11 Dec 2015
1. Implementation of key government programmes
1.1. Cabinet welcomed the signing of 26 agreements to the value of R94 billion during the recent State Visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The signed agreements included R12 billion to build a car-manufacturing plant in South Africa, a US$500 million loan facility to Eskom for infrastructure development and a US$2.5 billion funding guarantee for Transnet from the China Development Bank.
As part of the 2nd Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), President Xi Jinping pledged US$60 billion for development in Africa. The adoption of a new Declaration and Plan of Action (2016-2018) at FOCAC consolidates the growing mutual partnership between Africa and China, which will unlock new trade and investment opportunities to help stimulate economic growth.
The economy further received an economic boost with South Africa’s BMW Group announcing an investment of R6 billion at its plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria, which bears testament to the important partnership that exists between business and government, and the role that business is playing in the development of the economy.
1.2. On Tuesday, 8 December, President Zuma bestowed National Orders to South African citizens and eminent foreign nationals who have contributed to the upliftment of humanity. The National Orders are a moment of great reflection, celebration and pride for our people. They celebrate human achievement, human sacrifice and human endeavours that make our country a better place. We salute the recipients of the 2015 National Orders.
1.3. Cabinet appeals to all South Africans to use water sparingly. This is in support of a number of measures taken to alleviate the water shortages, which have been exacerbated by the heatwave the country has experienced in the past weeks. Whilst the recent rainfalls in some parts of the country provided some relief, the country’s water shortage remains a real challenge and requires all of us to use water sparingly and responsibly.
1.4. Cabinet expressed its appreciation to all South Africans for participating in this year’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign, which ended yesterday. Recent research indicates high numbers of new HIV infections, particularly among young women and girls in Africa between 15 and 24 years of age. South Africans are encouraged to take forward their activism into everyday action as part of the #365 Days Campaign of No Violence Against Women and Children and the #CountMeIn campaign that unfolds throughout the year ahead.
Through the #365 Days Campaign and #CountMeIn, the country needs to continue mobilising members of society, especially men, to join hands with government in dealing with this scourge. It is the responsibility of the nation, both individually and collectively, to stop the spread of the virus by taking care of our own health and that of others.
1.5. Cabinet has appreciated the progress that has been made by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in developing a bio-manufacturing process for HIV antibodies. This brings the health industry a step closer to an economically viable preventative treatment. Whilst the country still struggles to find the cure for HIV and AIDS, South Africans are still expected to practice safe sex and observe the ABC (Abstain, Be faithful and Condomise) principles of preventing new infections.
1.6. Cabinet commends all learners, students, teachers, lecturers, schools and institutions of higher learning on concluding a successful academic year, despite the challenges experienced during the year. Cabinet also wishes those who agreed to postpone examinations rescheduled for 2016 well in their coming examinations.
1.7. The Department of Social Development, in collaboration with Department of Defense and National Youth Development Agency, will hold its 6th National Youth Camp. This is a youth leadership development programme that seeks to change behaviour, attitudes and empower the youth about opportunities at their disposal. The camp also assists with mentoring and teaching young boys to grow into men who value and respect women.
1.8. A joint agreement signed between the Minister of Higher Education and Training Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, and BRICS partners – Brazil, Russia, India and China – is aimed at developing a framework for future cooperation in education. The agreement covers general education, educational policy strategy, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and higher education. TVET colleges hold the potential to unlock economic opportunities for our young people, while addressing the challenges of unemployment, inequality and poverty affecting communities.
The agreement, which will improve the quality of teaching and teachers’ education, also commits BRICS universities to support joint research projects, encourage collaborative programmes at postgraduate, doctoral and postdoctoral levels and the co-publishing of scientific results.
1.9. The Department of Science and Technology hosted the Science Forum South Africa under the theme “Igniting conversations about science”. Over 45 countries participated in debates on the interface between science, technology and innovation and society, specifically in the context of development. The forum also served to strengthen South Africa’s strategic international science, technology and innovation partnerships.
1.10. South Africa will be represented in the Council of International Maritime Organisation. This is a major step towards realising the country and the continent’s potential in the maritime sector. The organisation is responsible for adopting decisions on global maritime affairs, ranging from the Oceans Economy, rescue initiatives and safety and security matters at sea. The participation in this body will support government’s programme of unlocking the country’s maritime potential through the Blue Oceans Economy Strategy and Operation Phakisa, which aims to create over one million jobs by 2033.
