Statement on the Cabinet Meeting held on Wednesday, 12 February 2020 at Parliament, Tuynhuys in Cape Town
A. Issues in the environment
1. 2020 State of the Nation Address (SoNA)
1.1. Cabinet welcomes the 2020 SoNA delivered by President Cyril Ramaphosa at a Joint Sitting of the two houses in Parliament, Cape Town on Thursday, 13 February 2020. The address was delivered following the 30th anniversary of the release of the Father of the Nation, Tata Madiba, who walked free from Victor Verster Prison on 11 February 1990.
1.2. President Ramaphosa’s 2020 SoNA provided an elaborate government Programme of Action (PoA) that will seek to ramp up the country’s ailing economy by fixing the economic fundamentals.
1.3. The next few months will see the implementation of measures that will fundamentally change the trajectory of energy generation and procurement in the country.
1.4. The President highlighted plans to boost local production that will empower small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs). Over 1 000 locally produced products will be procured through these SMMEs. These initiatives will form part of the innovative ways to support youth entrepreneurship and self-employment.
1.5. The new Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college campuses to be built this year will assist in bridging the gap between youth unemployment and skills. The Youth Employment Service, together with the TVET colleges and the private sector, will ensure that more learners receive practical workplace experience as part of their training.
1.6. Cabinet also welcomes the announcement to set up the SheTradesZA platform which will assist women-owned businesses to participate in global value chains and markets.
1.7. The District Development Model that was piloted last year in one metro and two district municipalities will this year be rolled out in all districts and metros. This will give effect to a holistic service delivery model that encompasses one plan supported by all three spheres of government.
1.8. The President’s address has inspired all to unite and forge ahead towards overcoming our challenges and build a thriving South African democracy. Cabinet invites all sectors of society to partner with government in implementing government’s PoA.
1.9. During the debates in Parliament this week, members of the Executive will further unpack the PoA to be rolled out in the current financial year and beyond.
2. African Union (AU) Summit
2.1. Cabinet congratulates President Ramaphosa on assuming the AU Chairship on behalf of South Africa. The President will use his role to advance peace and stability, good governance, gender equality and the empowerment of women to grow Africa’s economy. Later this year the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement also comes into effect.
2.2. This agreement converges into a single market across 54 nations of about 1,2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of over US$3 trillion. As the Chair, South Africa will host a summit to finalise the AfCFTA protocol of implementation.
2.3. South Africa will also work towards a stable and peaceful Africa under the theme: “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development”.
2.4. Cabinet also welcomes the resuscitation of the African Diaspora Agenda. The size of the African Diaspora, and the skills and resources it contains, necessitate effective engagement mechanisms to harness this potential to advance the development of this continent.
3. German Official Visit
3.1. Cabinet welcomes the outcomes of the Official Visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which strengthened existing relations between the two countries. Chancellor Merkel visited South Africa at the invitation of President Ramaphosa from 5 to 7 February 2020.
3.2. South Africa used the opportunity to share the many investment opportunities available in the country. This was done during a Business Forum comprising both South African leaders and the business delegation accompanying Chancellor Merkel. As one of the biggest investors in South Africa, Germany has over 600 companies in our country.
4. Social Compact Convention on Social Cohesion and Nation-Building
4.1. Cabinet joins President Ramaphosa in welcoming the outcomes of the Social Compact Convention on Social Cohesion and Nation-Building held under the theme: “The Decade of Unity and Renewal: Towards a Social Compact for Cohesion and Nation-Building”.
4.2. Under the leadership of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture – together with The Presidency and other key stakeholders – business, government, labour and civil society agreed to work together to build a cohesive society and advance freedom, peace and security as well as respect for all human rights.
4.3. The social compact takes forward the National Development Plan, which advocates the need for partnerships in growing South Africa, given the socio-historical divisions across society, especially along racial lines, which still persist today.
