Media release

Statement on the Cabinet meeting of 10 May 2023

11 May 2023

A.      Issues in the environment

1.  10 May – 29th Anniversary of the Inauguration of first democratically elected president

1.1. This Cabinet meeting took place exactly 29 years to the day when President Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the first President of a democratic South Africa on 10th May 1994.  After three and a half centuries of colonialism and separate development where one’s ability to have access to basic services  were on the basis of one’s skin colour, a democratic South Africa set inclusive development goals to achieve a prosperous, non-racial, non-sexist and equal society.

1.2. While many gains have been made since 1994, much more still needs to be done to realise the country’s development goals.

1.3. The South African Reserve Bank has released an upgraded series of banknotes and coins, which celebrate our constitutional democracy and pay tribute to our beloved Madiba.

2.  Presidential Health Summit

2.1.  The second Presidential Health Summit held on 4-5 May 2023  focussed on nine pillars of the 2019 Presidential Health Compact: human resources; access to medicine, vaccines and health products; infrastructure; private sector engagement; quality healthcare; public sector financial management improvements; governance and leadership; community engagements; information systems and pandemic preparedness.

2.2.  One of the outcomes of the Summit was the renewed commitment to implement the National Health Insurance (NHI). This is part of a programme to reduce disparities in accessing health care services by alleviating the financial burden for accessing healthcare services.

2.3.  Cabinet welcomes the adoption of measures that are needed to recalibrate the health system and accelerate the NHI reforms. These move our health systems closer to better serve South Africans.

3.  Energy

3.1.  Government is working closely with Eskom to fast-track the repair of units that have resulted in Stage 6 load shedding in recent days and frustrated progress in the programme to improve energy security in the country.

3.2.  Intense work is underway at Eskom to increase the Utility’s Energy Availability Factor through substantial maintenance, maximising the use of Open Cycle Gas Turbines, securing additional generation capacity from private investment in renewables and scaling up awareness to improve Demand Side Management from large electricity users and from households.

3.3. Acts of sabotage continue to plague the Eskom’s infrastructure and therefore the continued deployment of 880 SANDF members to safeguard a number of Eskom power stations is part of measures to prevent attempts to collapse the national grid. 

3.4. Cabinet welcomed the decision to appeal the recent Pretoria High Court ruling that instructed Eskom to exempt public institutions, including schools, clinics, hospitals, and police stations, from load shedding based on the implications of this judgement.

3.5.  Cabinet wishes to remind South Africans to continue to save electricity towards the national target to save 1000MW.

4. Infrastructure Development

4.1.  South Africa’s infrastructure drive to revitalise the economy and create employment continues to gain momentum. In this regard, the Minister of Transport, Ms Sindi Chikunga broke ground for the Ashburton Interchange Project worth R2.4-billion in Msunduzi Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, which will improve the seamless movement of cargo from the Port of Durban into the country and the SADC region.

4.2.  Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Sihle Zikalala has handed over 13 small harbours refurbished through the R501 million government’s Small Harbours Repairs and Maintenance Programme. The refurbishment of these harbours will increase their efficiency and better serve the local fishing sector and other sectors in local economies.

5. Oversight visit to Jagersfontein

5.1. Deputy President, Paul Mashatile conducted an oversight visit Jagersfontein, Kopanong Local Municipality in the Xhariep District of the Free State. Feedback on the efficient and equitable supply of water, and the resettlement of community members who were affected by the disaster caused when the dam wall burst. 

5.2. Cabinet called on all mining houses to register their tailing dams or mine residue deposit dams on the Department of Water and Sanitation database in order to ensure compliance with dam safety regulations.

5.3.  The department if Water and Sanitation is currently updating the database of all tailing dams or mine residue deposit dams in the country that meet the requirements to be classified as” Dams with Safety Risk”. For additional information on tailing/ mine residue deposit dams email

6. Africa Travel Indaba

6.1.  The 2023 Africa’s Travel Indaba is underway at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban, with a diverse representation of Africa’s tourism industry, accounting for over 20 African countries participating and displaying over 350 tourism products.

6.2.  The event serves as a crucial platform for industry professionals to come together, share insights and forge partnerships that will drive growth. 

6.3.  South Africa is proud of the support government gives to small, medium, micro, women-owned and youth-owned enterprises in the tourism and hospitality sector.

