Statement on the Cabinet meeting on 18 September 2019

Cabinet met on Wednesday, 18 September 2019 at Tuynhuys in Cape Town

A. Issues in the environment

1. District Based Development Model 

1.1. Cabinet welcomes the official launch by President Cyril Ramaphosa, of the new District Based Development Model in the OR Tambo District Municipality, in the Eastern Cape. The model brings together the three spheres of government to collaborate, cooperate and integrate their work with special reference to the district to address developmental challenges and promote service delivery, localised procurement and job creation. This model was endorsed by Cabinet, local government structures, traditional authorities and the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC).  

1.2. Whilst OR Tambo District was the first to officially launch this model, it will be rolled-out to all 44 districts and 8 metros across the country.  It brings government closer to the people by involving citizens and stakeholders in the development of one plan to deliver a plethora of services and create economic opportunities at a basic district level.

1.3. President Ramaphosa officially opened the National Health Insurance (NHI) ready Lusikisiki village clinic, which will drive universal healthcare.  The clinic is fitted with amongst others state of the art equipment, emergency services and a 24-hour maternity ward. 

1.4. President Ramaphosa also engaged the OR Tambo District community on Gender Based Violence and identified the critical need for more Thuthuzela Centres in the area and the urgent establishment of a DNA laboratory in the Eastern Cape.

2. Fight Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV)

2.1 Cabinet joins President Cyril Ramaphosa in his call for all South Africans to work together to stop the violence and the killing of women and children.  In a Joint Sitting of Parliament yesterday, the President tabled emergency measures to combat gender-based violence and ensure enhancement of the implementation of the outcomes of the 2018 Presidential summit of GBV.

2.2 The emergency measures announced by the President which will be implemented in the next six months include urgent legislative measures to curb GBV, urgent training of police, prosecutors and magistrates/judges who deal with GBV cases, urgent strengthening of the Judicial system, urgent inclusion of GBV in school curriculum, urgent   establishment of more and capacitation of the Thuthuzela support centres. The intervention also includes a special focus on men as the perpetrators of rape, abuse and killing of women and girls.

2.3 These emergency measures will be undertaken by the proposed Gender-Based Steering Committee, which will be located in the Presidency, comprising government and the non-government (NGOs) structures to oversee implementation.

2.4 The President announced that resources, through the mainstreaming process within departmental budgets, would ensure implementation within the next six months.   

2.5 Cabinet calls on all communities to continue playing their part in mentoring and nurturing boy children to have empathy and respect women and girls.

3. Violent attacks on foreign nationals and fellow South Africans

3.1 Cabinet once again condemns the public violence and lawlessness that accompanies any real or imagined grievances of our people. We remain a constitutional democracy governed by the rule of law.

3.2 Whilst cabinet understand the socio-economic challenges faced by communities, intolerance and violence towards foreign nationals and other South Africans will not resolve these challenges.

3.3 We welcome anyone who enters the country legally and abide by the   laws of our country.  Equally, we remain a country united in our diversity and any form of animosity aimed at our fellow African brothers and sisters will not be tolerated.

3.4 Cabinet is determined to decisively address the underlying causes that led to the attacks of foreign nationals and some South Africans. We also in the same vain will deal decisively with illegal activities such as drug peddling, illicit trading, looting of people’s shops, as well as destruction of property and corruption without any fear or favour immaterial whether such criminality is perpetrated by a South African or a foreign national. The exploitation of the foreign nationals by some companies is also condemned. Cabinet calls on communities to actively work with Community Policing Forums (CPF) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) to address crime and all illegal activities.  

3.5 The Border Management Agency Bill (BMA) is being finalised at the National Council of Provinces (NCOP); this will fast track the strengthening of our border security. 

3.6 The President has, in addition, dispatched a team of special envoys to several African countries to reassure fellow Africans that our country is committed to the ideals of Pan African unity and solidarity, including South Africa’s commitment to the rule of law and protection of the human rights of all within our borders. 

