WSIG). The RBIG will be spent on 130 projects and the WSIG will be allocated to over 400 projects across the country.
8.3. Cabinet is also pleased that the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is making strides in the fight against corruption with nearly R600 million repaid by companies who benefited from receiving irregular tenders. Cabinet also noted the preventative control measures put in place by the department to eliminate irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
- Social Security Award
9.1. South Africa has received the prestigious International Social Security Association (ISSA) Good Practice Award in Social Security for Africa 2023, which recognises government’s investment in the lives of our children, especially those from poor and vulnerable households.
9.2. South Africa’s entry to this prestigious award was titled: “Gradual extension of social security coverage to vulnerable children: The case of the Child Support Grant, South Africa”. A total of 138 entries were received from 48 member institutions in over 30 countries in Africa.
9.3. Our social assistance is at the heart of government’s poverty alleviation programme and central to restoring the dignity of our people. South Africa’s social protection system is amongst the largest in the world, with more than 18 million beneficiaries.
- Budget Votes
10.1. Cabinet is pleased that Budget Votes by government departments are progressing well. The schedule of upcoming Budget Votes and supporting media briefings:
10.1.1. Friday 26 May 2023 at 13:00, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Ms Thembi Nkadimeng, will conduct a media briefing on the CoGTA Budget Vote which will outline measures aimed at strengthening the performance of municipalities.
10.1.2. On Tuesday, 30 May 2023, the Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, and the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mr Ronald Lamola, will hold their Budget Votes and details of their media briefings will be shared in due course.
10.1.3. The Presidency’s Budget Vote will be tabled on Wednesday, 31 May 2023 and the media briefing on Progress with Structural Reforms and the Employment Initiatives coordinated through Operation Vulindlela will be held on Tuesday, 30 May 2023.
- Africa Day and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) 20-year anniversary
11.1. Cabinet and all South Africans join the African continent and the globe in celebrating Africa Day on Thursday, 25 May. This year is particularly important as it marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the founding charter of the Organisation of African Unity, the forerunner to the African Union. The theme for the 2023 celebrations – “Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area implementation” – acknowledges the strides being made in bringing into operation of the world’s largest free trade area.
11.2. This year’s Africa Month commemoration coincides with the 20th anniversary of the APRM, which is aimed at fostering good governance in the continent through systematic peer learning and self-assessment.
B. Cabinet decisions
- Namakwa Special Economic Zone (SEZ)
1.1. Cabinet approved the designation of the Namakwa SEZ in Aggeneys in the Northern Cape. The proposed designation is done in terms of the Special Economic Zones Act, 2014 (Act 16 of 2014) and the proposed SEZ is part of the Presidential Investment Drive.
1.2. The Namakwa SEZ will unlock mining beneficiation, production of green hydrogen, infrastructure development, renewable energy and agro-procession. These sectors are critical to job creation and economic development of the Northern Cape and the country.
1.3. More than R29 billion in investments has already been committed for phase one of the SEZ. These include commitments from Vedanta Zinc (R16 billion), Frontier Rare Earth (R13 billion), Hive Energy (R200 million) and RRS Trade and Investment (R100 million).
- National Water Resource Strategy Third Edition (NWRS-3) 2023
2.1. Cabinet approved the NWRS-3 2023 for implementation and the strategy is binding on all authorities and institutions implementing the National Water Act, 1998 (Act 36 of 1998).
2.2. This strategy is informed by a three-year review of the NWRS-2, which identified areas of success and areas that remain a challenge.
2.3. The NWRS-3 comprises three thematic goals, that water and sanitation must support development, the elimination of poverty and inequality, contribute to the economy and job creation, and water must be protected, used, developed, managed and controlled sustainably and equitably.
2.4. This strategy makes tangible proposals for increasing water supply, reducing water demand, effective water and sanitation management, regulating the water and sanitation sector, redistributing water for transformation, promoting international cooperation, and managing water and sanitation under a changing climate.
2.5. The NWRS-3 is published on the DWS website on www.dws.gov.za
- Report on measures implemented by the Department of Defence (DoD) to address the conduct and behaviour of South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members deployed in peace missions.
3.1. Cabinet received a report on progress South Africa is making to address the conduct of some of the members of the SANDF deployed in peace-keeping missions across the continent.
