Media release

Statement on Cabinet meeting of 4 March 2015

05 March 2015

5 March 2015


1. Implementation of key government programmes

1.1. Cabinet welcomed the 2015 National Budget that will drive the implementation of the nine-point plan presented by the President during his State of the Nation Address. This budget provides certainty, stability and prudent fiscal management necessary to take the South African economy through these tough economic conditions.

Cabinet reiterates that the tax measures introduced in the 2015 National Budget are necessary to support the fiscus in the year ahead. South Africans are encouraged to work together with government to counteract the current economic conditions to stimulate further economic growth.

1.2. Cabinet commends the sterling work done by the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in facilitating the free and fair elections in Lesotho in his role as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Facilitator.

Cabinet also commends the SADC Electoral Advisory Council (EAC), the Lesotho Electoral Commission (LEC), the security forces and the people of Lesotho for holding a peaceful, free and fair election. South Africa will work with the newly elected government of Lesotho to develop the economy of the two countries, the southern African region and the continent as a whole.

1.3. Cabinet acknowledged and welcomed the participation of South Africa in marking the World Wildlife Day on 3 March 2015. Under the stewardship of Minister Molewa South Africa continues to put in place programmes that protect the country’s environment and war against poaching.

Key amongst these is the placement of the Green Scorpions at OR Tambo International Airport. This is to ensure compliance with the Threatened or Protected Species Regulations, CITES Regulations, Bio-prospecting, Access and Benefit-Sharing Regulations and the Alien and Invasive Species Regulations.  

South Africa has also played a key role in engaging with Interpol, particularly on the Advisory Board of the Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Committee, and in the three Interpol crime-working groups namely Wildlife Crime Working Group, Fisheries Crime Working Group and the Pollution Crime Working Group.

1.4. Cabinet noted that Durban has bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which was formally lodged in London on 2 March 2015. Hosting of these games can potentially create approximately 11 650 jobs and boost the country’s economy by an estimated R20 billion. Another legacy of the Games will be an integrated public transport system for Durban for which the plans have already been approved.

2. Key Cabinet decisions

2.1. Cabinet approved the Broadcasting Digital Migration Amendment Policy with the inclusion of the control system in the Set Top Box (STB), which will be clearly defined when the policy is published.

Government will provide free STBs to more than 5 million poor television household owners. The priority will be given to those households in the border region areas of the country. The Minister of Communications will announce the digital signal switch on and analogue signal switch off date shortly.

2.2 Cabinet approved the five year Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Strategic Framework and Agricultural Policy Action Plan. The Framework sets out the key challenges faced by the three sectors and propose interventions in the four areas namely equity and transformation; equitable growth and competitiveness, environmental sustainability and governance. 

The strategy and the action plan will be updated on an annual basis. Land distribution is one of government programmes that has promoted equity, but so far without accomplishing a great deal by way of transformation. Whereas the reconstruction and development programme declared that the main purpose of land distribution was to alter the structure of South African agriculture, it also seeks to support the sectors so as to grow the economy and create jobs.

2.3. Cabinet approved for the International Hospital Federation 40th World Hospital Congress to be held in Durban towards the end of 2016. The International Hospital Federation is a global independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation for hospitals and healthcare. The annual congress affords the health practitioners an opportunity to, share best practice methodologies / approaches to improve healthcare outcomes.

2.4. Cabinet calls on parents to actively get involved in the 2015 School Governing Body (SGB) elections that will take place in all public schools from 6 to 28 March 2015. The SGBs contribute in the development of a strong sense of community ownership to our schools.

The general performance of schools, including academic achievement, tends to improve when parents are actively involved and take an interest in the affairs of the school. Over 250 000 governors are elected every three years to serve in our public schools united by a common purpose, to make education a real societal issue.

3. Bills

3.1. Cabinet approved the submission of two Bills, both amending the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005) as amended by Act 41 of 2007, to Parliament. The amendments respond to court judgments, which declared certain sections of the Act unconstitutional.

Children’s Amendment Bill, 2015 (section 75 Bill)  – The amendments addresses the definition of “sexual offence” and aligns it to the Criminal Law (sexual offences and related matters) amendment Act No 32 of 2007. The amendments also deal with allowing the child offenders to make representations before their names are included in the National Protection Register.

The proposed amendments also clarify the requirement for placing a child in foster care and provides for additional categories of children who may be adopted.

Children’s Second Amendment Bill, 2015 (section 76 Bill)  - aims to ensure that all children enjoy services and benefits aimed at facilitating access to social care and safety and to create an effective social welfare system. It also seeks to provide a safe and protective environment for the placement of children who are found to be in need of care and protection.

