Statement on Cabinet meeting of 15 March 2017

16 March 2017

1.    CABINET DECISIONS

1.1.        Cabinet deliberated on the Third Quarter Outcomes Performance Update Reports for the period October to December 2016, which monitor implementation of Government’s Programme of Action in line with the provisions of the Medium Term Strategic Framework and the National Development Plan.

Respective Cluster Ministers, through the GCIS, will coordinate cluster media briefings to present departmental milestones reached in the period.

The following highlights will be elaborated on during Ministerial cluster briefings.

 

a. ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION

1.2.        Economic Transformation requires radical change in the productive base of the South African economy; it also requires changing the patterns of participation by previously disadvantaged individuals in the economy.

1.3.        Following Government’s announcement that it would create 100 black industrialists over the medium term to bring about economic transformation, 27 Black Industrialists have been supported since the inception of the programme, 9 of which were supported in this quarter.

1.4.        Government support resulted in a total projected private-sector investment of R956m while 1 053 jobs are projected to be established. Additionally, the Industrial Development Corporations’ (IDC) gross funding for black industrialists amounted to R4, 575 billion, from quarter one of 2015/16 to quarter three of 2016/17.

b. INVESTMENT

1.5.        In an effort to boost confidence levels, Government through Invest SA has identified 40 high-impact projects that are ready for implementation within the next two years. Support from the Department of Trade and Industry attracted R4bn in private-sector investment, with the potential to save and create approximately 3 614 jobs in the September-December 2017 quarter. The Dube Trade-Port attracted R1.3bn of private-sector investment while the OR Tambo International Airport SEZ attracted R260m in private sector investment.

1.6.        Economic diplomacy initiatives undertaken yielded increased sales of manufactured value-added exports by R247 million which brings the cumulative total for the year to R4. 105 billion.

1.7.        Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) confirms that South Africa remains a preferred investment destination. The Q3 additions to the Pipeline represent potential FDI of R4.55 billion particularly in the energy and chemicals sector. This brings the total potential FDI to R34.892 billion. Officials are working extensively to move these potential investments from the pipeline to actual in

1.8.        President Jacob Zuma will launch the Invest SA National One Stop Shop tomorrow Friday 17 March 2017 at the dti Campus in Pretoria, Sunnyside.

c. SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

1.9.        As part of implementing the 30% ‘set aside’ of total procurement expenditure for SMMEs, National Treasury has reviewed the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act Regulations and gazetted amendments in January 2017.

1.10.     In the reporting quarter – The Department of Small Business Development supported 1,388 township enterprises and 48 co-operatives, through incentives.

1.11.     National and provincial Government are collaborating to revitalise local industrial parks, so as to support existing businesses and to attract new businesses. as Already, the Komani Industrial Park (Eastern Cape) accommodates 30 companies and employs 555 people, while Botshabelo Park (Free State) supports the livelihoods of about 10 000 people.

d. AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

1.12      While prolonged drought conditions, since 2014, has started to taper in the fourth quarter of 2016 as rainfall brought new hope to our economy, the impact will take a few months. The recent outbreak of the Fall Armyworm in Limpopo poses a new risk to crops.

1.13      During the quarter, 374 299 hectares of underutilised land were cultivated on farms under the Recapitalisation and Development Programme. Despite the drought there was a 50% achievement of the target for food production as compared to the previous three quarters.

1.14      244 073 people benefitted from the food security initiatives including those that were fed at Community Nutrition Development Centres. The Department of Social Development procured produce from 43 local cooperatives at R1 684 238.21 in line with 75% local procurement proposals.

1.15      6 784 179 learners from 10 300 (quintile 1-3) primary and secondary schools benefitted from the National School Nutrition Programme. 5 408 service providers (1 142 Community Base Co-operatives, 3 112 SMMEs and 1 154 retail/ wholesalers) have been contracted to supply food products to schools. 541 121 youth and 291 304 women benefitted from the interventions implemented in the rural areas in this quarter.

e. INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Energy

1.14.     46 382 households were connected to grid or micro scheme electricity and 2116 households were connected to off grid technology. Furthermore 141 191 rural indigent households gained access to free basic electricity. Construction of Nwaabe Integrated Energy Centre has been completed.

