Statement on the Cabinet meeting of 7 November 2018

Cabinet met on Wednesday, 7 November 2018 at Tuynhuys in Cape Town.

A. Issues in the Environment

1. Presidential Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Summit 

1.1. Cabinet welcomes the successful deliberations of the Presidential Gender Based Violence and Femicide Summit held on 01 and 02 November. The Summit has confirmed the urgency of forging consensus on dealing with the crisis of gender-based violence, discrimination against women and gender disparities. 

1.2. Government has agreed to conduct a review of national plans to end gender-based violence and the development of a National Action Plan on gender-based violence.  It remains committed to work with all stakeholders to ensure that we dramatically reduce levels of gender-based violence – and ultimately eradicate it. 

1.3. Cabinet calls on all South Africans to work together to fundamentally change attitudes, practices and institutions to end violence against women.

2. Investment

2.1. Cabinet welcomes the successful Investment Conference that took place in October in Sandton, Johannesburg.   The Investment Conference enabled South Africa to garner in access of R290 billion in investment commitments across different sectors of the economy. This adds to the pledges of over R400 billion that were received during the investment drive by the special envoys and from various countries during state visits.

2.2. The Conference was attended by more than 1 000 delegates, drawn from more than 35 countries. The spirit and mood was upbeat and the country showcased new opportunities for investment and policy-initiatives that are helping to create an investment-friendly environment. 

2.3. Cabinet congratulates the team that worked on the Conference and looks forward to receiving regular update reports on implementation of the commitments made.  

2.4. As South Africa and the rest of Africa continues to move on a higher trajectory towards growing the economy of the continent, Cabinet also welcomes the inaugural Africa Investment Forum, currently taking place up until the 9th November, in Johannesburg.  The Africa Investment Forum was convened by the African Development Bank. It aims to build on current successes by bringing together public and private sector investors to chart a new growth path for the entire African Continent.  
2.5. The recently held G20 Africa Conference further boosts our growth prospects through the various commitments that promote private investment and economic participation in African states as part of the Compact with Africa Initiative. The Compact with Africa Initiative is co-chaired by South Africa and Germany through the Africa Advisory Group. 

2.6. Cabinet also welcomed the recently launched R50 million Phuthaditjhaba Industrial Park in the Free State which will promote industrialization and increase local job creation and growth in that province.

2.7. Cabinet remains convinced that these interventions will ultimately begin to reduce the unemployment challenges facing the country, by igniting a renewed spirit of hope and optimism.   

3. Job Creation

3.1. Government is stepping up efforts to create more jobs for young people and South Africans as a whole, focused on township and rural economies, and enterprises of women and youth who often bear the brunt of challenging economic realities.

3.2. Cabinet is confident that the package of recovery measures, which will inject R50 billion into key sectors such as agriculture, public infrastructure, township and rural economies, will provide the necessary impetus for job creation and sustained economic recovery.

3.3. This adds to the practical outcomes of the Jobs Summit where government, business and labour committed to: buy local products; adopt a more aggressive approach to increasing exports; interventions in agricultural value chains and support for small and medium enterprises to boost jobs.

3.4. Cabinet believes that these interventions are critical in addressing the findings from the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the third quarter of 2018, which showed both a growth in employment and an increase in the number of unemployed persons. For the 3-months period, 92 000 additional jobs were created. However, because about 131 000 previously ‘discouraged work-seekers’ re-entered the labour market in the quarter, the unemployment rate also rose, by 0.3 of a percentage point to 27.5 per cent.

3.5. According to Statistics South Africa employment growth was registered in business services trade and construction, while job losses were occurred in mining, manufacturing, transport and private households. Employment in the formal sector shrunk, whilst jobs in the informal sector grew.

4. 20th Anniversary of the Competition Act 

4.1. Cabinet notes that the Competition Act reached its 20th year since it was brought into operation in October 1998. Over the twenty-year period, the competition authorities have registered significant successes in the fight against cartels, abuse of market dominance and protection of public interest during mergers. The authorities imposed more than R8 billion in penalties on companies for breaches of the Act. The Ministry of Economic Development, through measures in the Competition Act, generated more than R5 billion in special funds to promote small business, local suppliers and the entry of black farmers into the economic mainstream. 

