Statement on the Virtual Cabinet Meeting of 22 June 2022
A. ISSUES IN THE ENVIRONMENT
1. Climate Change
1.1. Cabinet welcomed the visit to South Africa by Mr Alok Sharma, President of the 26th United Nations (UN) Climate Change Summit, from 19 to 21 June 2022, and his assessment that South Africa has shown a clear commitment to a clean energy transition.
1.2. In 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa joined other leaders in announcing a historic partnership with the governments of France, Germany, United Kingdom and United States, as well as the European Union, to support a just transition to a low carbon economy and a climate resilient society.
1.3. South Africa has been hard at work in preparing the ground for our clean energy transition and a move to clean energy sources such as green hydrogen, biomass, wind power, solar power and hydro-power, among other renewables. This so-called energy mix allows for a balance between energy sources to ensure reliable power to meet the country’s growing energy needs.
2. Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) vaccine uptake
2.1. Cabinet welcomed the significant drop in COVID-19 infections recorded in South Africa over the past few weeks and encouraged all eligible people to continue to vaccinate, which helps to prevent serious illness, hospitalisation and death.
2.2. Half of all adult South Africans have to date received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. Government aims to use the low-interest loan recently approved by the World Bank to purchase additional COVID-19 vaccine doses and ensure that the nation is adequately protected against potential infections.
2.3. Cabinet also considered matters related to developments on the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly with the progress being made towards a full return to normal socio-economic activities. The Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, will provide further details.
3. National Youth Day
3.1. Cabinet thanked all South Africans for joining in the country’s National Youth Day commemorations on Thursday, 16 June 2022 under the theme: “Promoting sustainable livelihood and resilience of young people for a better tomorrow.” The spirit of enthusiasm and resilience shown by the youth across our nation is indeed a cause for celebration and hope for a better tomorrow.
3.2. As National Youth Month draws to an end, let us intensify our efforts to ensure young people access the many support programmes provided by government and facilitate their active participation in the economy.
3.3. The Public Service, as the largest employer, has responded to this challenge 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 will each draw 50 000 young people into the economy.
3.4. These initiatives will not only provide much-needed work experience but will also reinforce the value of active citizenship. The SEF partners with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) while the NYS enlists young people for services which benefit communities across the country.
4.1. Cabinet welcomed the 11-point Action Plan to deal with road blockages and recruitment of foreign nationals as truck drivers. The plan, which was developed by the Road and Freight Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) in partnership with the road and freight industry stakeholders, promotes amongst others the enforcement of visa requirements and compliance with labour laws.
4.2. The IMC was formed to deal with escalating road blockages and protests by disgruntled South African truck drivers. Protests and road blockages adversely impact mobility, scare foreign investors and most importantly, negatively impact the economy and essential supply chains which use affected corridors.
5. Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) Metropolitan Municipality water shortages
5.1. Cabinet welcomed the intervention of the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) in the NMB Metropolitan Municipality in the Eastern Cape to avert Day Zero as the province is facing severe water shortages which started in 2015. The DWS is working with the province to implement short, medium and long-term measures to address and mitigate the potential impact of the drought.
5.2. Cabinet further urged the residents of NMB to adhere to water restrictions imposed by local municipalities to ensure water security. Overall, water use must be reduced by 50 million litres per day, from the current level of 280 million litres per day down to 230 million litres per day.
6. Crime and corruption
6.1. Cabinet welcomed the recent arrest of a Home Affairs official stationed at the Benoni office for issuing a fraudulent passport to a Bangladeshi national. The official, Ms Sibongile Simelane, was granted R5 000 bail in the Benoni Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, 21 June 2022. The Bangladeshi national, Mr Fahim Kazi, was arrested while trying to leave the country on 12 May 2022 under the name, ‘Lebogang Ndlovu’.
6.2. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) recently deported Lithuanian actress, Ms Ieva Andrejevaite, who sought to abuse South Africa’s refugee management regime when she fabricated a story of wanting to apply for asylum because of the “war in Ukraine”.
6.3. Cabinet commends the work being done by the DHA’s Counter Corruption Unit. It applauds and encourages ordinary South Africans to continue to report such criminal acts. The unlawful acts of South Africans who sell their identities have far-reaching negative implications for the country’s security and socio-economic status.
6.4. Government will continue to deal harshly against anyone involved in illegal acts that undermine our immigration laws, without fear or favour.
6.5. Cabinet also welcomed the recent conviction and sentencing of a Durban teacher, Ms Nomusa Precious Gabuza (37) – who was sentenced to three years’ correctional supervision and four years’ imprisonment, wholly suspended for three years, in the Umlazi Regional Court in KwaZulu-Natal – for contravening the Local Government Municipal Electoral Act, 2000 (Act 27 of 2000). As a teacher at the school which was used as a voting station during the Municipal Elections in October 2021, Ms Gabuza pleaded guilty for fraudulently casting 24 votes, including 12 for the Municipal Elections and 12 for the Ward Elections.