5.1. Cabinet reaffirms that all the country’s health facilities are on high alert to deal with any eventuality of the Coronavirus. There are no reports or suspected cases of the virus and Cabinet reiterates the message of the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, that all measures have been put in place to prevent any infections in the country.
5.2. All our ports of entry are on high alert and health professionals are conducting temperature screening for all international travellers. In addition, South Africa has developed and distributed clinical guidelines and case definitions to doctors and nurses in both the public and private sectors.
5.3. All provinces have activated outbreak response teams, and are on high alert to detect and manage inadvertent cases that may arise in the country. A number of hospitals have also been identified across the country as centres to quarantine and treat anyone who may be infected with the Coronavirus.
5.4. Through our Embassy in China we are closely monitoring the situation and we are confident that we are prepared to evacuate students and other South African citizens currently in Wuhan, China should the need arise.
B. Cabinet decisions
6. Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC)
6.1. Cabinet approved South Africa’s accession to the TAC which will be submitted to Parliament for ratification. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) comprises one of the fastest-growing and dynamic regions in the world. Accession to the TAC will strategically afford South African business the opportunity to access that region, and the ASEAN countries to access South African and Southern African Development Community regional markets.
7. 6th United Nations (UN) International Partnership for Technology in Peacekeeping Symposium
7.1. Cabinet approved that the 6th UN International Partnership for Technology in Peacekeeping Symposium be hosted in South Africa from 23 to 26 June 2020. Although various countries have hosted this event in the past, this will be the first time it is hosted in Africa.
7.2. The symposium contributes to improving the continent towards conflict prevention, peacekeeping, security and post-conflict reconstruction and development. The focus this year will be finding solutions by promoting the use of modern technologies and concepts in the UN-led field missions.
During this symposium, South Africa will be able to promote its locally developed technology products and the country’s defence industrial capabilities.
8. Public Procurement Bill
8.1. Cabinet approved the publication of the Public Procurement Bill for public comment. Once passed into law, the Bill will repeal the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act, 2000 (Act 5 of 2000) and amend other procurement-related laws.
8.2. The Bill proposes a single regulatory framework of public procurement. It establishes the procurement authority to regulate and promote Section 217 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 across government. It provides for a more flexible legislation for preferential procurement strategies in support of government’s socio-economic objectives.
9. Employment Equity Amendment Bill of 2020
9.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the Employment Equity Amendment Bill of 2020 to Parliament. The amendments will empower the Minister of Employment and Labour, in consultation with sector stakeholders, to introduce enabling provisions for the setting of sector-specific Employment Equity numerical targets. It also reduces the regulatory burden on small employers. The Bill promotes equal opportunity and fair treatment in employment through the elimination of unfair discrimination.
10. Upgrading of Land Tenure Rights Amendment Bill
10.1. Cabinet approved publication of the Upgrading of Land Tenure Rights Amendment Bill for public comment. The Bill provides for a constitutionally permissible procedure for the determination of rights of ownership and occupation of land to remedy the constitutional invalidity of two sections of the Upgrading of Land Tenure Rights Act, 1991 (Act 112 of 1991). The current arrangement discriminates against women in the conversion of the land tenure rights into ownership.
10.2. The Bill also ensures application to the entire country, where previously the Act did not apply to the former ‘independent states’ of Bophuthatswana, Ciskei, Transkei and Venda.
11. Merchant Shipping Bill of 2020
11.1. Cabinet approved publication of the Merchant Shipping Bill of 2020 for public comment. The Bill seeks to give effect to the government vision to revive the maritime transport sector, and enhance its contribution to growth and radical transformation of the economy. It aligns to the shipping provisions of the Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy which was approved by Cabinet in 2017. Once approved into law, the Bill will repeal a number of related marine legislations.
12. Railway Safety Bill of 2020
12.1. Cabinet approved submission of the Railway Safety Bill of 2020 to Parliament. The Bill seeks to strengthen the safety of our railway and ensure rail becomes an attractive mode of transport that is also able to positively contribute to the economy.
