Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 16 October 2019

17 October 2019

Cabinet met on Wednesday, 16 October 2019 at Tuynhuys in Cape Town

A. Issues in the environment

1. Global Competitiveness Index

1.1. Cabinet welcomes the findings of the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Competitiveness Index that shows South Africa has moved up seven places; making it more attractive for investors and the possibility of creating much-needed jobs.

1.2. The report states that South Africa has registered ‘remarkable progress’ with regards to institutional quality, such as in restoring the balance of powers across different state entities, and enhancing administrative efficiency of the public sector and corporate governance.

1.3. South Africa also achieved a score of 100 for its “well-developed equity, insurance and credit markets”, and ranked 19th globally as a financial hub. The report also scores the country highly for having “one of the most advanced transport infrastructures in the region” (ranked 45th) and for market size (ranked 35th).

1.4. The improved ranking affirms that government’s interventions in strengthening the building blocks of reviving the economy are beginning to yield positive results. Cabinet calls on South Africans to build on these remarkable achievements as we Grow South Africa Together. 

2. Investment

2.1. Cabinet welcomes the investment by Toyota South Africa in Kenya that will see the country reassemble Toyota Hilux kits produced at the company’s manufacturing plant in Durban.  This is in line with advancing intra-African trade and strengthening the automotive manufacturing sector in the continent.

2.2. As part of attracting more investors, President Cyril Ramaphosa this week also engaged investors and business leaders on the sidelines of the 6th Financial Times Africa Summit in London. He delivered the opening address at the summit, which focused on business affairs and opportunities in African countries.

2.3. The second South Africa Investment Conference will take place from 5 to 7 November 2019. The conference will again seek to mobilise R1.2 trillion in new investments over the next five years and promote the country as a preferred investment destination.

3. Water conservation

3.1. As we approach the summer months, Cabinet calls on all people in South Africa to use water wisely and sparingly. 

3.2. Cabinet also commends members of the public for their continued patience during the planned shutdown of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project by the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority and the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority during October and November 2019. The shutdown is to allow for routine maintenance, which is necessary after every 10 years.

3.3. Urgent interventions have been implemented to help mitigate the impact of the persistent drought in the Northern Cape. The interventions are part of the Land Reform and Integrated Farmer Support Programme. About R30 million has been reprioritised for immediate intervention in the procurement and distribution of fodder for the farming community as a short-term measure. Government will also increase the capacity of water provision by drilling more boreholes in the affected areas of the province.

3.4. In addition to the contingency plans of the Department of Water and Sanitation, Cabinet urges all people in the country to continually conserve water, as South Africa is a water-scarce country.

4. National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations

4.1. Cabinet wishes all learners well as they prepare for the end of year examinations. The NSC examinations for the Matric Class of 2019 will be written from 23 October until 28 November. A total of 629 197 full-time and 122 471 part-time learners registered to write the examination.

4.2. The Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi) has verified the state of readiness by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and its provincial departments to administer the 2019 NSC.

4.3. Cabinet encourages parents and guardians to support their children in every way possible as they prepare to transit their 12 years of schooling.  Communities are urged to create a conducive environment for the children to write their final examinations.

5. National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

5.1. Cabinet urges all students who qualify for the NSFAS funding for the 2020 academic year to apply. The NSFAS applications cycle has officially opened for learners who wish to further their studies at Universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges.

5.2. The closing date for applications for NSFAS funding is midnight on 30 November 2019. All current beneficiaries of the scheme need not apply.

6. Tax Season

6.1. Cabinet commends the millions of taxpayers who have already filed their tax returns. Proper and efficient revenue collection ensures fiscal sovereignty. 

6.2. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) will be open on Saturdays from 08:00 until 13:00 for October 2019 to assist taxpayers to file personal income tax returns.

6.3. Taxpayers are reminded to keep all supporting calculations and receipts to support their filing process.  Taxpayers are strongly encouraged to use the digital channels of SARS eFiling and the SARS MobiApp which offers enhanced features that are accessible to users 24/7.

7. Gender-based violence and Femicide (GBVF)

7.1. Cabinet commends the detectives of the South African Police Service’s Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit in KwaZulu-Natal, who worked tirelessly to secure a conviction rate of 35 life sentences and 621 years imprisonment against sex offenders during September alone.