1.15.     The Department of Energy finalised the procurement of 31 100 solar home systems for installation (planned annual target of 20 000). Installation will commence in the fourth quarter.

1.16.     Government has continued the rollout of the Independent Power Producer (IPP) Programme with the following achievements: (i) unlocking of R201bn from the Renewable IPP Programme; (ii) The Renewables are now supplying 3 175MW to the Grid; (iii) the project information memorandum for the gas IPP has been completed with the Request For Proposal to be issued before the end of the new financial year; and (iv) 900MW was procured from the coal IPP.

  • Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery

1.17.     In eradicating infrastructure backlog in rural schools: one schools grant was completed, which was funded through the Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative, 389 schools gained access to water, 57 schools gained access to electricity and 157 schools were provided with decent sanitation.

In addition the following were allocated to implementing agencies: 293 school building projects; 959 school water projects; 535 electricity projects and 585 sanitation projects.

  • Health Infrastructure

1.18.     Progress in eradicating infrastructure backlogs in health facilities includes: progress in the maintenance of 70 clinics and Community Health Centres, 18 hospitals and 67 health facilities in districts where the National Health Insurance is being piloted. The construction of 3 Primary Health Care Centres and three Community Care Centres was completed; and the construction of 4 Community Health Care Centres is in progress.

  • Water and Sanitation

1.19.     29 626 households gained access to piped water during the quarter under review. The construction of Ncora water treatment works and Kalahari East to Mier pipeline has been completed; Jozini Pongolapoort and Gariep Dam are in the final stages of construction. In addition 98 water development and 51 sanitation projects have been completed.

1.20.     611 360 households gained access to sanitation services and 20 599 households were served through the Rural Household Infrastructure Grant to eradicate the sanitation backlog: 1 405 buckets were replaced with adequate sanitation services in the formally established settlements.

f. EDUCATION

1.21.     By the end of November 2016 – 89% (4 107 of 4 612) Funza Lushaka graduates eligible for placement in 2016 had been placed in schools which is a 2% improvement from the previous quarter and 4% above the annual target.

1.22.     The South African Council for Educators was able to increase the number of educators signed up for participation in the Continuing Professional Teacher Development Management System to a total of 6 572 educators.

1.23.     Since implementation of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme recoveries strategy, collections per month have increased as a result of the various initiatives and to date R268.4 million has been collected against the annual target of R285 million.

1.24.     The revised Funding Framework for Universities has been finalised and will be consulted with the university sector before being published.

1.25.     14 077 Artisans have been certified by the National Artisan Moderation Body

g. HEALTH

1.26.     Prevention is the cornerstone of the public sector’s efforts to combat HIV and AIDS. As part of HIV Counselling and Testing services, a total of 3 022 988 clients were tested for HIV, against the third quarter target of 2 500 000.

1.27.     221 201 467 male condoms and 6 403 730 female condoms were distributed against the third quarter targets of 150 000 000 and 4 500 000 respectively. 155 188 medical male circumcisions were performed against the quarterly target of 250 000.

1.28.     The tuberculosis (TB) new client treatment success rate was 84.2% exceeding the third quarter target of 84%.

1.29.     In the third quarter 66.3% of pregnant women visited health facilities before 20 weeks, exceeding the quarter target of 63%.

1.30.     Cabinet approved the establishment of the Committee of Ministers, to be chaired by the Minister to Public Service and Administration, to consider determinations on stipulated conditions of service such as: annual salary adjustments, salary scales or levels, performance bonuses, pay incentives and pension benefits. Cabinet also approved that a Government Negotiations Implementation Protocol be developed to ensure a transparent intergovernmental process with appropriate participation.

This creates an effective structure to align employees’ conditions of service in different sectors of the public service and to ensure that the budgetary and broader economic implications are taken into account when adjustments are considered.

1.31.     Government’s Programme of Action has played a significant role in GDP growth as reflected in the GDP figures released by Statistics South Africa. In support of the National Development Plan, the country’s Nine Point Plan outlines specific interventions for growing and transforming the economy, creating jobs and attracting investment.