7.  Budget Votes

7.1.  Government departments have begun presenting their budget votes, which are a public account of the work a department has undertaken over the financial year.

7.2. Parliament’s Budget Vote programme can be found on the website:

7.3. Budget Vote Debates (Extended Public Committees) Schedule from 16 May 2023 to 19 May 2023.

Mineral Resources and Energy  EPC
(Media Briefing 13h00pm Confirmed)
16-May-23 Good Hope Chamber
10h00am to 15h15pm
Water and Sanitation  EPC
(Media Briefing 08h30-09h30 TBC)
16-May-23 M46
10h00am to 12h15pm
Public Service and Administration
(National School of Government and Public Service Commission  EPC
(Media Briefing 10h00-11h00 TBC)
16-May-23 Good Hope Chamber
14h00pm to 16h15pm
Government Communications and Information Services  EPC
(Media Briefing 12h00-13h00 TBC)
16-May-23 M46
14h00pm to 16h15pm
Small Business Development  EPC
(Media Briefing 14h00-15h00 TBC)
16-May-23 Good Hope Chamber
16h30pm to 18h15pm
National Treasury  EPC
(Media briefing 15h00-16h00 TBC)
16-May-23   M46
16h30pm to 18h15pm
Transport  EPC
(Media Briefing 12h00-13h00 TBC)
17-May-23 Good Hope Chamber 
15h00pm to 17h15pm
Communications and Digital Technologies  EPC
(Media Briefing 11h00-12h00 TBC)
17-May-23 M46
15h00pm to 17h15pm
Home Affairs  EPC
(Media Briefing 09h00-10h00 TBC)
17-May-23 Good Hope Chamber
17h30pm to 19h00pm
Basic Education  EPC
(Media Briefing 09h00-10h00 TBC)
18-May-23 Good Hope Chamber
14h00pm to 16h15pm
Correctional Services  EPC
(Media Briefing 11h00-12h00)
18-May-23 Good Hope Chamber
16h30pm to 18h15pm
Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation  EPC
(Media Briefing 10h00-11h00 TBC)
18-May-23   M46
16h30pm to 18h15pm
Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment
(Media Briefing 08h30-09h30 Confirmed)
19-May-23 Good Hope Chamber
10h00am to 12h15pm
State Security
(Media Briefing 13h00 -14h00TBC)
19-May-23   M46
10h00am to 12h15pm

8. Municipal Debt Relief Package

8.1. The Minister of Finance has introduced a debt relief package that writes off historic municipal debt to Eskom to help free up revenue at municipalities to provide reliable basic services. Municipalities will be required to meet strict requirements in the form of 33 conditions to qualify.

8.2.  These conditions include maintaining a minimum average revenue collection targets for electricity and water services; ring fencing all electricity, water and sanitation revenue collected; and paying the Eskom current account first and the bulk water current account second before any other monthly payments.  

9. African Agenda

9.1. President Cyril Ramaphosa participated in the 11th High Level Segment of the Regional Oversight Mechanism of the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes Region, in Burundi, as part of advancing the African Agenda of silencing the guns by 2030.

9.2. President Cyril Ramaphosa also attended the Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit Plus in Namibia. The Summit received a report from the SADC Field Assessment Mission in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and considered the regional response to the escalating security and humanitarian situation. The Summit agreed that the AU must coordinate the various peace keeping and security improvement efforts on the Eastern DRC.

9.3. Cabinet welcomed the start of pre-negotiation talks between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces, which commenced in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 6 May 2023. A peaceful Sudan, led by a civilian government, is essential not only for Sudan but also for the broader region and the continent. Cabinet therefore calls on both parties to negotiate an agreement to end the conflict and alleviate the suffering of the Sudanese people.

9.4.  Cabinet is pleased that all South Africans that had indicated that they wish to return home from conflict-stricken Sudan are now back home and the assistance the South African initiative afforded our neighbouring countries.

10. Trade Matters

10.1. Cabinet received a briefing on developments on trade matters and noted that for the month of March 2023, South Africa’s total exports stood at R184 billion.  The Manufacturing Sector was the best performing contributing over R85 billion through our manufactured products, and the Mining Sector contributing R84 billion and Agriculture R11 billion. 

10.2.  These significant amounts, although marginally lower than in March 2022, demonstrate how robust the South African economy remains even in the period of low economic growth.  A total of R41 billion of these exports are to other African countries indicating the strides South African industries are making in broadening their markets across the continent.