3.2. The SANDF has been a source of national pride as it participates in peacekeeping missions on the continent to secure stability and peace in war torn African nations under the auspices of the United Nations (UN).
3.3. With allegations of sexual offences involving military peacekeepers surfacing in 2015, a Ministerial Task Team was established in 2019 to investigate cases of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) within the DoD.
3.4. Cabinet is pleased by the set of measures that have been put in place to address the incidents of SEA in the SANDF peace keeping missions. The UN recognises South Africa as best practices and had commended the country for the progress it has made to stamping out SEA in the SANDF.
3.5. Cabinet emphasised that the practice of SEA will not be allowed to tarnish the good record of the SANDF on the continent.
- 2023 Youth Month
4.1. Cabinet approved the 2023 Youth Month Programme under the theme: “Accelerating youth economic emancipation for a sustainable future”.
4.2. Deputy President Mashatile will address the National Day which will this year be celebrated over a two-day period from 16 to 17 June 2023 at the Mangaung Outdoor Sport Centre, Mangaung, Bloemfontein, in the Free State. Over the two days, there will be the opportunity for youth to participate in dialogues with Ministers, Deputy Ministers and other stakeholders on various training, entrepreneurial and developmental opportunities available within government and social partners.
4.3. Youth Month will be launched on Thursday, 1 June by the Minister in The Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma at the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum in Soweto.
4.4. Cabinet urged society to intensify efforts to ensure young people access opportunities which allow them to enter active participation in the economy.
4.5. Government, as the largest employer, has responded to the need for skills development and youth employment by enabling unemployed graduates to gain experience through the Public Service Graduate Internship and Learnership Programme. Government is also implementing the Social Employment Fund (SEF) and revitalised National Youth Service (NYS) job-creation initiatives that draw thousands of young people into the economy.
4.6. The Presidential Youth Employment Intervention has already successfully supported access to 934 563 temporary earning opportunities for young people across the country. As we enter Youth Month, government reminds young people to join over 4.1 million of their compatriots and register on the SAYouth.mobi platform to access a wide range of learning and earning opportunities.
- Co-hosting of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa’s (FARA) 8th African Agri-Business and Science Week Conference and its 9th General Assembly.
5.1. Cabinet approved for South Africa to co-host FARA’s 8th African Agri-Business and Science Week Conference and its 9th General Assembly in Durban from 5 to 9 June 2023.
5.2. The FARA is the apex continental organisation responsible for facilitating and coordinating agricultural research and innovation advancement on the continent.
5.3. By hosting the event, South Africa will benefit from collaboration and partnerships with continental agriculture and research institutions through sharing of best practices in agricultural science and research. South Africa values agricultural research for development, especially in light of climate change and other factors that affect the country’s ability to achieve food security, economic development and employment. The conference is expected to attract 800 delegates to KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, and this will contribute to economic activity.
- Trade matters
6.1. Cabinet received a report that point to improvements in the country’s trade and export programme. The report indicated that South Africa exported goods to the value of R300 billion of during 2022 to 12 countries, sustaining an estimated 57 300 direct jobs.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
- Mr Bernard Scelo Duma as Deputy Director-General: Local Government Operations and Support in the Department of Cooperative Governance.
- Board of Directors of Council for Mineral Technology
(a) Ms Ntombifuthi Zikalala-Mvelase (Deputy Chairperson and reappointment);
(b) Ms Pontsho Maruping (reappointment);
(c) Mr Rudolf Heydenrich (reappointment);
(d) Dr Siyabonga Simayi;
(e) Dr Takalani Madzivhandila;
(f) Ms Azwinndini Mavis Thomani;
(g) Mr Livhu Nengovhela; and
(h) Ms Faith Ntokozo Ngcwabe (Department of Mineral Resources and Energy representative).
- Board of Directors of the Council for Geoscience
(a) Mr Kelepile Dintwe (Chairperson);
(b) Mr Xolisa Mvinjelwa (Deputy Chairperson);
(c) Adv Ntika Maake;
(d) Dr Mayshree Singh;
(e) Dr Siyanda Mngadi;
(f) Dr Ntombifuthi Nxumalo;
(g) Ms Thobeka Njozela;
(h) Mr Andries Moatshe;
(i) Dr Moloko Matlala;
(j) Mr Mandla Malindisa;
(k) Dr Mmboneni Muofhe; and
(l) Mr Mosa Mabuza (CEO).
