Media release

Statement on Cabinet meeting of 17 August 2017

17 August 2017

17 August 2017

Cabinet fact sheet [PDF]

Cabinet met at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

1. Issues in the environment

1.1. As we celebrate Women’s Month, Cabinet wishes Ms Getrude Shope well in her 92th birthday. MmaShope, as she is affectionately known, is a doyen of the struggle for liberation and for women emancipation in particular. She is a recipient of Isithwalandwe/Seaparankwe, the highest honour awarded by the African National Congress to those who made an outstanding contribution and sacrifice to the liberation struggle.

Cabinet also extended its well wishes to Ms Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe on her 90th birthday. South Africa is a better country through the sacrifices played by women of her ilk.

As the country celebrates Women's Month under the theme “The Year of OR Tambo: Women United in Moving South Africa Forward”, Cabinet joins all South Africans in honouring the brave women who marched to the Union Buildings in 1956 to protest the pass laws.

In the spirit of OR Tambo’s ‘Flowers of the Revolution’ statement, we commemorate the role of women as pioneers of the women's movement in this country, recognising that when you empower a woman, you empower the nation.

As a country we have achieved a lot in the field of women empowerment. Prior to 1994 Parliament had a mere 2,7% representation of women, and following the first democratic elections, women representation in the National Assembly stood at 27,7%. In 1999 that figure increased to 30% and then to 32,7% in 2004. After the 2009 national elections women representation reached 42%. Women Ministries now comprise 43% of the Cabinet.

We have many women in leadership positions and government structures are in place to improve the status of women. We now have the Ministry of Women  in The Presidency.

1.2. South Africans across the board have worked very well to participate in this commemoration. Government’s progressive policies continue to prioritise the empowerment of women, particularly those living in rural areas, who often bear the harsh realities of poverty.

1.3. As we celebrate the progress we have made in the emancipation of women, Cabinet reminds the country of one of the woman anti-apartheid activists who was killed on this day in 1982. Ruth First was brutally killed by a letter bomb sent to her in Mozambique. She paid the ultimate sacrifice in her relentless pursuit of freedom for the people of South Africa.

Gender-based violencence

1.4. Cabinet has added its voice to the condemnation of a video showing a schoolgirl being attacked by a male pupil at a school in KwaZulu-Natal and welcomes the arrest of the suspect. The recent killing of a school teacher shot in front of her pupils by her partner reminds us of the challenges we still face of the abuse of women.

1.5. The harms and dangers of patriarchy which result in the violence against women and children should be fought by all of us as a society. The law-enforcement agencies and the criminal justice system must deal decisively against the perpetrators.

SADC Summit

1.6. South Africa, as incoming chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), is hosting the 37th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government from 9 to 20 August 2017 under the theme: “Partnering with the Private Sector in Developing Industry and Regional Value Chains”.

South Africa will use its position to strategically advance the country’s national interests as outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP), drive regional and continental industrialisation and integration to boost the implementation of Africa Agenda 2063 of the African Union (AU). Agenda 2063 is the strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years. It builds on and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.

Three potential growth paths, namely agro-processing, mineral beneficiation and downstream processing value chains, have been identified.

The summit will also pay tribute to the outgoing President José Eduardo dos Santos of Angola, who will be stepping down after 37 years as President and leading his country out of a protracted civil war.

1.7. Deputy President Ramaphosa, in his capacity as the SADC Facilitator to the Kingdom of Lesotho, will also table a report to the SADC Double Troika Summit taking place in Pretoria on 18 August, where the Lesotho Government is also expected to table a reforms roadmap. This follows the consultations between the Deputy President with the new government, leaders of opposition parties, the college of chiefs and civil society stakeholders in the Kingdom, charting the path for the full implementation of SADC decisions on constitutional and security sector reforms.

1.8. Cabinet welcomes the outcomes from President Jacob Zuma hosting President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of the Republic of Liberia, during a State Visit. Both countries agreed to look into improving an enabling environment to ease the manner of doing business in our respective countries. Cabinet encourages more private sector companies to invest in Liberia.

The parties also agreed to finalise the signing of a Visa Waiver Agreement for Holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports. They also agreed to speed up discussions and finalisation of other bilateral instruments on agriculture, tourism, health, energy water and sanitation amongst others.

1.9. Cabinet congratulates the people of Rwanda on the holding of a peaceful election that saw the re-election of President Paul Kagame. The conclusion of yet another successful poll in Africa is a clear indication that democratic advances continue across the continent.

1.10. Cabinet also joined the AU in congratulating Kenya for conducting successful elections. It is now incumbent on all citizens in Kenya to accept the results of the elections and to work towards national unity in the country.