4.2. Cabinet congratulates the competition authorities for the work done to open the economy to new players and promote entrepreneurship and competition.

5. 18th Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Council of Ministers meeting

5.1. Cabinet congratulates the Department of International Relations and Cooperation for hosting a successful 18th Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Meeting of the Council of Ministers (COM) which was held in Durban, KwaZulu Natal on 02 November 2018 under the theme: Uniting the Peoples of Africa, Asia, Australasia and the Middle East through enhanced cooperation for Peace, Stability and Sustainable Development”.

5.2. One of the outcomes of the 18th IORA meeting was a Special Declaration in honour of President Nelson Mandela who is also one of the founders of IORA. This led to the establishment of the “IORA Nelson Mandela ‘Be the Legacy’ internship programme” expected to be officially launched in July 2019. This initiative aims at empowering and capacitating young people of IORA with work experience in their fields of study.

6. Fighting Crime 

6.1. Cabinet welcomes the recently launched Anti-Gang Unit in Hanover Park, Western Cape, by President Cyril Ramaphosa.  This added intervention by government will go a long way in dealing decisively with the problem of gang and drug related crimes that are plaguing communities.

6.2. The unit has members who are trained in handling high-risk situations as they come from the tactical response teams, the special task force as well as the national intervention unit.  In the pursuit of tackling crime, this particularly government-led intervention will be rolled out nationally.  

6.3. Cabinet calls on communities to work with law enforcement agencies to maintain safety and security which is critical for any community to develop.  It remains committed in ensuring that communities are safe and feel safe in their respective areas.

7. Tax Season 

7.1. Cabinet thanks all taxpayers for promptly submitting their annual tax returns for the 2017/18 tax season, which closed on 31 October 2018.  Revenue generated through taxes remains the main source of funds that ensures government can deliver services to the public. 

8. National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

8.1. Cabinet reminds all learners wanting to apply to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for financial aid in 2019 that online applications close on 30 November 2018.

8.2. On 01 September 2018, applications opened to eligible students wishing to further their studies in 2019 on an approved course at any public university or Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college in South Africa.

8.3. Students are strongly encouraged to submit online applications or visit their nearest National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) centre before the closing date.

B. Cabinet decisions

9. Cabinet approved the Strategy Framework for the pursuit of South Africa’s strategic economic interests globally as it relates to trade, investment and industrialisation. The strategy aims to ensure that international engagements serve the country’s domestic policy imperatives such as poverty alleviation, unemployment and inequality. 

The strategy advocates that South Africa pursue development integration in the rest of Africa supported by an investment led strategy and build strategic alliances to advance its agenda.   It also consolidates its trade and investment relations with developed countries and pursues inward investments, skills and technology transfer and value –added exports. 

10. Cabinet approved the cost-of-living annual salary adjustment for members of the South African Human Rights Commission.   The South African Human Rights Commission Act, 2013 provides that remuneration, allowances and other terms and conditions of office be determined by the President in consultation with Cabinet and the Minister of Finance.

C. Upcoming events

11. International Labour Organisation

The International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) High-Level Global Commission on the Future of Work will hold its final session from the 15 to 17 November 2018  The Commission is  is co-chaired by President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Swedish counterpart Stefan Löfven.  The High-Level Global commission, set up by the ILO in 2017, is tasked with assessing the rapid transformations taking place in the world of work,identifying the key challenges and what must be done to make the future of work better and fairer.  The work of the Global Commission aligns with government's focus on the creation of decent and sustainable jobs, and efforts to ensure young South Africans have the skills necessary to thrive in the changing workplace. 

12. China International Import Expo (CIIE)

Cabinet welcomes the participation of South Africa as a country guest of honour in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai.  Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, is leading a delegation of 27 South African organisations.  The delegation is being funded by the Department of Trade and Industry through the Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) Scheme.

South Africa’s participation better enables the country to promote its trade and investment capabilities and we look forward to participating exhibitors from sectors, including agro-processing, footwear and leather, engineering, petro-chemicals, railway components, defence, as well as information and communication technology, returning home with procurement orders.  On the margins of the Expo, South Africa also hosted an investment seminar focusing on opportunities in the manufacturing sector. 