The largest positive contributors were the trade, catering and accommodation industry as well as finance, real estate and business services, which increased by 2,1% and 1,6% respectively. Each contributed 0, 3 of a percentage point to GDP growth.

2.  IMPLEMENTATION OF GOVERNMENT PROGRAMMES

2.1         Cabinet joins Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in welcoming the full endorsement of the minimum wage agreement that was agreed to by labour, government and business under the auspices of the NEDLAC Committee of Principals.

This endorsement is an important milestone in the process of making the National Minimum Wage a reality which will reverse the phenomenon of the “working poor” and allow employees to provide for the daily needs of their families. It also extends our social net to the most vulnerable in our society and helps us build a more inclusive society.

2.2         Government is securing the credibility of qualifications and higher education system. The announcement by the Minister of Higher Education and Training on action to be taken against holders of fake qualifications, including prosecuting and publicly naming and shaming them will contribute to ending the growing prevalence of qualification forgeries

As at the end of January 2017, a total of 1 276 qualifications (444 national and 832 foreign qualifications) were recorded on SAQA’s list of misrepresented qualifications - with 78 affidavits completed for handover to the Hawks for prosecution.

As part of the regulatory move SAQA will register the names of holders of fake certificates on its website.

2.3.        Cabinet is pleased that government's national anti-corruption hotline is helping to identify cases of fraud. As of 31 January this year, 18 778 cases had been referred to government departments and feedback was received on 17 249 cases. Ninety percent of cases had been closed and 3 600 officials had been found guilty of misconduct between 2004 and January 2017.

The majority of public servants are honest and continue to deliver services and do their work.

2.4.        In another major anti-corruption initiative, government has moved to ensure that public service employees are barred from doing business with government departments and other organs of state. The transitional period for public servants to declare their activities under the 2016 public service regulations ended on 31 January 2017. By 1 February 2017, those public servants who were conducting business with an organ of state should have resigned from either their businesses, or from the public service employment.

The Department of Public Service and Administration is currently working on collating information on public service employees who failed to comply with the new regulations. Once the process is completed disciplinary processes will be instituted against all who failed to comply.

3.  ISSUES IN THE ENVIRONMENT

3.1.        Cabinet deeply regrets the anxiety caused by uncertainty over the payment of social grants to beneficiaries. We are a caring government and the needs of our people are our priority. We are collectively working towards ensuring that grant beneficiaries are not disadvantaged by these unfortunate events.

3.2.        Cabinet assures South Africans that we are dealing with the matter at the highest levels. We have approved the establishment of a Ministerial Task Team consisting of the following Ministers: Minister in The Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (convenor), Social Development, Finance, Science and Technology, Home Affairs, Telecommunications and Postal Services and State Security.

The Task Team has been mandated to address the following:

  • Following the Constitutional Court judgement – to consider proposals with a view to strengthening conditionalities as well as consequence management (immediate) and identifying an appropriate transitional period;
  • Ensure the payment of grants as from 1 April 2017;
  • Seek legal advice on the viability of further legal action by the State, especially in addressing unlawful and irregular conduct where necessary;
  • Reviewing the conduct of the South African Social Security Agency especially in relation to its administrative capacity and management and making a recommendation;
  • Developing a contingent plan; and
  • Devising a comprehensive institutionalised payment system for grants.

3.3.        Cabinet warmly acknowledges the dedication and professional service of the South African Police Service as well as the outpouring of support messages and citizens who mobilised to find Baby Siwaphiwe Mbambo. This demonstrates that when South Africans work together we can make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable.

President Jacob Zuma has undertaken that Government will take visible action to combat crime in the Mhlabuyalingana Local Municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal which is causing tension between South Africans and Mozambicans.

Cabinet joins the President in urging the local communities of Mhlabuyalingana and surrounding municipalities of Mkhanyakude, Hlabisa and Jozini to renew their trust in the police and work together with them to combat cross-border crime especially the car hijackings in the area.

National Departments particularly of the Police, Defence, State Security, Home Affairs, Social Development and others will make a strong intervention after the President’s visit, working with the Provincial government and municipalities.

3.4.        While parts of the country have received much needed rains with dam levels showing significant improvement with some even full to capacity, the persistent drought in the Western Cape is dire even though water saving strategies are being implemented.

