Statement on the Cabinet Meeting held on 27 March 2019

28 March 2019 

A. Issues in the environment

1. Investment

1.1. Cabinet welcomes the second-phase expansion of the Dube Trade Port Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in KwaZulu-Natal. The R18-billion investment brings an additional 45 hectares of industrial space into the SEZ. It will serve as the foundation to attract an estimated R20 billion in investment over the next five years.  

1.2. Cabinet also welcomes Chinese electronics manufacturer Hisense’s R72-million investment into its refrigeration and television production lines at its Atlantis factory in the Western Cape, which created 150 manufacturing job opportunities. This investment brings Hisense’s total investment in this Atlantis plant to R440 million.

2. Land restitution

2.1. President Cyril Ramaphosa handed over the first-ever land restitution to descendants of the Griqua community (Ebenhaeser community) in Vredendal in the Western Cape. This handover continues the Land Reform Programme of improving the conditions of the previously disadvantaged communities. 

2.2. Cabinet welcomed the post-settlement support provided by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform through a variety of tractors to be used by farmers in the area, which will ensure the keeping and working of the land for current and future generations.

3. Quarterly Labour Survey

3.1 Cabinet welcomes the release this week of the latest employment data from StatsSA, which confirm the growth in total employment during 2018. The Quarterly Employment Survey (QES), one of two surveys conducted by StatsSA, showed that employment in the formal sector grew by 158 000 during the 12 months of 2018. During the last three months of last year, employment grew by 87 000. The survey excludes data on agriculture and the informal economy.

3.2 This welcome trend follows the release last month of the more comprehensive Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), which covers all sectors of the economy, both formal and informal, and which also showed significant employment growth during 2018.

3.3 This increase in jobs reflect in part growing investor confidence and a rise in foreign direct investment in the economy, pointing to the success of the President’s efforts to boost South Africa as a destination for investment. The Presidential Investment Conference held in October last year attracted pledges of R300 billion. Over the next four years, Government will work with investors, local communities and organized labour to enable the pledged investment to take place and to help create additional jobs and economic opportunities.

3.4 Since the start of the current Administration, the QLFS shows that total employment has grown to 16, 5 million, with 1, 5 million new jobs created in the 5-year period.

4. Cyclone Idai devastation

4.1. Cabinet extends its condolences to the families of victims of Cyclone Idai that affected parts of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. The cyclone left a trail of destruction, displaced hundreds of thousands of people, destroyed vast areas, cut off communication networks and made roads impassable. 

4.2. In the spirit of Ubuntu (Humanity), President Ramaphosa has responded to the call for assistance from our neighbours by approving various interventions, including search-and-rescue capability.

4.3. Cabinet expresses its appreciation on the work done by our South African National Defence Force (SANDF), South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Department of Health. SANDF helicopters helped to rescue people trapped by the floods and the SAPS also deployed specially trained dogs with their handlers to the search-and-rescue mission. Cabinet also thanks non-governmental organisations and the Gift of the Givers for providing ongoing humanitarian and disaster-relief assistance.

5. Eskom

5.1. Deputy President David Mabuza reported to Cabinet on developments regarding Eskom and electricity constraints. Good progress has since been made in acquiring sufficient coal and diesel supplies, and with water reserves at pumped storage stations at hydro-electricity plants.

5.2. The Technical Review Panel that was appointed by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and the Eskom Board on 4 March 2019, will finish some of its work by early next week and will have some preliminary results from its review of Eskom power stations. This will assist Eskom and government to put in place a more rigorous programme of power-plant maintenance, which will help stabilise the generation system over the next few weeks and months. 

5.3. Cabinet also dealt with the financial situation of Eskom. Further options are being considered to support the power utility. Electricity generation has been stable this week with a low risk of load-shedding.  However, there are still a high number of unplanned outages that create a disruptive effect on the overall system.

5.4. Cabinet commended the Eskom management and staff for their efforts to provide stable, consistent and reliable energy supply both to our economy and to our citizens under difficult operating conditions.

5.5. Cabinet emphasised that all South Africans should cooperate and come up with new ideas – as well as energy-saving practices that were applied in the past – to reduce the demand for electricity. These include switching off geysers, swimming pool pumps and lights that are not in use. Further progress on Eskom and electricity generation, as indicated by the Minister of Public Enterprises, will be provided within the next week.

6. Passing on of Princess Irene Thandekile Buthelezi

6.1. Cabinet expressed its heartfelt condolence to the family and friends of Princess Irene Thandekile Buthelezi, the wife of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Princess Irene was married to Inkatha Freedom Party leader Prince Buthelezi for 67 years.