3.7 The President has also appointed an eminent team of a fact-finding commission consisting of the former President of Tanzania Mr Jakaya Kikwete and the former President of Mozambique Mr Joaquim Chissano. They will interact with various groupings within our country with the view of   establishing the facts surrounding the violent attacks against foreign nationals and locals, which many have referred to as xenophobia and afrophobia. The findings of this commission will be shared with the African Union (AU) and importantly will assist us in dealing with the recurrence of violent attacks on both foreign nationals and our own citizens. 

4. Attack of Councillor’s houses

4.1. Cabinet condemns in the strongest terms the burning down of the houses belonging to the City of Matlosana Councillors, in Khuma in the Province of the North West. There is no place of such behaviour in our young democracy.   Cabinet calls on the South African Police Service to do what it takes to arrest the perpetrators of this crime.  Let the law-abiding citizens of Khuma work with the law enforcement agencies to assist in apprehending the perpetrators.  They can assist with information through the anonymous toll free number 086010111.

4.2. As South Africans let as take a stand in condemning lawlessness in our respective communities.  Our democracy has legislative system in place for anyone to elect or remove any public representative without resorting to violence. We therefore need to rise to protect our hard-earned democracy.

4.3. Cabinet appeals to the public to take a stand against such criminality and to come forward with any information that will assist law enforcement authorities with their investigation. South Africa is a democracy and perpetrators of violence, in whatever form, must own up to the consequences of their actions by facing the full might of the law. 

B. Cabinet decisions

1. 25-Year Review Report

1.1. Cabinet approved the release of the 25 Year Review Report 1994 – 2019. The Report assesses progress by government (in partnership with its social partners) in delivering on its commitment of a better life for all South Africans.  

1.2. The assessment which was led by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) entailed consultations to obtain perspectives and insights from various stakeholders. These included business, labour, academics, non-governmental organisations and various government departments. Colloquiums in this regards were also held, which included eminent persons from our continent.

1.3. The report highlights areas of progress such as universal access to basic education; expansion to higher education, access to free health services in the public sector and the implementation of the social wage.  It also highlights several challenges, which impede our adequate response to unemployment, poverty alleviation and inequality.  Key to these challenges is our inability to address the structural dimension of the country’s economy.  

1.4. Cabinet also approved that the respective national departments and Provinces can release their respective detailed 25-year reviews as well.

1.5. President Cyril Ramaphosa will officially launch SA 25 Year Review 1994 – 2019 in due course.

2. 2019 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Country Report

2.1. Cabinet approved the South African 2019 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Country Report to the United Nations (UN). The Report will be deposited at the SDG Summit during the 74th United Nations (UN) General Assembly session in September 2019. 

2.2. The report is a product of broad participation of sector departments, Stats SA, academics and civil society organisations. It provides the country’s progress in implementing the SDG goals, which are aligned to our NDP. After the country report is deposited at the UN, it will be accessible to the public through the United Nations website. 

2.3. South Africa remains committed to contribute towards the global 2030 agenda for sustainable development of the world. The SDGs comprise 17 goals and 169 targets tracking a broad range of issues from education, poverty to environmental issues, economic growth and gender disparities in the world.

3. Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

3.1. Cabinet approved South Africa’s Fourth National report on the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.  The report will be submitted   to the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity by 1 October 2019.

3.2. The Cartagena Protocol governs the movement of living modified organisms, also known as Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), within the country and to other countries.  

3.3. South Africa is fully compliant with the provisions of the Cartagena Protocol. The country’s biosafety regulatory framework regulates the inbound or outbound GMO products.  South Africa also contributes towards the training for all users of GMOs in the country and neighboring countries.

4. Sanitary Dignity Implementation Framework (SDIF)

4.1. Cabinet approved the revised Sanitary Dignity Implementation Framework.  The implementation of this framework gives effect to the constitutional right to dignity and a right to life to women and girls from indigent families.   

4.2. The SDIF guides on the procurement of sanitary products; the distribution mechanism of sanitary towels; sanitary waste disposal and the institutional framework to oversee the distribution. It also provides for the training and health management for the beneficiaries of the sanitary products.

4.1. Through the National Treasury process, budget has been allocated for this financial year and the outer years. The zero rating of sanitary products also came into effect on 1 April 2019. 