- Draft Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) Amendment Bill of 2023.
1.1. Cabinet approved the draft IPID Amendment Bill of 2023 for submission to Parliament.
1.2. The Bill amends the IPID Act, 2011 (Act 1 of 2011), and makes proposals aimed at entrenching the institutional and operational independence of the IPID, giving effect to the “McBride judgement”.
1.3. The amendments also address the issues raised by the Constitutional Court which declared as invalid certain provisions of the IPID Act of 2011, which authorised the Minister of Police to suspend the Executive Director, to take disciplinary steps against the Executive Director following suspension, and to remove the Executive Director from office.
1.4. The Bill proposes a more transparent and open process for the appointment of the Executive Director and also a detailed and thorough process for integrity testing of IPID officials. The Bill further provides for the amendment of other provisions of the Principal Act, so as to ensure that IPID executes its mandate effectively and efficiently. The draft Bill can be found at www.policesecretariat.gov.za.
- Draft General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill (GILAB) of 2023
2.1. Cabinet approved the draft GILAB of 2023 for submission to Parliament. The GILAB proposes amendments to the National Strategic Intelligence Act, 1994 (Act 39 of 1994). The Bill gives effect to the recommendations of the Presidential High-Level Review Panel on the State Security Agency (SSA) as well as the implementation plan of the recommendations of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State.
2.2. Amongst others the Bill seeks to: (a) restructure the intelligence services to provide an institutional architecture that enables effectiveness and efficiency by establishing the domestic intelligence agency and the foreign intelligence service; (b) remedy the defects on the functioning of the Signals Intelligence Capacity as confirmed by the Constitutional Court; (c) address the weaknesses identified through Financial Action Task Force process, including measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing by empowering the national security structures to investigate and conduct security assessment if a person or institution is of national security interest; (d) Strengthen measures to regulate and coordinate the private security industry as part of a broader national security approach; and (e) put in place measures to regulate the conduct of former members of the service and others with access to intelligence information.
2.3. The Bill will further ensure that the services of the SSA are not abused to serve the interests or agenda of certain individuals.
2.4. The amendments will strengthen the oversight of the intelligence agencies by bodies such as the Inspector-General of Intelligence, the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and the Auditor-General of South Africa. The Bill is available on www.gov.za.
- Draft Public Service Commission (PSC) Bill of 2023
3.1. Cabinet approved the publication of the draft PSC Bill of 2023 for public comments. The Bill repeals the PSC Act, 1997 (Act 46 of 1997) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996.
3.2. The Bill provides for the establishment of an independent secretariat for the PSC to strengthen the independence and impartiality of the organisation. Once the Bill is enacted into law, the mandate of the PSC will be extended to municipalities and public entities.
3.3. The amendment will give the PSC a more focused approach to making a meaningful contribution towards building a responsive, ethical and values-driven public service. The Bill is available on www.dpsa.gov.za
- Draft National Nuclear Regulator Amendment Bill of 2023
4.1. Cabinet approved the draft Nuclear Regulator Amendment Bill for submission of to Parliament. The Bill amends the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) Act, 1999 (Act 47 of 1999).
4.2. The Bill seeks to address the existing gaps in the current NNR Act of 1999. The Act in its current form is not in line with international best practices in the field of nuclear safety regulations because it does not address occupational exposure of aircrew to cosmic radiation.
4.3. The Bill is also designed to align the NNR Act of 1999 with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) prescripts and its best practice. South Africa is a member of the IAEA.
E. Upcoming events
- Inauguration of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
1.1. On Monday, 29 May 2023, President Ramaphosa will honour an invitation to attend the Inauguration of President-Elect Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
1.2. The President’s participation will demonstrate continuity in the strategic relationship between South Africa and Nigeria.
1.3. Nigeria is South Africa’s biggest trade partner in West Africa. A broad range of South African firms have invested in Nigeria, while Nigerian companies are also developing a footprint in South Africa.
- Child Protection Week
2.1 South Africa will mark Child Protection Week from 28 May to 4 June 2023 under the theme: “Let us Protect Children during COVID-19 and Beyond”. The campaign mobilises all sectors and communities towards development, care, and protection of children.