7.2. Cabinet remains committed to strengthening government institutions to ensure   perpetrators of GBVF are arrested swiftly and face the full might of the law.  Cabinet reiterates its call to society to continue working with law-enforcement agencies to stop violence against women and children in South Africa.

B. Cabinet Decisions

1. Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019

1.1. Cabinet approved the promulgation of the IRP2019, which provides a blueprint for the envisaged energy mix for the country over the period to 2030.

1.2. In August 2018, Cabinet approved the release of the draft IRP2018 for public consultations, which took place between September and November 2018.  Most of the inputs received from the public, academics, experts from the energy sector and relevant stakeholders such as the National Economic Development and Labour Council and the Portfolio Committee on Energy, were included into the IRP2019.

1.3. The plan proposes nine interventions to ensure the country responds to the energy needs for the next decade. The interventions draw from the current baseline of the demand and supply of the country’s energy and the country’s international obligations to the minimum emission standards. The plan remains within the policy framework of pursuing a diversified energy mix that reduces reliance on a single or few primary energy sources.  It will be revised in line with the changing energy sector environment.

1.4. The approved IRP2019 will be gazetted and accessible through the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy website: www.dmr.gov.za.

2. Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS)

2.1. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni apprised Cabinet on the MTBPS. Later this month, the Minister will table the MTBPS to Parliament, which will reveal adjustments to the national budget to ensure fiscal sustainability.

2.2. Cabinet is confident that the MTBPS will demonstrate to South Africans and investors that government is committed to managing the economy in a balanced and responsible manner.

3. National Spatial Development Framework (NSDF)

3.1. Cabinet approved publication of the NSDF for public comment. The framework proposes transformational interventions to the racially disjointed patterns of development, which continue to perpetuate spatial inequalities in the country. It identifies areas of opportunity and proposes proactive management of the country’s natural resources and ecosystems.

3.2. The framework proposes strategic spatial direction towards the sustainable socio-economic development of the country, and provides a high-level sectorial integrated and coordinated spatial approach.

4. National Integrated Social Protection Information System (NISPIS) Report

4.1. Cabinet welcomes the educational outcomes of review done on all the 2018 Grade 12 social-grant beneficiaries. The information was obtained from the NISPIS, which tracks the learners using their respective identity document numbers, the type of grant they were receiving and their respective schools.

4.2. According to the system, out of the four hundred thousand, seven hundred and sixty-one (400 761) candidates that passed their 2018 NSC examinations, two hundred and thirty-seven thousand, one hundred and fourteen (237 114) of them were social-grant beneficiaries.  Thirty six percent (36%) of them received Bachelor’s degrees, thirty-eight percent (38%) received diplomas and twenty-six percent (26%) received higher certificates.

4.3. The results confirm the positive effects of government interventions, particularly in improving the lives of poor and vulnerable children.

5. Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Land Reform

5.1. Cabinet was apprised on the progress made by the IMC on Land Reform on accelerating land reform and redistribution through the release of state-owned land for human settlements development.

5.2. Cabinet welcomed the progress being made by the IMC. It further approved the proposals on the identified state-owned land. One hundred and sixty-seven (167) portions of state-owned land measuring fourteen thousand, one hundred and five (14 105) hectares held by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure was approved to be released for human settlements development through the issuing of Powers of Attorney to the Housing Development Agency. 

5.3. Cabinet also approved that a moratorium be placed to all state-owned companies and other public bodies from releasing any of their land.

C. Bills

1. Marine Oil Pollution (Preparedness, Response and Cooperation) Bill of 2019

1.1. Cabinet approved the publication of the Marine Oil Pollution (Preparedness, Response and Cooperation) Bill of 2019, which gives effect to the International Convention on Preparedness Response and Cooperation of 1990.

1.2. The international maritime convention establishes measures for dealing with marine oil pollution incidents nationally and in cooperation with other countries. South Africa is the member of the International Marine Organisation, the United Nations agency responsible for promoting safety of shipping and preventing marine pollution. 

1.3. Once the Bill is passed into law, it will enable South Africa to operationalise the initiatives, training and exercise programmes and appropriate spill notification procedures for ships passing on the South African shores.