6.6. The conviction and sentencing underscore the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s commitment to intervene timeously and apply consequence management. This is also a strong affirmation of the electoral systems, which have since been strengthened with the introduction of the Voter Management Device that prevents double voting.
6.7. Cabinet affirmed that elections are the cornerstone of our democracy and must be protected at all costs.
7. World Trade Organisation (WTO) 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12)
7.1. Cabinet welcomed the outcomes of the WTO MC12 held in Geneva, Switzerland from 12 to 17 June 2022, in particular the decision that eligible countries could override COVID-19 vaccine patents until 2027. The decision on whether to extend this to COVID-19 therapeutics and diagnostics was delayed for six months.
7.2. South Africa had been leading the call for the WTO to waiver intellectual property rights tied to COVID-19 vaccines that will ensure equal access to vaccines and enable countries that have the capability to manufacture vaccines to do so.
7.3. The conference also committed to an open and inclusive process to reform all its functions and agreed to a package of trade deals addressing areas such as health, setting limits on fishing subsidies, a moratorium on e-commerce trade and food security.
B. CABINET DECISIONS
1. Progress on Broadcasting Digital Migration (BDM) Programme
1.1. Cabinet received an update on the BDM Programme and noted the progress made with the installation of set-top boxes as part of migrating from analogue to digital broadcasting.
1.2. Cabinet re-emphasised the urgency for concluding the BDM to free up the spectrum needed for mobile broadband, and other information and communications technology related purposes.
1.3. Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni will hold a media briefing tomorrow (Friday, 24 June) to provide more details.
2. Annual National Child Rights Status Report
2.1. Cabinet approved the second Annual National Child Rights Status Report to be published. The report provides an update on the implementation of the National Plan of Action for the Children for the 2019-2024 period.
2.2. The report highlights the achievements recorded for the 2020-2021 period. It also highlights areas that remain a challenge, including the safety of children and the continued disparities between the poor and the rich in respect of children. The report also reflects on how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted on children during this period.
2.3. The intervention measures being implemented by government are aimed at realising the rights of children, as outlined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996. They also support the country’s obligations to the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC). South Africa is a signatory to both the UNCRC and ACRWC.
2.4. The report was compiled in consultation with government departments and a number of relevant stakeholders at national and provincial levels. The full report will be posted on the Department of Social Development website: www.dsd.gov.za.
3. South Africa’s Combined third to sixth Periodic Report to the UNCRC
3.1. Cabinet approved the tabling of the third to the sixth Periodic Report to the UNCRC. This report follows the second Periodic Report that was tabled to the UNCRC in 2014.
3.2. The report has been compiled in accordance with Article 44 of the UNCRC, and also covers the observations and recommendations made from the last report. The UNCRC sent its observations and recommendations for the country in 2016.
3.3. The compilation was done in consultation with all relevant departments and stakeholders across the country. The full report will be made public once it has been tabled to the UNCRC.
4. National report on implementing the New Urban Agenda
4.1. Cabinet approved the submission of South Africa’s first national report on the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda to the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). The UN-Habitat adopted its New Urban Agenda at its Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in October 2016. Member states were expected to submit progress reports voluntarily.
4.2. South Africa supported the adoption of the New Urban Agenda and subsequently implemented it through the country’s Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF). The IUDF aims to guide the development of inclusive, resilient and liveable urban settlements.
4.3. The progress report was compiled in consultation with national, provincial and local spheres of government, and relevant NGOs.
5. Integrated Youth Development Strategy (IYDS)
5.1. Cabinet approved the IYDS for implementation. The strategy gives effect to the National Youth Policy 2020-2030. It outlines the actions, projects and programmes to be undertaken by various stakeholders from youth formations.
5.2. It also deals with minimising the duplication of government interventions and guides how civil society and the private sector can support young people from accessing opportunities. The compilation of the strategy involved diverse inputs from various sectors of society.
6. Draft White Paper on Conservation and Sustainable Use of South Africa’s Biodiversity
6.1. Cabinet approved the draft White Paper on Conservation and Sustainable Use of South Africa’s Biodiversity for public comments. South Africa’s biodiversity provides an important basis for economic growth and development, and is critical to people’s livelihoods.
6.2. This White Paper gives effect to the recommendations made by the High-Level Panel of Experts appointed in 2019 to review our current policies, legislation and practices on matters relating to iconic species.
6.3. The report recommended the development of an overarching policy on conservation and sustainable use of the country’s biodiversity. The policy will be implemented across all spheres of government. Conservation is important for the country’s drive to accelerate economic growth and job creation.
7. Game Meat Strategy
7.1. Cabinet approved the publication of the draft Game Meat Strategy for public comments. The strategy seeks to formalise and transform the game meat industry. It also seeks to contribute towards food security in a sustainable manner.