The Princess has been the pillar and support to Prince Buthelezi during his years as a political figure in South African politics. Princess Irene is also survived by their children Prince Ntuthukoyezwe Zuzifa, Princess Phumzile Nokuphiwa and Princess Sibuyiselwe Angela, and grandchildren.

7. National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

7.1. Higher Education and Training Minister Naledi Pandor announced the allocation of an additional R967 million to NSFAS.  The amount will go towards the settling of the historic debt to the universities by 52 514 NSFAS funded students that are still continuing with their studies. This allocation does not include those students that are already fully funded on the revised threshold of the joint minimum income of the parents.

7.2. Cabinet supports all attempts made towards making education accessible particularly to students coming from poor families. It will continue to support the work that seeks to narrow the gap of inequality with our society. Cabinet calls on the students to continue to work with the department to find solutions to outstanding issues they still face.

8.  South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)

8.1. Cabinet has noted and welcomes the work that is being done to assist the SABC to raise R3, 2 billion as interim funding from the commercial banks. This will ensure the broadcaster is able to meet its funding requirements between now and September 2019.

8.2. Cabinet remains committed to supporting the SABC and this follows earlier announcements by the Finance Minister Tito Mboweni in his Budget Speech in February 2019 to support state-owned companies (SOCs) in financial distress, including the SABC, to receive funding currently allocated in the contingency reserve. 

9. Southern African Development Community (SADC) Solidarity Conference

9.1. Cabinet is pleased that South Africa hosted a successful SADC Solidarity Conference with the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic earlier this month.

9.2. Western Sahara is the only country in Africa that remains under colonial rule. The SADC Solidarity Conference with Western Sahara seeks, among other things, to reaffirm the right of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination. This is in line with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations (UN) as well as the then Organisation of the African Unity and the African Union (AU).  

 

B. Cabinet decisions

10. New South African Revenue Service (SARS) Commissioner

10.1. Cabinet welcomes the appointment of Mr Edward Christian Kieswetter as the new Commissioner of SARS with effect from 1 May 2019.

10.2. Mr Kieswetter obtained his Honours degree in Education Science in 1988, a Master of Science Education in 1996 and a Master of Business Administration in 2001, amongst others. He brings to SARS a wealth of managerial experience which he acquired from both the private and public sector. The conclusion of this appointment gives effect to the recommendation made by the Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance by SARS, chaired by retired Judge Robert Nugent.

11.  Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance by SARS (Nugent Report)

11.1. Cabinet was briefed on the outcome of the work of the Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance by SARS. President Ramaphosa appointed the commission on the 24 May 2018to, among others, stabilise SARS, restore its credibility and strengthen its capacity to meet revenue targets. Its interim report was submitted on 27 September 2018 and the final report on 11 December 2018. 

11.2. Cabinet noted the findings of the commission most failings at SARS stemmed from a “massive failure of governance and integrity” under the former Commissioner.  The commission made 27 specific corrective recommendations to rectify past harmful decisions, covering an array of areas which included procurement, organizational design and strengthening of the organisational leadership. One of the key recommendations has been the urgent appointment of the Commissioner for SARS.

11.3. Cabinet expresses its broad support for the recommendations made by the Commission and the Minister of Finance will oversee the implementation of its recommendations, including leading a consultative process to amend the SARS Act to improve governance and accountability, and the potential role of an Inspector General compared to a Board.

11.4. Cabinet expresses its gratitude to Judge Nugent, panel members and the support team of the Commission, for its high quality report, and the speed and efficiency to produce them.  The report has been public since its release, and is available on the Presidency website.

12. Evaluation of the National Drug Master Plan (NDMP) 2013-2018

12.1. Cabinet approved the evaluation report of the NDMP 2013-2018 as a demonstration of government’s continued commitment to fight the use and effects of drugs within communities around the country.

12.2. The evaluation establishes that whilst the NDMP provides a guiding framework for the sector, its implementation has been weakened by poor alignment of the strategies of the various relevant departments. 

12.3. It proposes a number of interventions such as harmonizing the strategies of the departments and further recommends a more independent fully funded structure to drive the substance abuse and prevention in our communities, especially amongst the youth.

12.4. Cabinet acknowledges the challenges faced by our communities in respect of drug addiction. The recommendation made by this evaluation will go a long way in decisively addressing this issue. Cabinet also approved the setting up of an Anti-Drug Council, structured similarly to the South African National AIDS Council, to drive the fight against drug addiction. The revised master plan will now be referred to as Anti-Drug Master Plan.

13. Framework on Gender Responsive Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring Evaluation and Audit

13.1. Cabinet approved the Framework on Gender Responsive Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring Evaluation and Audit. The framework places gender mainstreaming at the centre of public policy by putting forward a strategy and implementation plan towards gender responsiveness of existing planning, budgeting, monitoring, evaluations and auditing systems.