D. Upcoming events

1. The United Cities, Local Governments World Congress, World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders

1.1. The United Cities, Local Governments World Congress, World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders will be held from 11 to 15 November 2019 at the Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban.

1.2. Organized by United Cities and Local Governments, the summit is the largest most influential global gathering of mayors, councillors, local government and global partners. It will be the first congress following the Habitat III Conference and will receive the progress report in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and their impact at local level.

2. Presidential Launch of the eThekwini District Development Model

2.1. The launch of the district/metro development model at Ethekwini is on the 18 October at the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu.

2.2. As part of this launch, President Ramaphosa will open Mara Phone, which is a new smartphone factory by the pan-African conglomerate Mara Group. This high-tech investment forms part of the pledges made at the inaugural South Africa Investment Summit last year.

2.3. President Ramaphosa will also visit the Inanda Police Station to look at safety and security issues while the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, will visit the health facilities. 

3. Russia-Africa Economic Forum

3.1. President Ramaphosa will lead South Africa’s delegation to the first Russia–Africa Economic Forum, to be held in Sochi, Russia from 23 to 24 October 2019.

3.2. The forum will focus on key areas of cooperation between Russia and African countries. The discussions will focus on three thematic pillars: “Forging Economic Ties”, “Creating Joint Projects”, and “Collaborating in the Humanitarian and Social Sector”.

E. Messages

1.  Cabinet expressed condolences to:

the people and government of Japan following a typhoon that swept through the country, causing a number of fatalities and damaging infrastructure.

2. Cabinet extended congratulations to:

the Springboks for reaching the quarterfinals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan and wishes them well as they advance further in the tournament.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia, who was awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation and in particular, his efforts to end the long-running stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei for breaking the women’s world record at the Chicago Marathon. As well as Eliud Kipchoge for becoming the first marathon runner to break the two-hour barrier; running the 42km race in less than two hours.

the people of the Republic of Mozambique for holding Presidential, Parliamentary and Provincial elections on Tuesday, 15 October 2019. The African Union Commission deployed observers and electoral experts to the country following an invitation from the Government of Mozambique.

3. Appointments

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

3.1. Members to the Board of the Central Energy Fund:

a. Dr Monde Mnyande (Chairperson);

b. Ms Nolubabalo Sondlo;

c. Mr Nkululeko Poya; and

d. Adv Priakumari Hassan.

3.2. Members as trustees of the Brand South Africa Trust:

a. Ms Thandi Tobias-Pokolo (Chairperson)

b. Ms Loretta Jacobus;

c. Prof Yiva Rodny-Gumede;

d. Ms Rashel Kalidass;

e. Ms Muditambi Ravele;

f. Dr Stavros Nicolaou;

g. Mr Mlungisi Lulu Johnson;

h. Mr Bushang Jacques Modipane;

i. Mr Johannes George Sebulela;

j. Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng;

k. Ms Tebogo Mamorobela;

l. Ms Sisanda Bukeka-Nkoala; and

m. Mr Andrew Madella.

3.3. Members of the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa Board of Directors:

a. Ms Molebogeng Leshabane (Chairperson);

b. Ms Bongekile Filana;

c. Ms Tobeka Buswana;

d. Prof. Christian Adendorff;

e. Mr Melvyn Lubega;

f. Ms Nomonde Hlatshaneni; and

g. Mr Lionel Adendorf.

3.4. Members of the South African Post Office Board of Directors

a. Ms Tshikani Colleen Makhubele (Chairperson);

b. Mr Ismail Mamoojee;

c. Ms Nondumiso Pumela Ngonyama;

d. Mr Kgamedi Albert Ramoadi;

e. Ms Catharina van der Sandt;

f. Ms Nonzukiso Zukie Siyotula;

g. Mr Zolani Kgosie Matthews (trade union representative); and

h. Mr Thomas Sipho Nkese (trade union representative).

3.5. Reappointment of Mr Thobile Lamati as the Director-General (DG) at the Department of Employment and Labour for five years.

3.6. Ms Simone Constance Geyer as the Deputy DG at the DBE.

Enquiries:
Ms Phumla Williams – Acting Director-General (GCIS)
Cell: 083 501 0139

Year: 
2019
Media Statement date: 
Thursday, October 17, 2019