5. Trade

5.1. Cabinet received a report on the outcome of the negotiations with the UK on an agreement to regulate trade in the event of the UK leaving the European Union (EU), i.e. Brexit.

5.2. The UK is South Africa’s fourth largest trading relationship, with R142 billion in bilateral trade between the two countries in 2018.

5.3.  Cabinet noted that the proposed agreement replicated the terms that currently apply to bilateral trade, set out in the European Union’s Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with six SADC countries.  It will be in the form of a new Economic Partnership Agreement between the UK and South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini and Mozambique.  It will come into effect in the   event that the UK leaves the EU without an adequate withdrawal agreement.

5.4. Following consideration of the report, Cabinet approved the new Economic Partnership Agreement.  The new EPA will preserve the preferential tariff regime, quotas, health and safety standards and other key terms and ensure that South Africa’s trade with the UK continues without disruption. This will protect South Africa’s national interest. 

5.5. Cabinet approved the proposed agreement, and that once all the parties have signed the agreement it be submitted to Parliament for ratification.

6. South African Mint Company’s coin design

6.1. Cabinet approved the following South African Mint Company’s coin designs for the 2020 commemorative collectors’ coin series - 2020 fine-silver R2 (2oz.) Krugerrand; and 2020 fine-silver R25 (1oz.) Natura. The theme of these coin series is “Rise of dinosaurs - Archosauria.  A proclamation will be gazetted to give effect to these commemorative coins.

C. Upcoming events  

1.  Transport Month

1.1 Cabinet approved the October 2019 Transport Month Plan of Action and 365 Day Campaign under the theme: “Together let’s keep the Service Delivery Momentum Going and Grow the Economy”.  The safety on our roads warrants a 365 days’ conversation and continuous conscientisation of all road users; both drivers and pedestrians.

1.2. The campaign will also highlight government interventions to improve the country’s transport system, the planned infrastructure investments and the responsibility of the public to protect public infrastructure.

D. Messages

1. Condolences

Cabinet sent condolences to the:

1.1. Family and friends of Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources, Ms Bavelile Hlongwa, who tragically lost her life in a motor vehicle accident as well as to the families of the four people who died on the scene while attempting to assist the passengers involved in another incident. 

1.2. People and government of the Republic of Zimbabwe following the passing of the former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe. Under President Mugabe’s leadership, Zimbabwe’s sustained and valiant struggle against colonialism inspired our own struggle against apartheid and gave us the hope that South Africa too would be free.

1.3. Family and friends of former Springbok rugby wing Chester Mornay Williams who earned national and international acclaim with his contribution to South Africa’s triumph in the historic 1995 Rugby World Cup. His exploits on the field of play gave flight to the aspirations and dreams of generations of young people. President Cyril Ramaphosa honoured the late rugby hero, with a declaration of a Special Provincial Official Funeral Category 2.

1.4. Family and friends of the late former Robben Island prisoner and Western Cape veteran Vincent Diba. President Ramaphosa declared a Special Provincial Funeral (Category 2), which entails ceremonial elements provided by the South African Police Service.

1.5. Family and friends of anti-apartheid activist Adelaine Hain – mother of senior British politician Lord Hain - who has passed away aged 92. Adelaine Hain made her mark in defying apartheid and assisting oppressed communities – a commitment which saw the Apartheid State banning her and later her husband, Walter, before forcing them into exile in the United Kingdom.

2. Congratulations

2.1. Cabinet joins the nation and Africa in again congratulating the Ndlovu Youth Choir, for having reached the finals on America's Got Talent competition. The choir has been doing the nation and continent proud throughout the competition.

2.2. Oratilwe AJ Hlongwane better known as DJ Arch Jnr who won South Africa’s Got Talent in 2015 when he was three years old. The Guinness World Records officially named him as the world’s youngest DJ in 2017. He has been invited to perform in several countries and is holding the South African flag high with his amazing performance in the show Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions. We wish him everything of the best.

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

Year: 
2019
Media Statement date: 
Thursday, September 19, 2019