10.3.  The markets where trade has increased include China, Belgium, Italy and the United Arab Emirates indicating  the direct benefits from South Africa’s economic diplomacy.

B. Cabinet decisions 

1. National Integrated Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking (NISCWT)

1.1. Cabinet approved the National Integrated Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking (NISCWT). The strategy is the first of its kind in South Africa. Its primary goal is to empower law enforcement structures with the necessary tools to reduce and prevent the increasing scourge of wildlife trafficking in the country that is posing a threat to the country’s national security.

1.2. The Strategy makes tangible proposals to enhance the capacity of law enforcement in the country, including a specific focus on the investigation and prosecution of wildlife trafficking syndicates. The NISCWT is published on the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment at

2. South Africa’s Nominated Candidate As A Judge Of the International Court of Justice (ICJ)

2.1. Cabinet approved the nomination of Professor Dire Tladi as South Africa’s candidate for election as the Judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) during the November 2023 elections of this body.

2.2. Dire Tladi is Professor of International Law at the University of Pretoria and serves as President of the South African Branch of the International Law Association and Executive Member of the International Law Association. He has served as Chair of the International Law Commission, an organ of the UN generally regarded as a feeder body for the ICJ. He was previously Legal Adviser of the South African Mission in New York and Special Adviser to the South African Foreign Ministers

3. Appointments

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

New appointments to the Board of Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors.

(a)  Ms Precious Nompumelelo Sibiya; and

(b)   Mr Mojalefa Mosala

Appointments to the Interim Board of Umngeni Water Board. 

(a)  Ms Khulekelwe Glynnis Mbonambi;

(b) Mr Mzimkulu Msiwa;

(c) Ms Sylvia Thandazile Mhlongo;

(d) Ms Hlengiwe Patricia Majozi;

(e)  Mr Mfanveli James Ndlovu;

(f) Mr Sibusiso Wycliff Mkhize; and

(g) Adv Lavan Gopaul;

C. Bills    

1.Correctional Services Amendment Bill, 2023

1.1.Cabinet approved the submission to Parliament of the draft Correctional Services Amendment Bill of 2023.

The amendments are a response to the Constitutional Court Judgement handed down in December 2020 in the Sonke Gender Justice NPC v the President of the Republic of South Africa and others.

1.2. The amendments entrench the independence of the Judicial Inspectorate of Correctional Services as contemplated in Section 7(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996. This is to effect the application of the Sections 88A (1) (b) and 91 of the Correctional Services Act, 1998 (Act 111 of 1998).

1.3. The submission of the draft Bill is therefore aimed at effecting corrective measures for the invalidity of the certain sections of the Act as pointed out by the Constitutional Court.

2. Public Procurement Bill

2.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the draft Public Procurement Bill to Parliament.  The Bill repeals the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act of 2000 (Act 5 of 200).

2.2. The draft Bill aims to create a single framework for public procurement and eliminate fragmentation in laws dealing with public procurement. 

2.3.  The significance of the draft Procurement Bill is that is provides for the advancement of our national objectives such as transformation, the empowerment of women, youth and people with disability. 

2.4. It also provides for promotion of localisation and supporting local innovation and research, and gives preference to procurement from small and medium enterprises in South Africa.

D.  Upcoming events      

1. International Agenda

1.1. President Cyril Ramaphosa will on 12 May 2023 host the President of Bulgaria Mr Rumen Radev for a working visit. The visit will focus on the building of political and trade ties, as well cultural exchanges between South Africa and Bulgaria. Bulgaria remains a significant trade partner and in 2022 South Africa exported R1.96 billion worth of good to Bulgaria.

1.2.  President Ramaphosa will also receive the Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore Mr Lee Hsien Loong on 16 May 2023 on an official visit to South Africa, which will focus on strengthening the existing relationship between the two countries. South Africa exported R10.3 billion worth of products to Singapore in 2022, with South Africa registering a surplus. Key South African products exported to Singapore include natural aluminum, sintered dolomite and Portland cement, among others.

2. Upcoming Participation in Global Events in the Environment

2.1. Cabinet approved South Africa’s negotiating mandate and participation at the 2nd Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC 2) on the Internationally Binding Instrument On Plastic Pollution Including Marine Environments to be held in Paris, France from 29 May to 02 June 2023. The INC is responsible for the development of a global agreement on plastic pollution, including the marine environment.