Engagements between national and provincial sector departments as well as municipalities are ongoing in an effort to minimise the impact. Water remain a scarce resource in South Africa and all water users – domestic and commercial are urged to continue using water efficiently.

3.5.        Cabinet joins President Jacob Zuma in congratulating President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo of the Republic of Ghana on the milestone occasion of Ghana’s 60th independence anniversary on 6 March 2017.

3.6.        Cabinet joins the Minister of Communications in celebrating the South African national winners of the SADC Media Awards. The awards recognise excellence in journalism and encourages media practitioners in member states to cover issues pertaining to the region for the purposes of promoting regional integration and cooperation. The South African media are invited to submit their entries for the 2017 SADC Media Awards Competition, before the closing date of 20 March 2017.

3.7.        Cabinet was briefed on progress and preparations for the O.R Tambo Centenary Celebrations for 2017 under the theme: “Life and Legacy of O.R Tambo”. The year-long country-wide programme for awareness creation, educational, celebratory and honouring activities builds-up to the fully-fledged centenary celebrations on 27 October 2017, and concludes in early December 2017 with a musical tribute at Mbizana, Wild Coast Casino. This year long national discourse reaffirms the significant role played by O.R Tambo in the struggle for liberation and attainment of Freedom and Democracy.

All National and Commemorative days for 2017 will be utilised as platforms for the O.R Tambo Centenary Celebrations. Cabinet calls on all sectors to align their programme and content to the theme and objectives of the O.R Tambo Centenary Celebrations.

4. CONGRATULATIONS

4.1.        Cabinet congratulates the Minister of Environmental Affairs‚ Edna Molewa‚ who will be appointed as the first Chancellor of the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University. o a teacher.

4.2.        Cabinet commends the five young South African scientists nominated by the Academy of Science of South Africa, who join 400 other young scientists from 76 countries selected to participate in this year’s 67th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany. They are Dr Hlamulo Makelane, University of the Western Cape; Frederick Malan, University of Pretoria; Funeka Nkosi, University of the Witwatersrand; Retha Peach, North-West University, and Dr Mark Williams-Wynn, University of KwaZulu-Natal. The meeting will take place from 25 to 30 June 2017 with 31 laureates expected to participate.

4.3.        Cabinet congratulates the all-female team of researchers from the University of Cape Town, along with Gasnat Shaboodien and Sarah Krause, and researchers from Italy who discovered the heart attack gene. This landmark medical discovery has the potential to prevent hundreds of cardiac-related deaths every year.

4.4.        The Department of Sports and Recreation South Africa and the South African Revenue Services was jointly awarded with the Pan South African Language Board Multilingualism Award in the Government/Public Sector category. They received this accolade in recognition of their drive to promote multilingualism in South Africa.

4.5.        The successful handover of the commission chairmanship of the African Union from Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to Moussa Faki Mahamat of Chad. Cabinet wishes him all success.

4.6.        Cabinet congratulates Amajita for their performance at the Under 20 African Cup of Nations, in Zambia. They reached the semi-finals and in so doing secured South Africa's place at the 2017 FIFA Under 20 World Cup to be hosted in South Korea.

5. CONDOLENCES AND WELL WISHES

5.1.        Cabinet sends condolences to the family and friends of those who lost loved ones in the fires which razed Cape Town’s informal settlements leaving thousands of people displaced.

Government has erected two marques to facilitate registration for those who have lost security documents and four halls are accommodating those who have been displaced, where basic necessities such as water and food parcels are being made available.

Various government departments have intervened to provide support and services to minimise the impact on communities.

Cabinet thanks Aid organisations and volunteers who are assisting with relief operations in the area.

5.2.        Cabinet also wishes anti-apartheid veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela well during her stay in hospital, and urge the nation to keep her and her family in their thoughts and prayers at this time.

5.3.        Cabinet joins President Jacob Zuma in wishing struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada a speedy recovery from his illness. He is one of our three surviving Rivonia Trialists and we urge the nation to keep him and his family in their thoughts and prayers at this time.

Enquiries:
Mr Donald Liphoko
Cell: 082 901 0766

Issued by: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)

Year: 
2017
Media Statement date: 
Thursday, March 16, 2017