7.2. The game meat industry is predominately an informal industry that operates in a fragmented manner. The proposed strategy provides an implementation plan that will formalise and strengthen the sector as both a provider of food security and an economic growth sector that can help create job opportunities.
1. Traditional Affairs General Amendment Bill of 2022
1.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the Traditional Affairs General Amendment Bill of 2022 to Parliament for further processing. The amendments seek to revise the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act, 2019 (Act 3 of 2019), which came into effect on 1 April 2021.
2. Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Amendment Bill of 2022
2.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Amendment Bill of 2022 to Parliament for further processing. Once adopted, the Bill will amend the current Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act, 2004 (Act 33 of 2004).
2.2. The Bill went through an extensive public consultation process after it was approved by Cabinet in May 2021. The amendments seek to align the country’s domestic instruments of fighting terrorism with the global measures that have been put in place. They have also addressed the clauses that were deemed unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court.
2.3. As a signatory to the UN Security Council, South Africa is duty-bound to domesticate the international laws that seek to strengthen measures to combat global terrorism.
D. UPCOMING EVENTS
1. 14th Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Summit
1.1. President Ramaphosa will lead South Africa’s participation in the virtual 14th BRICS Leaders’ Summit hosted by the People’s Republic of China from Thursday, 23 to Friday, 24 June 2022.
1.2. Our BRICS membership continues to benefit the country. Last year over 17 percent of South Africa’s exports were destined to other BRICS countries, and over 29 percent of our total imports came from these countries. The value of this trade continues to grow, with total South African trade with other BRICS countries reaching R702 billion in 2021, up from R487 billion in 2017.
1.3. Collaboration within BRICS members in various areas such as health and enhanced trade has grown our local industry, and benefited all BRICS members. Our investment in infrastructure development projects and efforts to reduce red tape when doing business aim to increase exports to our BRICS partners.
2. Economic Governance Winter School
2.1. The National School of Government (NSG) will host its third Economic Governance Winter School Programme for Political Executives in Johannesburg from 27 June to 1 July 2022. It will be attended by Ministers from Côte d’Ivoire; South Sudan and South Africa; and Directors-General from Lesotho, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Ghana. South African mayors, as well as members of mayoral committees and executive councils, will also attend.
2.2. The political executives from different countries are expected to share ideas and lessons from different scenarios that they experience in their day-to-day work.
2.3. The NSG designed the annual programme for members of the executive in 2020, as part of its support to government’s commitment to build a capable state. It seeks to, among other things, equip executives within the three spheres of government with enhanced leadership and oversight capabilities to be able to re-examine governance challenges that constrain inclusivity and sustainable economic growth.
3. Nelson Mandela International Day
3.1. This year’s Nelson Mandela International Day on Monday, 18 July 2022 will be celebrated under the global theme: “Do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are”.
3.2. It is a clarion call for people to support and participate in the campaign by contributing sustainable interventions with a lasting impact.
3.3. One such sustainable intervention is the annual Nelson Mandela Youth Dialogue and Ethical Leadership Programme focusing on topical issues concerning young people in South Africa and across the globe.
4. Tax Season
4.1. The 2022 tax filing season will open from 1 July to 24 October 2022. Taxpayers are encouraged to file their returns on eFiling (www.sarsefiling.co.za (link is external)) or on the South African Revenue Service (SARS) MobiApp.
4.2. This year SARS will continue with the auto-assessment of individual taxpayers, which is a pre-populated income tax return to help simplify the submission process. In 2021 more than three million taxpayers were auto-assessed.
4.3. The timely and accurate submission of tax returns not only ensures taxpayers remain compliant, but it also helps government to deliver services to South Africans who need them most.
Cabinet extended its congratulations and well-wishes to:
Judge Owen Lloyd Rogers following his recent appointment as Judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
Cabinet joined President Ramaphosa in wishing former President Thabo Mbeki a Happy 80th Birthday, which he celebrated on 18 June 2022. Mr Mbeki envisioned a bright and prosperous future for all South Africans.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
1. Non-executive directors of the South African Civil Aviation Authority Board:
a. Mr Ernest Khosa;
b. Ms Bulelwa Koyana;
c. Mr Surendra Sooklal; and
d. Ms Rejoice Edith Phewa.
2. Members of the Office of Disclosure of the Home Loan and Mortgage Disclosure:
a. Ms Kenosi Pearl Louisa Selane (Chairperson);
b. Ms Catharina Maria Van der Sandt;
c. Mr Errol Vincent Magerman;
d. Adv Mandla Dludlu;
e. Mr Matsobane Gabriel Mello;
f. Ms Palesa Mawasha;
g. Ms Penelope Anne Beck-Paxton;
h. Ms Sphiwe Dorris Mayinga;
i. Mr Tshifhiwa Victor Mphigalale; and
j. Mr Zuko Ncemane.
Ms Phumla Williams – Cabinet Spokesperson
Mobile: 083 501 0139
23 June 2022