12.2. The Bill was first approved for public consultation in February 2018 and went out for public consultation in all provinces in March 2018. The approved Bill to be submitted to Parliament has taken into account inputs received during the public consultation. The parliamentary process will also refine the Bill before it is passed into law.
13. Transport Appeal Tribunal Amendment Bill of 2018
13.1. Cabinet approved submission of the Transport Appeal Tribunal Amendment Bill of 2018 to Parliament. The Bill amends the Transport Appeal Tribunal Act, 1998 (Act 39 of 1998) which deals with appeals relating to applications for road carrier permits (now called operating licences). The amendment takes into account policy changes, developments and new legislation since 1998.
13.2. The Bill streamlines and improves appeal procedures, which will result in savings of costs and time, and better enabling operators of cross-border and domestic road transport to convey passengers efficiently and make a living for themselves.
14.1. Cabinet extends its congratulations to:
- the team of South African Grade 11 learners: Sureshka Naidoo; Caitlin Schwarer; Nondumiso Ntshangase; Nosipho Dube; Mihlali Precious Stofile; Ondele Bede; Okhela Sigwela and Lizalise Dlomo, who won the 5th International School Moot Court Competition in Poland.
- South African swimmer Natalie du Toit for being been voted through to the final five candidates for the Laureus Sporting Moment Award of the last 20 years (2000-2020).
15.1. Cabinet sent condolences to the:
- family and friends of Professor Joseph Shabalala, the legendary musician and founder of the Grammy Award winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. His music inspired countless people around the world and united South Africans. President Ramaphosa has declared a Special Official Funeral Category 2 to honour Professor Shabalala.
- government and people of Kenya at the passing of former Kenyan President His Excellency Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi, who served as Kenya’s second post-liberation President.
- family and friends of Captain Thabiso Collins Tolo (49), First Officer Tebogo Caroline Lekalakala (33) and Flight Inspector Gugu Comfort Mnguni (36), whose plane crashed into mountainous terrain near Mossel Bay in the Western Cape on 23 January 2020. At the time of their death they were based at the South African Civil Aviation Authority.
- family and friends of Mr Marcelino dos Santos, one of the founders of the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO), who died at the age of 90. The historic leader was also one of the symbols of African nationalism. He was a veteran of the armed liberation struggle of Mozambique, and was also a politician and poet who signed his texts with the pseudonyms of Lilinho Micaia and Kalungano.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
16. Mr Busani Ngcaweni as the Principal in the National School of Government.
17. Ms Yoliswa Makhasi as the Director-General of the Department of Public Service and Administration.
18. Mr Ayanda Kanana as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Executive Director of the Land and Agricultural Development Bank.
19. Mr Basil Bryan Ford as the Executive Caretaker and Accounting Authority for the Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa.
20. Mr Luvuyo Keyise as the Executive Caretaker and Accounting Authority of the State Information Technology Agency.
21. South African National Parks Board members:
a. Mr Zola Luxolo Fihlani;
b. Ms Gertrude Buyelwa Koyana;
c. Mr Faizal Docrat;
d. Mr Jeoffrey Mashele.
22. South African Biodiversity Institute Board members:
a. Ms Phuthanang Cenea Motsielwa;
b. Ms Pamela Bulelwa Yako; and
c. Dr Kowiyou Yessoufou.
23. Isimangaliso Wetland Park Authority Board members:
a. Prof Antonia Thandi Nzama (Chairperson);
b. Ms Nomagcisa Cawe;
c. Prof Christopher Peter Small;
d. Mr Leon Langalibalele;
e. Ms Letlhogonolo Noge-Tungamirai;
f. Mr Gonasagren Ganesh Nair; and
g. Inkosi Tembe Mabhudu Israel;
h. KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Authority representative;
i. CEO; and
j. Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries representative.
Phumla Williams – Acting Cabinet Spokesperson
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