4. Cabinet’s position on current issues

4.1. Cabinet condemns in strongest terms the leaking of documents that may put the security of the country in jeopardy. While it is an international practice for countries to share intelligence on, among others, cross-cutting issues pertaining to economic opportunities and security matters, the purported leak of documents detailing operations of the State Security Agency is illegal.

Cabinet welcomes the State Security Agency’s full investigation into the matter and reassures South Africans that the State Security Agency will continue to focus on its mandate to protect and secure the integrity of the country, its citizens and infrastructure.                                                                           

Cabinet reiterates the message by the Minister of State Security, Minister David Mahlobo, that such conduct undermines operational effectiveness of the work to secure the country and its borders.

4.2. Cabinet welcomes the announcement by Eskom that Unit 6 of Medupi Power Station produced its first power this week, making it the first of its six units to be synchronised. Synchronisation is the process whereby the generator is electrically connected to the national power grid. Whilst we continue to work towards increasing the power supply in the national grid, cabinet calls on the public to continue adhering to the energy saving measures. Communities are encouraged to use electricity sparingly, while we continue to introduce other alternative sources of energy.

4.3 Cabinet commends the bravery, commitment, dedication and hard work of the men and women who are working tirelessly to save lives and prevent damage to property, livestock and our prestigious natural environment that  were engulfed  by the veld fires  in  Cape Town.       

Cabinet expresses its gratitude to the communities that in the spirit of Ubuntu, partnered with government in setting up mass care centres to accommodate those who have been displaced. The spirit of volunteerism displayed by people who are assisting the victims of fires is enormous and encouraging.

4.4 Cabinet remains concerned about the attacks of foreign nationals and warns that the law enforcement agencies will continue to have a strong presence in affected areas, and that perpetrators will face the full might of the law.  Violence against foreign nationals is being addressed decisively through various existing government structures.

4.5. Cabinet congratulates the South African National Under-17 football team, the Amajimbos, for making the country proud by qualifying for the final of the 2015 African Under-17 Championship in Niamey, Niger. Their gallant performance at the African Youth Championship qualifies them for the FIFA U17 World Cup in Chile later this year.

4.6. Cabinet mourned the passing of one of South Africa’s musical legends Zayn Adams, a renowned lead vocalist for the seminal 70s outfit Pacific Express, whose career spanned more than 50 years. He was synonymous with Cape Town’s musical history.

4.7. Cabinet is pleased that, true to the characteristics of a caring government, the final phase to repatriate all the mortal remains of South Africans who were killed during the collapse of the guest house owned by the Synagogue  Church of All Nation (SCOAN) in Lagos has been concluded. Our thoughts are with the families who lost their loved ones and those who were injured in the tragedy.

5. Upcoming events

5.1. President Jacob Zuma will address the opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders in Parliament, Cape Town on 5 March 2015 (today).  The relationship between government and traditional leaders is critical to ensure we build vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities.

5.2. Cabinet welcomes the return of the mortal remains of renowned struggle icons JB Marks and Moses Kotane to South Africa from Russia where they were buried 42 years ago.  These selfless leaders, who are regarded as the fathers of the liberation struggle and had inspired stalwarts such as Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu, will receive special official funerals. President Jacob Zuma has instructed that the National Flag fly at half-mast from 9 March until the evening of 22 March 2015. 

Moses Kotane will be reburied in Pella, North West on 14 March 2015 and JB Marks in Ventersdorp, North West on 22 March 2015. Their return is part of government’s commitment to return the remains of all of our fallen heroes who died on foreign soil. Last year renowned anti-apartheid journalist Nat Nakasa was successfully repatriated from New York to be reburied at the Heroes Acre in Chesterville, Durban.

5.3. Cabinet welcomes the massive comprehensive TB screening and testing campaign  to be launched by the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on  24 March 2015 which is  World TB Day,  at  Dr Kenneth Kaunda District of the North West province – under the theme “Ending South Africa’s TB epidemic: Accelerating our response in Key Populations”. 

This life-long campaign will mobilise all South Africans, in particular those living in mining communities, inmates at correctional facilities and early childhood development centres, to be screened and tested for TB.

In the past five years great strides have been made to strengthen government’s strategies for TB control with increased screening and testing especially through the HIV Counselling and Testing campaign. Screening and testing has been further boosted by the introduction of the rapid diagnostic tests for TB and drug resistant TB.

5.4. Cabinet commends the dedication and commitment of our teachers, without whom we would not have been able to achieve many of our national goals. The nominations for the National Teaching Awards recognise the outstanding contribution teachers make towards the development of our country. The awards takes place on 7 March 2015 at Gallagher Estate, Midrand.

