Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 24 July 2019

25 July 2019

Cabinet met on Wednesday, 24 July 2019 at Tuynhuys in Cape Town

A. Issues in the environment

1.  Economic transformation and job creation

1.1 Cabinet welcomes the increased interest by prospective and current investors to consider South Africa as their preferred investment destination. Recent actual and possible transactions illustrate this well, and include transactions in the auto sector (Ford), chemical  value chain (BFG Rail) and electrical industrial components  (Aberdare) as well as potential investments such as in agro-processing (PepsiCo) this latter one subject to shareholder and regulatory processes.

1.2 PepsiCo’s R25 billion offer to acquire Pioneer Foods has been hailed as a clear vote of confidence in the South African economy.

1.3  The automaker Ford announced that its expansion plans will create 1200 jobs, based on implementing a R3 billion investment commitment. The company’s Silverton plant has installed capacity to produce up to 168 000 Rangers and Everests annually – an increase of 44 000 vehicles prior to the expansion

1.4 Furthermore, the R50 million investment by manufacturing company BFG Rail into an advanced manufacturing facility in Gauteng will result in a state of the art composite manufacturing facility which boasts improved engineering processes using advanced technologies

1.5 In Nelson Mandela Bay, Abedare Cables announced an expansion of its capacity through opening a High-Voltage Power Cable Plant, with an investment of R135 million and create 58 jobs in addition to the 429 jobs at the company’s current operations in the area.

1.6 Investments in new plant, equipment and in expanded production creates new jobs and grow the GDP. The sectors where new production will take place are all within the sectors identified by President Ramaphosa in the State of the Nation Address.  South Africa offers a unique combination of highly developed economic infrastructure, a vibrant emerging market economy and access to the fast growing African continent market.   South Africa is also a frontier for new sectors of investments such as the green economy, oil and gas shipbuilding and the oceans economy.  

2.  Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) Global Report

2.1.  Cabinet is encouraged by the latest UNAIDS Global Report, which was recently launched in South Africa. According to the report, South Africa has successfully reduced new HIV infections by more than 40% and AIDS-related deaths by around 40% since 2010. The report confirms our HIV and AIDS interventions strategies reducing new infections and managing patients already living with the disease are yielding positive results

2.2. Cabinet encourages all South Africans to live a healthy lifestyle to reduce new  infections.

3.  Fighting crime 

3.1. Cabinet reaffirms its conviction and commitment to create a safer and secure environment within our communities. With government and communities working together, we can eradicate the scourge of crime, and create a safe and peaceful environment within our communities that is conducive for investments.

3.2. Various operations undertaken recently by law-enforcement agencies across the country resulted in the arrest of a number of suspects and the recovery of illicit drugs. South African National Defence Force soldiers have also been deployed in some crime hotspots to support members of the South African Police Service in their concerted effort to bring gang violence and drug trafficking under control.

3.3. Cabinet urges members of the community to remain vigilant and report all acts of crime to the police, irrespective of who is involved.

B. Cabinet decisions

1. Policy and Policy Direction for the Licensing of the High Demand Spectrum

1.1.  Cabinet approved the Policy and Policy Direction for the Licensing of the High Demand Spectrum after extensive consultations with the sector and the public.  The Policy and Policy Direction sets a framework for the transformation of the sector by enabling entrance of new players in this important market while at the same time encouraging investments and innovation. The Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, will in the next few days issue the Cabinet approved final policy and brief the media.

2.  Presidential Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture Report

2.1.  Cabinet received the final report from the Presidential Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture. President Ramaphosa appointed the panel in September 2018 to provide a unified policy perspective on land reforms. The report makes findings on the current status quo and makes recommendations that will assist in accelerating the work of government in redressing the historical land distribution imbalances.

2.2. Cabinet directed that all Ministers, through their respective departments, must study the report and its proposed recommendations and revert to Cabinet within two months. The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza will oversee this process.

2.3. Cabinet extends its gratitude for the work done by the panel chaired by Dr Vuyokazi Mahlati and approved that the report be made accessible to the public. 

2.4. The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Ms Thoko Didiza, together with the panel, will hold a separate media briefing to unpack the contents of the report.   The media briefing will take place on Sunday 28th July 2019 at 10am at GCIS Ronnie Mamoepa Media Centre in Hatfield with video link to Cape Town GCIS Imbizo Centre 

C. Bills

1.  Recognition of Customary Marriages Amendment Bill of 2019

1.1.  Cabinet approved the submission of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Amendment Bill of 2019 to Parliament.

1.2.  The Bill brings Section 7(1) and (2) of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act (RCMA), 1998 (Act 120 of 1998) in line with the judgements of the Constitutional Court, which declared the sections constitutionally invalid. The sections discriminated unfairly against women in customary marriages.

1.3.  The Bill provides for the equal treatment of women in pre-Act monogamous and polygamous customary marriages.  The amendments eliminate the gender-based discrimination in polygamous marriages entered into before the commencement of the RCMA of 1998. Spouses will now have joint and equal proprietary rights over marital property.