13. Imbizo Focus Week

The upcoming two weeks of activism by government will mark the 9th National Imbizo Focus Week, which is being coordinated by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). Members of the National Executive as well as provincial and local government leaders will undertake community meetings and Izimbizo countrywide. A programme will be posted on www.gov.za for the period 12 to 25 November 2018.
South Africans are encouraged to utilise this platform to engage with principals on service delivery issues to ensure that we work together in developing our communities. 

D. Condolences

14. Cabinet expresses its condolences to the families and loved ones of all those who lost their lives during a series of fires on the Garden Route and surrounding areas, as well as in the Eastern Cape. The fire claimed the life of Nico Heyns, who was a pilot for “Working on Fire”.  It also resulted in the death of nine other people and the displacement of approximately 2000. A number of properties and large areas of vegetation were also destroyed.  Cabinet commends the swift response of fire fighters and disaster management officials, together with the SA Air Force and “Working on Fire” who worked tirelessly to save lives and bring the fire under control. 

15. Cabinet expresses its condolences to the Government and the people of Indonesia following the plane crash that killed 189 people after takeoff from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

E. Congratulations

16. Cabinet congratulates South Africa for being elected with responding support to serve on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Council on Monday, 05 November 2018 during the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Dubai. 

Cabinet also congratulates Mr Mandla Mchunu of ICASA who has been elected to serve on the Radio Regulations Board of the ITU as well as Ms Doreen Bogdan-Martin on her election as the Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau, and as the first woman to be part of the senior management of the ITU since it was established in 1865. 

South Africa is humbled by the confidence bestowed by other nation states to serve in these high structures of the ITU for the next four years. We will use these positions to push the developmental agenda and for an inclusive information society in the digital age.

17. Cabinet also congratulated the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for electing its first woman president, Her Excellency Sahle-Work Zewde, who is the only current woman president on the African continent. South Africa will continue to strengthen its bilateral relations with Ethiopia on a number of areas which include trade, political and economic relations.

18. Cabinet sends congratulations to Cameroon’s President Paul Biya, who was inaugurated for his seventh term in office. Cabinet calls on all people of Cameroon to work together towards a peaceful solution through an inclusive dialogue process. Cabinet looks forward to the deepening of bilateral political, economic and trade relations between South Africa with Cameroon.

19. Cabinet also congratulates the people of Brazil for holding a successful election which sees President-elect of the Federative Republic of Brazil, H.E. Jair Bolsonaro as the next Brazilian President. 

20. Cabinet extends good wishes to all the Hindu communities in South Africa who are celebrating Diwali or Deepavali. This is a religious occasion that celebrates the victory of good over evil, knowledge and wisdom over ignorance as well as the triumph of light over darkness. Let the divine light bless South Africa with peace, prosperity, happiness, success and fulfilment, as we all do our part to cement harmony and unity in our country’s cultural and religious diversity

F. Appointments

All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
21. Re-appointment of Ms Nomfundo Maseti as Full-time Regulator Member, responsible for Piped-Gas regulation, to serve on the NERSA Board.  
22. The following persons have been appointed to the Council for the Built Environment:
a. Absalom Mosabeni Molobe (Chairperson);
b. Ms Maphefo K Mogodi (Deputy Chairperson);
c. Ms Zandile Yvonne Mathe;
d. Dr Jenitha Badul;
e. Ngwako Edward Hutamo;
f. Noninzi Qina;
g. Gert Hendrik Meyer;
h. Jerry Leigh Magolius;
i. Hendrik Ndlovu;
j. Dr Keith Ivor Jacobs;
k. Adv Boitumelo Tlhakung;
l. Inge Maree Vieira;
m. Sinenhlanhla Thuleleni Mthembu;
n. Dr Prittish Dala
o. Ulandi Exner
p. Ms Florence Rabada;
q. Ms Noluthando Hazel Molao; and
r. Dr Claire Deacon.

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

Year: 
2018
Media Statement date: 
Thursday, November 8, 2018