13.2. The constitutional mandate to end gender discrimination, and realise the rights of women and girls, requires a decisive and effective paradigm shift across all state machinery.

14. Evaluation reports

14.1. Cabinet also approved a number of other evaluation reports that were commissioned through the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) including the following:

  • The Evaluation of the Framework for Strategic and Annual 
     Performance Plans (FSAPP) 
    which determines whether FSAPP has  been effective at guiding departments in their service delivery, particularly  responding to government’s priority outcomes, and in holding  departments accountable for performance. The review confirms the  relevance of this approach, however it indicates that the design has some  gaps and that the approach is not entirely aligned, coherent and consistent  with all the related policies and legislation.  The report proposes a number  of interventions to strengthen this approach.
  • The Evaluation of Design Draft Policy on Community Colleges, which looks at the design of the draft policy to address the lack of education and training opportunities for adults and post-school youth and the failure of them to meet the needs of adult and youth to access the labour market and livelihood skills. The evaluation report highlights the absence of adequate resources to enable this programme to derive the anticipated outcomes. 
  • The Evaluation of Government Business Incentives, which provides an assessment of how the system as a whole is working to support  business and benefit society. Government uses a wide range of incentives to encourage firms to act or invest in specific activities or contribute to certain social or economic outcomes. The report identifies overlaps and complementaries in various business incentives. It recommends amongst others the establishment of an Intergovernmental Incentive co-ordination committee.
  • The Evaluation of the Integrated Strategy on the Promotion of Entrepreneurship and Small Enterprises, which assessed the effectiveness of implementation of this strategy, which was approved in 2005 to focus on critical areas such as job creation, equity and access to  markets. These enterprises play a critical role in creating employment, innovation and growth.  The proposed improvement plan includes improvement, coordination and rationalization across all spheres of government and strengthen institutional governance and oversight.

14.2. The evaluations seek to strengthen the Public Service and governance of government. The evaluations were commissioned to independent service providers and will be posted on the DPME website: www.dpme.gov.za.

15.  National coordinating mechanism for UN, AU and the SADC

15.1. In line with the National Development Plan, which seeks to promote sustainable development by tackling regional, continental and global challenges, Cabinet approved the establishment of a national coordinating mechanism to coordinate the sustainable development agendas of the UN, AU and the SADC.

15.2.  This national coordination mechanism will serve as a multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder process to facilitate consultations and coordination within and outside government on South Africa’s international sustainable development commitments.

15.3.  This will be overseen by an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC), driven from the centre of government, which will ensure that the development agendas (UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the SADC’s Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan) are fully reflected in the country’s national plans, and will provide overall guidance on fulfilling monitoring and reporting requirements.

16. IMC on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)

16.1. Subsequent to President Ramaphosa’s announcement in his 2019 State of the Nation Address, Cabinet approved the establishment of an IMC on the 4IR.

16.2. The commission is to advise on strategies and policies to respond to new technological developments occasioned by digitisation and the 4IR. The main responsibility of the IMC is to coordinate planning and implementation of the 4IR interventions, including complementing the work of the Presidential Commission on 4IR.

17. End of term

17.1. As Cabinet concludes its programme of this fifth administration, it thanked social partners and citizens. It called on South Africans to remain resolute in building a prosperous country.

17.2. Cabinet expressed its appreciation to Parliament and the Judiciary for upholding constitutional values and holding the Executive to account in the interest of a better life for citizens.

17.3. It also expressed its appreciation to South Africa’s partners in the SADC; AU;  Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa; Group of 20 (G20), UN and other formations, for standing by South Africa to improve conditions in the country, and for working with it in pursuit of a better South Africa, a better Africa and a better world.

17.4. Cabinet paid homage to the members of the National Executive who passed on during this fifth administration, Ministers Collins Chabane and Edna Molewa, as well as leaders in other spheres of government who had served the country with distinction and advanced the interests of South Africa domestically and globally.

 

C. Upcoming event

18. Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Femicide

18.1. Another milestone in the fight against GBV will be realised on Thursday, 28 March 2019, with the opening of the Booysens Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg. The state-of-the-art Booysens Magistrate’s Court offers a range of services and is fully equipped to support victims of GBV and femicide.

18.2. The opening of the court will also see President Ramaphosa, together with various civil-society organisations, hosting the Presidential launch of the GBV and Femicide Declaration that begins to commit to the implementation of the decisions from the National GBV and Femicide Summit that was held in November 2018.