D. Upcoming events 

1. Presidential Health Compact

1.1.  President Ramaphosa will officiate at the signing ceremony of the Presidential Health Compact at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital in Ga-Rankuwa, City of Tshwane, on Thursday, 25 July 2019. The Health Compact is an outcome of the Presidential Health Summit that was held in October 2018. The ceremony marks a milestone in the collective approach to achieve a sustainable quality health system.

2. First High-Level Annual Policy Dialogue Forum on Secondary Education in Africa

2.1. The Department of Basic Education will co-host the First High-Level Annual Policy Dialogue Forum on Secondary Education in Africa: Preparing Youth for the Future of Work, with the Association for the Development of Education in Africa.

2.2. It will be held from 29 to 30 July 2019 at Emperors Palace, Johannesburg. The forum will bring together Ministers responsible for education, youth and labour from across the African continent, academics; policy-makers; high-level representatives from development cooperation partners; the private sector; civil society; teachers and parents associations; youth organisations and the media.

2.3. Deliberations will focus on the design and implementation of innovative models required in secondary education in Africa to better equip teachers and prepare students for the future of work. Cabinet continues to appreciate our participation in such enriching dialogues.

3. Women’s Month 

3.1  The upcoming National Women’s Day celebration in Vryburg, Ruth Mompati District in North West on Friday, 9 August 2019, will be commemorated under the theme: “25 Years of Democracy: Growing South Africa Together for Women’s Emancipation”.

3.2 The celebration pays tribute to the more than 20 000 women who marched to  the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956  in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women. This protest became a turning point in our struggle for freedom and a democratic society.

3.3 Despite our remarkable achievement in advancing the emancipation of women in our society, the scourge of violence and abuse of women in our nation persists. The hefty sentences handed down in Gauteng sexual violence cases show that perpetrators of sexual crimes and other related offences will not escape the course of justice.

3.4  Cabinet calls on all sectors of society to oppose any violence, and make a collective effort to reduce the number of sexual offences and attacks on women and children towards the total eradication of these vices.

E. Messages

1.  Condolences

1.1.  Cabinet mourns the loss of veteran freedom fighter Ntate Isaac Lesibe ‘Bra Ike’ Maphoto, who passed on at the age of 88. President Ramaphosa declared a Special Official Funeral for Bra Ike, who left South Africa in 1961 and underwent military and political training in Beirut and the former Soviet Union between 1961 and 1963 before joining the senior Luthuli Detachment of Umkhonto we Sizwe. In 2006, then President Thabo Mbeki conferred the National Order of Luthuli in Silver on Bra Ike, for his contribution to the struggle for freedom and democracy.

1.2. Cabinet shares the national outpouring of grief with the family, friends and fans of award-winning singer and songwriter Jonathan ‘Johnny’ Clegg, who used his music to promote a non-racial society. He will be remembered for his commitment to nation-building, social cohesion and non-racialism. He was a recipient of the National Order of Ikhamanga in Silver, for his excellent contribution in the field of music and bridging African traditional music with other forms of music.

2. Congratulations

Cabinet congratulates:

2.1.  the Proteas national netball team, for their outstanding performance and flying the South African Flag high by reaching the semifinals of the World Cup in Liverpool. Their improvement from position five to four in world rankings is highly commended. Also, congratulate Ms Karla Pretorius for being selected and named as the World Cup 2019 Player of the tournament.

2.2.  South African athletes for shining at the International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League in London. National record holder Akani Simbine was in superb form in the men's 100m event, when he won the final in a season's best of 9.93m. In the men's long jump, Luvo Manyonga won the men's long jump with a season's best of 8.37m, with compatriot Ruswahl Samaai holding on for third position with a leap of 8.11m.

2.3.  Ndlovu Youth Choir, whose high-energy star-studded performance has seen them progress to the next round of the America's Got Talent live shows.

2.4. Our national rugby team, the Springboks, who won 35-17 over Australia during the 2019 Rugby Championship. The tournament is an important sporting event that involves countries like New Zealand, Australia and Argentina. We wish them well they continue in the tournament.

2.5.  TeamSA, who helped to rewrite African history at the 30th edition of the International University Sports Federation in Napoli, Italy. Africa won a total of 26 medals collectively. Of South Africa’s 18 medals, six of them were gold, eight silver and four bronze.

F.  Appointments

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

1. Interim directors to the Small Enterprise Finance Agency Board (SEFA): 

(a) Ms Mphokolo Makara;
(b) Adv Nomathemba Mlonzi;
(c) Ms Delicate Mabuza;
(d) Mr Martin Mahosi;
(e) Mr Justice Kganyago;
(f) Mr Maurice Radebe; and
(g) Ms Nonkululeko Dlamini – (reappointment).

Enquiries:
Phumla Williams – Acting Cabinet Spokesperson
Cell: 083 501 0139

Year: 
2019
Media Statement date: 
Thursday, July 25, 2019