1.11. The South African National Defence Force commenced in the past week a process to upgrade Salisbury Island Naval Station in Durban into a fully functional naval base. The upgrading of facilities will improve defence capabilities and also contribute towards the ocean economy.
1.12. The Department of Health, in partnership with Soul City and Times Media, launched a dedicated health and lifestyle channel The Good Life Network on DStv channel 199. The channel offers diverse, entertaining and original home-grown content on nutrition, health and fitness, human rights, youth sexuality, HIV and TB, as well as consumer and gender rights. Cabinet calls on South Africans to watch the channel.
2. Key Cabinet decisions
2.1. Cabinet approved the publication of the White Paper on the National Health Insurance (NHI) for South Africa, for public comment. The NHI is part of government’s major health sector reforms. The policy proposes government’s ability to offer medical services to all who visit its health facilities. It will be funded through a central fund that will also be made available to private medical practitioners who want to participate in the scheme. Once finalised, the policy will be phased in over the years and focus mainly on commencing in underserviced areas. The Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, will today brief the media on the roll-out of the NHI.
2.2. Cabinet approved the National Integrated Early Childhood Development (ECD) Policy. The policy was developed in consultation with various stakeholders in the sector. It went through public consultation in February 2015. This integrated ECD policy will ensure all young children and their caregivers are able to access comprehensive quality ECD services from conception to Grade R. The policy extends the service to eight-year-old children with developmental difficulties. The policy further provides a monitoring and evaluation framework to ensure it is effectively implemented to all children irrespective of race, gender or religion.
2.3. Cabinet has approved the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Implementation Matrix. This is aligned to the disability-inclusive Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2015. The policy will accelerate transformation and redress regarding full inclusion, integration and equality for persons with disabilities.
2.4. Cabinet approved the publication of the National Sanitation Policy for public comment. The policy places the well-being of people at the centre of development by striking a balance between allocating financial resources to support investments in higher levels of service, providing services to underserved households, while also maintaining and refurbishing existing sanitation infrastructure.
2.5. Cabinet approved for the submission to Parliament of South Africa’s 5th Periodic Report (2009-2014) on the Implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women. The report provides an overview on the effectiveness of the range of laws, policies and programmes implemented and highlights the country’s achievements on women’s empowerment and gender equality. The report also recognises that there are persistent challenges and barriers to overcoming inequality and discrimination in the country.
2.6. Cabinet approved the publication of the Draft National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, for public comment. The plan is an integrated and systematic national strategy aimed at combating racism and building a truly non-racist and non-sexist democratic South Africa.
It provides a framework for sustained and coordinated measures to be undertaken by the country as a whole to deal with the legacy of racism and racial discrimination. This assists South Africa to meet its international, regional and national obligations, specifically the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the UN at the World Conference against Racism in 2001.
2.7. Cabinet was briefed on progress made on the digital migration programme. It approved the commencement of the dual-illumination period for the digital broadcasting signal in South Africa on 1 February 2016. The migration from analogue to digital broadcasting services releases the much-needed radio frequency spectrum suitable for the provision of mobile broadband services. This will increase the competitiveness of the South African economy by revitalising the broadcasting industry, strengthening the electronics manufacturing industry, creating jobs, and developing more local and diverse broadcast content.
2.8. Cabinet was briefed on the findings of the 2014 South African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators Report and the trends in the performance of the National System of Innovation (NSI), produced annually by the National Advisory Council on Innovation. The report uses critical indicators to assess the performance and contribution of the NSI to key national priorities articulated in the National Development Plan (NDP) and other policy documents which contribute to socio-economic development.
2.9. Cabinet approved the rationalisation of magisterial districts for Limpopo and Mpumalanga, and the designation of the Lephalale Magistrate’s Court as a local seat of the Limpopo Division of the High Court, as an interim measure until a separate permanent local seat of the Division is built in the area.
The rationalisation of magisterial districts and areas of jurisdiction of the Divisions of the High Court is part of the policy reform aimed at redressing the legacy of spatial injustices of the past. It is also part of the broader transformation imperative to enhance access to justice, which is aligned to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996.