1.11. President Zuma will today, 17 August 2017, preside over the official launch of the African Regional Centre of the Brazil, Russia,India, China and South Africa (BRICS) New Development Bank (NDB) at the Michelangelo Hotel, Sandton. The launch of the African Regional Centre will showcase the NDB’s service offering, highlighting the bank’s potential role in the area of infrastructure and sustainable development in emerging and developing countries.

1.12. South Africa is among the BRICS member countries that adopted a Seven-Point Action Plan focused on expanding industrial cooperation, at a BRICS Industry Ministers meeting held in Hangzhou, China. These countries will further cooperate in fields such as the development of new industrial infrastructure, technology development and innovation, and small and medium-sized enterprises.

1.13. Communication Ministers from the BRICS group also participated in a round-table, with the group publishing a Ministerial Declaration on Information Technology, that BRICS nations will step up cooperation on information security, as digital communication technology plays an increasingly important role in driving economic growth.

1.14. Cabinet thanks the former Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Mr Tito Mboweni, for his professionalism and dedication during the two-year period that he served as a non-executive director of the BRICS NDB. National Treasury Director-General, Mr Dondo Mogajane, will take over.

Social cohesion

1.15. Cabinet condemns recent acts of racism by some individuals in our society. Such behaviour goes against the ethos of our constitutional rights, responsibilities and values, and has no place in our democratic society.

Cabinet commends the management of private companies that deal swiftly with racism, indicating that racism is a scourge in society, and has to always be fought in the quest to entrench social cohesion and heal the pains of the past.  

We all have a responsibility to act swiftly whenever racism and discrimination occurs within our society. We all have a responsibility to build a new nation as envisaged after the first democratic elections.

1.16. Cabinet raised its concern about the state of job losses in the country, particularly in the retail and mining sectors. However, it welcomed the efforts made by the mining sector to engage in dialogue that seek to save jobs. The recent approval of Lonmin’s application to acquire Anglo Platinum‘s 42,5% stake in Pandora – a joint venture between Lonmin and Anglo Platinum – is welcomed. This joint venture has in turn saved more than 3 000 jobs and is a relief, especially in the current global economic climate. Government remains committed to creating an environment that is conducive to economic growth and job creation.

1.17. Cabinet welcomed the court decision that reaffirmed the prerogative of the government to make policy decisions and directives by dismissing with costs an application by the Metal Recyclers Association of South Africa. The Constitutional Court dismissed an application by local exporters of scrap metal for leave to appeal the judgement of the High Court of South Africa and the Supreme Court of Appeal.

The Court has upheld the State’s scrap metal export provisions known as price-preference for domestic foundries, mini-mills and secondary smelters scrap metal. It provides for a price discounted by 20% to international prices before qualifying for an export permit. This policy will help to reindustrialise the country’s economy and create jobs.

1.18. Cabinet welcomed the commitment by the Canadian Government to cooperate with South Africa in border management. This came after the Minister of Home Affairs, Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize, met with her Canadian counterpart Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizen Mr Ahmed Hussen this week. This exchange will further strengthen the existing relationship between the two countries.

2. Cabinet decisions

2.1. Cabinet approved the Mandate Paper for the 2018 Budget. This will further drive the implementation of the NDP. The paper strengthens the alignment of the budget to the Medium Term Strategic Framework. It establishes a systematic basis for making choices among competing priorities within limited resources. The Minister in The Presidency, Mr Jeff Radebe, will hold a media briefing at a later stage.

2.2. Cabinet approved the Coastal and Marine Tourism Implementation Plan, developed under the auspices of the Operation Phakisa Oceans Economy. The plan will uplift tourism in the ocean economy. It will grow a world-class and sustainable coastal and marine tourism destination that leverages South Africa’s competitive advantages in nature, culture and heritage. The Minister of Tourism, Ms Tokozile Xasa, will hold a separate media briefing to unpack this plan.

2.3. Cabinet approved South Africa’s participation in the Second International Indian Ocean Expedition for 2017 – 2020. The participation will  support South Africa’s Chairpersonship of the Indian Ocean Rim Association in 2017/18.

South Africa will use its research vessel SA Agulhas II to conduct marine research while training and building scientific capacity for South Africa and East Africa.

The gathering of basic long-term environmental data and information will place the developing countries of the Indian Ocean Rim in a better position to conserve the integrity of its ocean and to find ways to unlock their respective potential ocean economies to improve the lives of their citizens.

2.4. Cabinet was apprised on the Chemicals and Waste Economy Phakisa Labs initiative, which is scheduled to commence in August 2017. This forms part of the country’s intervention to manage the threats to the environment and human health caused by chemicals and waste.  

It will provide a further opportunity for the South African chemical industry to identify manufacturing niches that are associated with Green Chemistry (the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the generation of hazardous substances).

2.5. Cabinet was briefed on a number requests to redetermine the provincial boundaries from communities in various provinces. Amongst the areas affected are Elias  Motsoaledi Local Municipality, Marblehall Local Municipality and Matatiele Local Municipality.