2.2 This year the campaign will focus on RISIHA, a community-based prevention and early intervention programme, aimed at moving children from vulnerability to resilience.
- Eastern Cape DDM Oversight Visit
3.1 Deputy President, Mr Paul Mashatile will on 26 and 27 May 2023 conduct a DDM Oversight Visit to OR Tambo District and Buffalo City Metro, Eastern Cape.
3.2 The visit is part of government’s initiative to ensure development of communities happens in an integrated way underpinned by the DDM approach.
- Sixth Parliament of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP)
4.1 Leaders from across the continent gathered from Monday, 15 May 2023 in Midrand, South Africa for the Sixth Parliament of the PAP. The sitting will end on 02 June 2023.
4.2 The PAP seeks to address common challenges across the continent and is represented by African leaders from across the continent.
- Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)
5.1 South Africa will participate at the 56th session of the executive council to be held in Paris, France from 16 to 30 June 2023.
5.2 The IOC of UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (IOC-UNESCO) is the UN body responsible for supporting global ocean science and services.
5.3 South Africa recognises the importance of research and management of its oceans and coastal environments for sustainable development. Ocean research also helps to provide early warnings against ocean-based disasters and assist governments to make informed decisions.
- South Africa hosting major sporting championships
6.1 Sporting fans from across the world can expect a warm Ubuntu welcome and world-class hospitality when they attend the Netball World Cup and Kimura Shukokai International (KSI) Karate World Championship in South Africa. South Africa has a proven track record in successfully staging mega events.
6.2 Excitement continues to mount with just over sixty (60) days to go to the start of the Netball World Cup in Cape Town from 28 July to 6 August 2023. This is the first time that this prestigious tournament is being hosted on African soil.
6.3 Cabinet calls on everyone to support the Netball Friday’s campaign, by wearing supporter’s outfits or adorning national colours to rally behind the South African National Netball team.
6.4 KSI South Africa is also hosting the 20th KSI Karate World Championship in Cape Town from 10 to 15 July 2023, and our well-wishes are extended to Team SA as they prepare for this prestigious global event.
6.5 South Africa is proudly hosting the 2023 Table Tennis Championship Finals Championships at the Durban International Convention Centre. Around 600 players from different countries around the world are currently in action and this tournament presents our players with an opportunity to display their talent. The tournament started on 20 May 2023 and will continue until 28 May 2023.
Cabinet extended its congratulations and well wishes to:
- the Minister of Finance, Mr Enoch Godongwana, who was awarded the prestigious African Banker 2023 Finance Minister of the Year Award in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt on Wednesday, 24 May 2023 for his efforts over the past year to manage the South African economy through a complicated global and domestic environment. The award recognised the Minister’s use of fiscal policy to accelerate investments in the renewable energy sector.
- Hana Gammon, a 20-year-old South African writer for winning the 2023 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, Africa region and becoming the youngest in the history of the award.
- the Stormers Rugby Team for reaching the final of the United Rugby Championship. The Stormers will be up against the Irish Musters at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday, 27 May 2023.
- Mr Zakes Mda, the South African novelist and Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, the former University of Johannesburg Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, who have both been nominated for the 2023 African Genius Awards. Mr Mda and Prof Marwala are nominated among 19 other African achievers who have excelled in a variety of fields.
Cabinet expressed condolences to the family and friends of:
- Ambassador to the Republic of Algeria, Mr Billy Masetlha, who served South Africa in various capacities in government, including as Director-General of the intelligence services. He was deeply involved in the Struggle for South Africa’s liberation, including as a member of Umkhonto we Sizwe.
- Murthi Naidoo, who dedicated his life to the country’s liberation struggle. He was detained by security police from November 1965 to April 1966 without charges and played an active role at the height of the state of emergency in the late 1980s.
- Barry Dwolatzky, who was a pioneering figure in the country’s information and communications technology sector. He was Professor (Emeritus) in the School of Electrical and Information Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at Wits University.
- The 15 people who have lost their lives to cholera in the outbreak at Hamanskraal in the City of Tshwane.
Mr Michael Currin
Acting Government Spokesperson
Cell: 082 462 7896
Issued by: Government Communications
25 May 2023