2.10. Cabinet approved the report on progress regarding the implementation of the Cabinet directives in Limpopo in terms of Section 100 (1) (a) of the Constitution. Cabinet approved the withdrawal of Section 100 (1) (a) by 31 March 2016 in the following Limpopo provincial departments: Health; Transport; Public Works; Roads and Infrastructure and Treasury.
Cabinet also approved the conditional withdrawal of Section 100 (1) (a) in Education to pave the way for the Provincial Treasury to effectively implement Section 18 of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act 1 of 1999) in the Limpopo Department of Education, with support from national government.
Cabinet approved the following directives to the Premier and the MECs for Finance and of Education:
a) Capacitating the provincial departments by recruiting competent personnel;
b) Finalising the appointment of senior management positions; and
c) Dealing decisively with leadership failure and corruption.
2.11. Cabinet approved for South Africa to host the high level Anti-Drugs Dialogue Conference from 11 to 12 March 2016, which will be under the auspices of the African Union. This serves as a follow-up session of the Russia-Africa Anti-Drugs Dialogue, which aims to present a consolidated position regarding countering the world drug problem. This will be tabled at the UNGA Special Session in April 2016. The fight against illicit drugs is in line with the NDP and the Dialogue will provide a platform to further enhance the National Drug Master Plan (2013-2017).
2.12. Cabinet approved for the Department of Human Settlements to co-host the “Leading Change in the City: From Slums to Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable Human Settlements” Conference with the UN Human Settlements Programme, in March 2016.
The conference supports both the international development agenda and the domestic development agenda by strengthening support for Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The conference forms part of the discussion on the implementing of the post-2015 UN Development Agenda and the “New Urban Agenda” to be adopted by the UN in 2016.
2.13. Cabinet approved for the Agricultural Research Council to host the 3rd Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development in April 2016. The conference will identify: international research and innovation priorities as well as needs in national innovation systems so as to achieve future development goals, in particular for family farmers and poor communities.
3.1. Cabinet approved the publication of the Marine Spatial Planning Bill of 2015 for public comment. The Bill provides a legal framework to unlock ocean economic potential by promoting cooperative spatial planning. The Bill will assist the already existing Operation Phakisa institutional structures. It seeks to promote collaboration and responsible ocean governance arrangement.
4. Upcoming events
4.1. President Zuma will lead the country’s Reconciliation Day celebration on 16 December in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape under the theme: “Bridging the divide: Building a common South African nationhood towards a national developmental state”.
4.2. The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Dr Siyabonga Cwele, will lead the South African delegation at the UNGA on the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) from 15 to 16 December 2015, where South Africa’s country position, contributing to the WSIS+10 Non-Paper will be presented.
5. Cabinet’s position on key issues in the environment
5.1. South Africa successfully hosted the 7th Africities Summit of cities and local governments of Africa in Johannesburg from 29 November to 3 December 2015. Under the theme: “Shaping the future of Africa with the people: the contribution of African local authorities to agenda 2063 of the African Union”, the summit, which attracted 15 000 mayors and 500 000 councilors, is one of the most concrete initiatives for building African unity. The summit focused on strengthening local government across the African continent, particularly financial management and establishing a secure revenue base, towards the attainment of Agenda 2063 – the Africa we want.
The summit supports the goals of the NDP in which cities and local government play an important role in our overall development.
5.2. Cabinet remains confident that as negotiations unfold at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a fair and binding agreement will be reached.
Climate change is a global problem requiring a global solution, which can only be effectively addressed multilaterally, under the broad-based legitimacy of the UNFCCC and with all parties making a contribution. In South Africa, we can proudly say that we have put in place progressive, innovative and proactive policies, and plans to deal with an ever-changing climate. These policies are guided by the overarching principle of sustainable development, which is the cornerstone of Vision 2030 as contained in the NDP.
5.3. Being the last Cabinet meeting for 2015, Cabinet extends its best wishes to all South Africans for the upcoming festive season. In the spirit of the season and in keeping with the spirit of Ubuntu, Cabinet calls on all South Africans to assist needy individuals and families in their community. We are a nation that cares for one another, respects each other and supports those who are less fortunate. The coming New Year offers all of us the possibility to recommit ourselves to work for a better future for all.