These communities have cited a number of reasons for these requests, such as the geographic location and access to services. The requests were received by the Municipal Demarcation Board and Department of Corporative Governance.
Provincial boundaries are provided for in the Constitution. Any consideration of such requests should be done within the constitutional framework.

Cabinet agreed that a process to redetermine the boundaries, which include Matatiele, be instituted. This parliamentary process will also include public participation as required by the Constitution and the law.  

3. Upcoming events

3.1. Cabinet reiterates President Zuma’s call, reminding members of the public to nominate persons from all walks of life deserving to receive the country’s highest honours, the National Orders, in April next year.

The ceremony honours South Africans and eminent foreign nationals who have excelled in various fields.

Nominations forms are available on The Presidency’s website (, Thusong Service Centres, municipal offices and constituency offices. A short motivation of the person nominated should be attached. The 2018 National Orders nominations will close on 31 August 2017.

3.2. The Department of Science and Technology will host the 2017 South African Women in Science Awards (WISA). The awards recognise the achievements of prominent scientists and create a platform for the motivation of women scientists participating in research.

The WISA will be hosted under the theme: “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work”, which is in line with the United Nations Commission on the Status of women priority theme for 2017.

3.3. Cabinet thanks the members the Fifth National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL) whose terms come to an end. The NHTL is a body composed of traditional leaders who are delegates from the provincial houses of traditional Leaders of South Africa, representing the provincial houses at national level. The group comprised of both outgoing members of the NHTL and members who have been re-elected to serve for one more term. They represent traditional leadership and their communities and promote the role of traditional leadership within the constitutional dispensation.

Cabinet joined President Zuma in thanking Kgosi PP Maubane (Chairperson),  Ikosi SE Mahlangu (Deputy Chairperson) and the entire membership of the House. Cabinet extends a warm welcome to the in-coming members of the Sixth NHTL and those of the seven provincial houses.

4. Messages

4.1. Cabinet congratulates Ms Senamile Masango who became the first African woman to conduct the first African-led experiment at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research laboratory in Switzerland. She was part of a group of student researchers from the University of the Western Cape studying the isotope selenium-70 to better understand how its nuclei shape relates to its energy levels.

4.2. Cabinet congratulates People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA), who have developed an App that helps survivors of gender-based violence, in distress or imminent danger, to have access to integrated and coordinated services. With a link to the Department of Social Development’s Command Centre, the App can link to other services like the police and social workers, who can be able to identify the location where the message originates.

Through a press of a panic button on the mobile, a victim will be linked to the Command Centre. This collaboration between government and non-governmental organisations will go a long way towards fighting the scourge of abuse.

4.3. Cabinet congratulates Team South Africa for their outstanding achievements on the track and field at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in London.

Caster Semenya won gold in the 800m and bronze in the women’s 1 500m, in the process breaking her personal best record. Semenya has done the country proud and amidst the negativity, she remains strong and resilient. She follows in the footsteps of Zola Budd, Natalie du Toit, the paralympian, and Penny Heyns, the swimmer. Wayde van Niekerk won gold in the men’s 400m and silver in the 200m. A special word of gratitude to the coach, Ms Anna Botha. Luvo Manyonga won gold medal with his leap of 8.34m in the men’s long-jump final, Ruswahl Samaai won bronze in the men’s long jump, and Akani Simbine came fifth-place in the men’s 100m final.

Their performances showcased the sporting prowess of our nation, which is an inspiration and motivation to all South Africans, especially young budding athletes.

These athletes did our nation proud and carried our national flag with distinction. We call on South Africans to continue supporting all our national teams, as well as our sportsmen and women. They are an embodiment of our great nation, and we have no doubt that they will inspire other young people to follow in their footsteps.

5. Appointments

All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
5.1. Mr AD Matseke as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Broadband Infraco, with effect from 1 September 2017 to 30 August 2022.
5.2. Extension of the fixed-term contract of the current CEO of Broadband Infraco, Ms PV Kwele, by three months, from 1 September to 30 November 2017.
5.3. Reappointment of Mr Ian van Niekerk as the Chief Financial Officer of Broadband Infraco.
5.4. Dr Moshibudi Priscilla Rampedi as the CEO of the South African National Biodiversity Institute.
5.5. Ms IL Mathenjwa as the Deputy Director-General (DDG): Monitoring and Evaluation  in the Office of the Public Service Commission (OPSC).
5.6. Ms Wilhemina Reshoketswe Tshabalala as the DDG: Social Transformation and Economic Transformation in the Department of Women.    
5.7. Mr Matome Emmanuel Malatsi as the DDG: Integrity and Anti-Corruption in the OPSC.

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

Issued by: Government Communication and Information System

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