2.2. Cabinet also approved South Africa’s negotiating mandate for the 35th United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation Man and the Biosphere Programme International Coordinating Council scheduled to take place in Paris, France from 12 to 16 June 2023.

2.3. The mandate of the UNESCO MAB ICC is to promote eco-friendly means of living in a way that is not harmful to the environment. South Africa started participating in the Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme in 1995 at the Seville Conference in Spain. South Africa is currently in the implementation phase for the South African National Biosphere Reserve Strategy which serves as a guideline in the implementation of MAB Programme across all levels of management of biosphere reserve.

3. Visit of the Vice-President of Colombia to South Africa.

3.1. Deputy President Paul Mashatile will co-host his Colombian counterpart, Her Excellency Mrs Vice Francia Elena Márquez, Vice President of the Republic of Colombia for an Official visit on Friday 12 May 2023. The visit is aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between SA and Colombia as Colombia embarks on a more intensive engagement with the African continent.

4.  Upcoming media briefings by members of the National Executive

4.1.         The Minister of Electricity Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa will provide members of the media with an update on progress in the implementation of the Energy Action Plan (EAP) on Friday 12 May 2023 at 14:00.  These regular weekly briefings provide an opportunity to update media and the nation on progress realized in addressing load shedding in the past week but also account for and explain the factors contributing to recent incidents of load shedding.

5. Africa Month

5.1.  In May, South Africa celebrates Africa Month, which commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, known today as the African Union (AU). A key thrust of the AU has been advancing peace and stability on the continent.

6. World Table Tennis Championships

6.1. The ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals 2023 will take place from 20 to 28 May 2023.

6.2. The event will be staged at the Durban International Convention Centre, offering the Men's and Women's Singles, as well as the Men's, Women's and Mixed Doubles events. Cabinet wishes all the participants well in the events.

6.3. The ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals will be a landmark occasion in the history of table tennis, as it marks the first time in over 80 years that the event will be held on African soil.

7. Netball World Cup

7.1.  With 81 Days to go before the Netball World Cup, Cabinet urges South Africans to keep the host nation vibe going with Netball Fridays

8. District Development Programme oversight

8.1.  President Cyril Ramaphosa will conduct the 8th District Development Model (DDM) Presidential Imbizo to the Cape Winelands District, Western Cape on 19 May 2023 as part of government’s efforts to improve service delivery and mobilise communities and civil society at large to be part of growing South Africa together and to leave no-one behind in this effort.

8.2.  Members of the Executive will soon begin the next leg of the Imbizo Programme as part of interactive engagements which bring government closer to the people and promotes participatory democracy toward resolving frontline and other service delivery bottlenecks.

E. Messages  

1. Congratulations         

Cabinet extended its congratulations and well wishes to:

  • Ms Kirsten Neuschäfer on winning the prestigious Golden Globe Race in which she spent nearly 235 days sailing without GPS and other technology. She was the only female entrant and became the first woman to win a solo round-the-world race.

2.  Condolences         

Cabinet expressed condolences to the family and friends of:

  • Dutch anti-apartheid activist Mr. Klaas de Jonge, a dedicated liberation fighter, recipient of National Order of the Companions of OR Tambo. De Jonge is remembered for seeking asylum in the Dutch embassy where he lived for 2 years to avoid arrest by apartheid police. He is further remembered for his conflict resolution work in many countries on the continent.
  • Energy expert, Mr. Ted Blom, who was an avid and reasoned commentator on energy policy.
  • Sergeant Lwando Lawrence Bunga, Sergeant Mario Nel and Constable Lefaka, the three officers of the South African Police Service who were killed over the past week whilst performing their duties in their respective districts in Nelson Mandela Metro and Buffalo City Metro in the Eastern Cape and Atteridgeville, Gauteng. In addition, 2 other officers were killed yesterday. Cabinet condemns the murders of law enforcement officers and regards it a direct threat to our national security. Cabinet has instructed law enforcement to leave no stone unturned in pursuit of the criminals who kill our law enforcement officers.
  • Beloved South African golfing legend, Mr. John Bland (77),  who won 36 titles in a celebrated career spanning many decades. 

Mr Michael Currin – Acting Government Spokesperson
Cell: 082 462 7896

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