6.1. Cabinet extends its condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of Mohamed Ismail (“Issy”) Dinat, who passed on Tuesday, 8 December. His selflessness and involvement in the Struggle contributed to our freedom.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
7.1. Water Research Commission:
a) Dr Nozibele Mjoli (Chairperson);
b) Prof Sibusiso Vil-Nkomo (Deputy Chairperson);
c) Prof Aldo Stroebel;
d) Ms Nompumelelo Msezane;
e) Dr Mosidi Makgae;
f) Ms Masaccha Khulekelwe Mbonambi;
g) Mr Mxolisi Adolphius Cassius Ndhlovu;
h) Dr Ntombifuthi Patience Nala; and
i) Representative from the Department of Science and Technology.
7.2. Amatola Water Board:
a) Ms NN Mnqeta (Chairperson);
b) Mr A Hadebe (Deputy Chairperson);
c) Mr EV Jooste;
d) Mr AP Le Roux;
e) Mr BE Hollingworth;
f) Mr C Mbande;
g) Ms TF Maenetja;
h) Ms M Nzimande; and
i) Prof L Louw.
7.3. Board of the Community Schemes Ombud Service:
a) Mr Vukile Charles Mehana, (re-appointment and Chairperson);
b) Ms Beauty Nomhle Dambuza;
c) Mr Bhekumusa Gorden Dlamini;
d) Taureen Dylan Holmes;
e) Rajesh Jock;
f) Oupa Moshongoane Moshebi; and
g) Nomazotsho Yvonne Memani (re-appointment).
7.4. Board of the National Development Agency:
a) Ms Judy Hermans (Chairperson);
b) Mr Zolile Thando Ngcakani (re-appointment and Deputy Chairperson);
c) Ms Suraya Bibi Khan (re-appointment);
d) Mr Abram Stefanus Hanekom;
e) Ms Sebenzile Matsebula;
f) Ms Mashila Matlala;
g) Mr Moses Mabokela Chikane (government representative);
h) Ms Bernice Makgoro Mannya (government representative);
i) Ms Thabitha Shange (government representative);
j) Ms Farzana Suliman Varachia (government representative).
7.5. Board of Legal Aid South Africa:
a) Prof Yousuf Abdoola Vawda;
b) Mr Nkosana Mabhuti Francois Mvundlela;
c) Ms Thulisile Mhlungu;
d) Ms Nonhlanhla Mgadza;
e) Ms Marcella Naidoo;
f) Mr Matome Leseilane; and
g) Ms Adila Chowan;
h) Ms Aneline Rhoda (alternate member); and
i) Mr Langelihle Ezrome Mtshali (alternate member).
7.6. Extension of the employment contract of Mr Thabane Wiseman Zulu as the Director-General (DG) at the Department of Energy.
7.7. Dr Mmaphaka Ephraim Tau as Deputy DG (DDG): Forestry and Natural Resources Management at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
7.8. Ms Kelebogile Sybil Sethibelo as DDG: Institutional Governance at the Department of Arts and Culture.
7.9. Mr Omega Shelembe as DDG: State-Owned Enterprises Oversight and Information Communication Technology Enterprise Development at the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS).
7.10. Mr Edward Xolisa Makaya as DDG: Africa at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
7.11. Ms Thulisile Glory Manzini as DDG: Administration at the DTPS.
In conclusion, Cabinet extends its gratitude to those South Africans who complied by submitting their tax returns resulting in a total of 5.94 million tax returns received for non-provisional taxpayers. This is 11.52 per cent higher than in 2014, and the compliance for taxpayers filing on time exceeded 90 per cent for the third consecutive year. This high level of compliance enables government to deliver services that improve the quality of life of all its citizens.
During this festive period, government is implementing various campaigns which require all South Africans and visitors to play their part in ensuring that the festive period is enjoyed in a safe and secure environment. Cabinet calls on all to work with the South African Police Service and to report any criminal activities in our homes and communities.
In order to accommodate the influx of cross-border travellers, all government departments at ports of entry will from 10 December 2015 to 14 January 2016 extend their operating hours. These include Health, Agriculture, Police, Home Affairs and South African Revenue Service). Details are available at www.home-affairs.gov.za.
All road users are urged to adhere to the rules of the road, including adherence to speed limits; ensure vehicles are roadworthy; not drive under the influence and to wear safety belts. Pedestrians are urged to ensure that when using the roads they do not endanger their well-being or that of motorists. Law-enforcement agencies will be out in full force to deal with transgressors.
Ms Nebo Legoabe (Acting Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 082 453 2874
Issued by: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)