The Department of Basic Education hosts this annual event to pay tribute to dedicated, committed, hard-working and professional teachers.

5.5. Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane will launch National Water Week at drought-stricken KwaDukuza in KwaZulu-Natal on 16 March 2015 under the theme: “Water Has No Substitute”. This national week will conclude with World Water Day on 22 March 2015.

This campaign will educate South Africans on the value of water and the need for sustainable management of this scarce resource.  Cabinet reminds all South Africans that we live in a water-scarce country and urges all to conserve it by fixing leaks and making waterwise lifestyle changes.

5.6. Sunday, 8 March, marks the International Women’s Day (IWD) which is a day used annually across the world to reflect on progress made, call for change and celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who played an extraordinary role in the history of their communities and countries.

The Department of Women will lead the national celebration of IWD at Langa High School in Cape Town  under the theme "Women’s Rights are Human Rights: Together Moving a Non-Violent South Africa Forward".

This theme is aligned to the United Nations’ theme of: "Equality for Women is progress for all!" and the African Union’s declaration of the year 2015 as “The Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”.  The day will be used to launch the national and provincial dialogue’s programme which will commence from this month until June, leading to a report on the status of women to be launched by the President on August 9.

5.7. Cabinet calls on the South African media to submit their entries for the 2015 SADC Media Awards competition. The closing date is 31 March 2015 and more information is available on Department of Communication website

The Awards link formal structures of SADC governments, civil society, academia, labour and the media. It promotes regional integration and cooperation by encouraging media practitioners in member states to cover issues pertaining to the region.  The competition also consists of the Water Media Awards which recognise stories that promote Integrated Water Resource Management in the SADC region.

6. Appointments

All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance:

6.1. Mr Mayihlome Tshwete as the Deputy Director-General: Communication Services in the Department of Home Affairs.

6.2. Ms CM Mogotsi as the Deputy Director-General in the Department of Arts and Culture.

6.3. Mr Vusimuzi Philemon Madonsela:  Extension of contract as the Director-General for the Department of Cooperation Governance.

7. Non- executive Directors to the ZA Domain name Authority (ZADNA) Board

7.1 Ms N Dhevcharran (Chairperson)
7.2 Dr NYH Mzizana
7.3 Mr AM Brooks
7.4 Mr NM Msibi
7.5 Adv MJ Ralefatane
7.6 Mr MR Khumalo
7.8 Dr YKN Mohutsioa-Mathabathe
7.9 Ms  MO Morata
7.10 Mr J Tshipa

8 Non- Executive Members to the BroadBand Infraco Board

8.1 Mr BMC Ngcobo (Chairperson)
8.2 Ms MM Maponya
8.3 Dr A Githiari
8.4 Ms N Selamolela

9 Non-Executive Directors to the SENTECH Board

9.1 Mr MA Mello (Chairperson)
9.2 Mr SM Radebe
9.3 Mr LC Mtimde

10 South African National Biodiversity Institute Board (SANBI)

10.1 Ms MNE Magomola (Chairperson)
10.2  Dr ST Cornelius
10.3  Dr JM Matjila
10.4  Ms BD Ngidi
10.5 Mr S Gounden
10.6 Ms NN Mnqeta
10.7 Ms T Godongwana
10.8 Prof. BW van Wilgen
10.9 Dr YN Seleti
10.10 Ms S Mancotywa
10.11 Ms TE Abrahamse

11. South African National Parks Board

11.1 Ms J Yawitch (Chairperson)
11.2 Dr K Njobe
11.3 Mr ET Khumalo
11.4 Dr CG Olver
11.5 Ms F Futwa
11.6 Ms BD Ferguson
11.7 Mr M India
11.8 Mr L Zitha
11.9  Dr M Matlou
11.10 Mr MT Mokono
11.11 Dr N Mzilikazi
11.12 Ms T Semane
11.13 Ms JE McCourt
11.14 Mr FG Mketeni

12. Non-executive members to South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL)

12.1 Mr R Morar (Chairperson)
12.2 Ms A Lawless
12.3 Ms ZJ Kganyago
12.4 Mr M Matete
12.5 Ms D Mashile-Nkosi

13. Non-Executive Directors to the Airports Company South Africa Limited Board (ACSA)

13.1 Mr SD Macozoma (Chairperson)
13.2 Dr MS Mabela
13.3 Ms S Simelane
13.4 Ms MK Matlou

Ms Phumla Williams (Acting Cabinet Spokesperson)
Contact: 083 501 0139

Issued by: Department of Communications

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