18.3. The following courts with Sexual Offences Courts will be handed over in the next three months:

  • Plettenberg Bay Magistrate’s Court in the Western Cape will yield about nine court rooms, one of which is a Sexual Offences Court. 
  • Dimbaza and Bitji Magistrate’s Courts to be launched in the Eastern Cape.
  • Mpumalanga High Court in Mbombela and the old Middleburg Magistrate’s Court, which has been partially revamped through inmates’ labour to serve as the local seat of the High Court.

18.4. By the end of the fifth administration, a total of 59 new courts would have been built since 1994, exceeding the government target of building at least two courts per year.

19. Second Annual Youth Walk into Economic Opportunities Exposition

19.1. The Ministry of Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services – in collaboration with other government departments, SOCs and stakeholders – will conduct the Second Annual Youth Walk into Economic Opportunities Exposition on 13 April 2019 in Ntabankulu Local Municipality in the Alfred Nzo District in the Eastern Cape.

19.2. The freedom youth walk, in commemoration of 25 years of freedom, aims to expose youth, unemployed and entrepreneurs into an array of academic, career and business opportunities available in the public and private sector.

20. 2019 National General Elections

20.1. As the country approaches its sixth democratic elections, Cabinet calls on all eligible voters to exercise their constitutional right to cast their vote on 8 May. The participation of voters is central to a well-functioning democracy and through regular elections, citizens can elect their representatives and hold them to account.

20.2. Cabinet calls on the Independent Electoral Commission, public representatives and the public during the Election Day to act in a manner that will ensure free and fair elections. Our law-enforcement agencies will act decisively against anyone found to intimidate, incite or perpetrate violent acts during the elections.

 

D. Message

21. Condolences

Cabinet has expressed its condolences to the:

21.1. family and friends of African National Congress Chief Whip, Mr Jackson Mthembu, whose daughter Khwezi died, at the age of 25.

21.2. government and people of New Zealand who lost their loved ones during the deadly terrorist attack at Christ Church.

21.3. government and people of the Republic of Indonesia following the flash floods. South Africa and Indonesia are the only countries in Africa and Southeast Asia respectively that are members of the G20, both countries co-chair the New Africa-Asia Strategic Partnership.

22. Congratulations

Cabinet congratulates:

22.1. Professor Ncoza Dlova, an internationally renowned dermatologist from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, who helped discover a new gene that is a major cause of permanent hair loss amongst women of African descent. Professor Dlova’s passion for education has led to the compilation of a local textbook on common skin conditions that is aimed at all medical students in the country, as well as educational pamphlets and video material educating patients about their skin conditions.

22.2. the national football team, Bafana Bafana, on their qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. The team joins the other four South African teams – Banyana Banyana; Cricket; Rugby and Amajita, who also qualified in their respective qualifying matches. Cabinet also calls on South Africans to support the national team in the upcoming tournament. It also commends the support provided by the UN on the Caster Semenya case at the International Association of Athletics Federations.

 

E. Appointments

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

1. Dr Fiona Tregenna – Reappointment as part-time member of the Competition Tribunal.

2. Mr Cecil Khosa – Chief Executive Officer of the South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator.

3. Mr Themba Cyril Dlamini as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority.

4. Mr Mduduzi Eric Zakwe as the CEO of the Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority.

5. Non-executive members to the Board of the Small Enterprise Development Agency for three years:

5.1 Mr Mbulelo Sogoni (Proposed Chairperson)
5.2 Ms Suzan Nyakale
5.3 Ms Matshediso Ndlovu
5.4 Ms Nomsa Kana
5.5 Advocate Derick Block
5.6 Mr Jim Matsho
5.7 Ms Beatrice Nkambule (Princess Tsakani)
5.8 Mr Charl de Kock
5.9 Advocate Mthokozisi Xulu
5.10 Mr Mduduzi Sibeko.

6. Ms Thutukile Skweyiya as Chairperson of the Armaments Corporation of South Africa (Armscor)until 30 April 2020.

7. Mr Malusi Stanley Motimele as non-executive Board member and Deputy Chairperson of Armscorfor three years.

8. Mr Sipho Abednego Mosai, Chief Executive Officer of Rand Water for five years

9. Inkomati-Usuthu Catchment Management Agency Board:

9.1 Ms Tokozani Patience Nyakane- Maluka (Chairperson)
9.2 Mr Mandlakayise Sam Mthembu (Deputy Chairperson)
9.3 Ms Shivon Desiree Wiggins
9.4 Adv Muzikayise Bernard Shabangu
9.5 Dr Thavamoney M Kelly
9.6 Ms Lungile Linda Carol Zulu
9.7 Ms Lungile Miranda Sikhakhane
9.8 Mr Mashudu Gangazhe
9.9 Mr Pillay Absalom Tshabangu.

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

Year: 
2019
Media Statement date: 
Thursday, March 28, 2019