Statement on the Cabinet meeting of 25 May 2016

26 May 2016

1. Implementation of Key Government Programmes

1.1. The Fort Hare centenary celebrations which were officiated by President Jacob Zuma were a success. Hundreds of guests, including Alumni and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as well as diplomats attended this prestigious milestone in South Africa’s history.

This coincided with Africa Month, which commemorates the founding of the then Organisation of African Unity, now called the African Union (AU). Cabinet welcomes the progress made in resolving students’ issues, which should not have caused the destruction to property.

1.2. On a working visit by President Jacob Zuma to the Republic of Uganda, both Heads of State agreed to strengthen bilateral relations, and discussed the political and security situation in the Republic of Burundi and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

President Jacob Zuma also attended the inauguration ceremony of President Yoweri Museveni. South Africa and Uganda have so far 20 signed bilateral agreements, with approximately 70 South African companies currently operating in Uganda. In 2015, South African exports to Uganda amounted to R1.7 billion while South African imports totaled R98 million.

1.3. Cabinet welcomes the successful conclusion of President Jacob Zuma’s State Visit to the State of Qatar with the signing of several agreements and commitments, such as the Agreements on Defence Cooperation, Police Cooperation, and Cooperation in Arts, Culture and Heritage. The establishment of a Joint Investment Committee to oversee the implementation of agreements in addition to the structured Bilateral Consultations enhances and elevates bilateral relations to a strategic level.

The President's interaction with the South Africa-Qatari Business Forum promoted Business-to-Business cooperation aimed at diversifying both economies. With both countries qualifying as maritime countries the potential for cooperation in the Oceans Economy was also discussed. A number of South African companies, mainly in the Petrochemical-related sector operate in Qatar. One of South Africa's largest investments in the Middle East is Sasol, which plays an important role in the development of Qatar’s gas reserves.

Other issues discussed include trade and economic relations as well as global and regional peace and security matters.

1.4. President Jacob Zuma handed over compensation for land as part of Phase 1 of the settlement of claims on the Kruger National Park. A total of R84 million was awarded to six communities, three from Limpopo, and three from Mpumalanga. In terms of land area this portion measured 318 000 hectares.

The settlement model took into account the significance of the Kruger National Park and assured viable financial compensation as claimants are not able to return to their land. This is in line with equitable redress under government’s land restitution programme and marks an important milestone in the country’s transformation programme.

In further empowering these communities, a 1 per cent community tourism fund has been generating approximately R6.5 million per annum for community beneficiation. This has resulted in the building of a number of education facilities including an administration block at Dumisani High School, a computer laboratory at Masiza High School, science laboratories at Tlakulani and Sibusisiswe high schools, a kitchen facility and playground for Grade R learners at Takheleni Primary School. In 2016/17 in consultation with the affected communities, the building of four science laboratories in Mbuyane High School; Mahlale Secondary School; Lepato High School and Makuya Secondary School, covering both Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces have been prioritised.

Cabinet emphasised the importance of the partnership between multi ethnic communities which contributes to social cohesion. South Africa’s land restitution model is evolving based on prior experiences and is now underpinned by creating sustainable economic benefit rather than the troubled once-off financial transfers which often left communities no better off. Phase 2 of the settlement claim will consist of projects aimed at ensuring the communities continue to benefit in the longer term from business opportunities within the Park.

1.5. The outcomes from the Summit on the Integration of Compensation Systems under the theme “Access to equitable, fair and sustainable compensation system for all workers” led by the Ministers of Health and Labour, Aaron Motsoaledi and Mildred Oliphant, and supported by the Deputy Ministers of Mineral Resources, Health, Labour and  Mineral Resources were recieved.

The summit focused on occupational health and safety with a view to develop an integrated compensation system for South Africa. Ministers from the Southern African Development Countries (SADC) region; South African Mining Industry and organised labour as well as the ex-mineworkers associations also participated at the Summit.

Through the envisaged integrated compensation system, government will ensure that workers and ex-workers in mines and works receive market related compensation benefits which provides for their sustainable welfare and that of their families. Working together with the workers representatives and mining sector, government aims to implement a monitoring and evaluation system that will provide incentives to companies with good safety and compensation legislation compliance.

1.6. Cabinet welcomed the opening of the country’s first Bio-Manufacturing Industry Development Centre (BIDC) in Pretoria by the Department of Science and Technology.

The centre’s work is part of the country’s Nine Point Plan to unlock the potential of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).  It supports SMMEs involved in bio-manufacturing by enabling them to exploit market opportunities. Companies incubated at the BIDC have access to ready-to-use bio-manufacturing facilities, support in research and development laboratories.

The initial phase will result in the creation of permanent and temporary jobs with the economic impact projected at R250 million per annum in the next five years. Currently the BIDC is supporting 19 enterprises of which 16 are owned by black entrepreneurs, including 10 black women-owned enterprises. In addition, 55 permanent and 171 temporary jobs have already been created, with 54 interns trained.

1.7. The announcement by the Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson to develop a Gas Policy guides the country towards a sustainable natural gas economy. The introduction of gas as an additional source of power in South Africa’s energy mix will lessen the dependence of coal and ensure sufficient, diverse and secure energy availability to citizens and the economy, now and into the future. This will also increase the country’s trajectory of realising a re-industrialised economy, a higher and inclusive growth path and job creation.

In the interim the Department of Energy is undertaking a gas-to-power programme, which will deliver 3,726MW of electricity and also serve as a catalyst for the development of a local gas industry which will encourage upstream exploration in an investor friendly enabling environment. Employment opportunities associated directly and indirectly with this industry development will amount to 1, 25 million full time equivalent job opportunities over a 25 year period. In the shorter term the gas-to-power programme will contribute to buffer economic output decreases and help prevent job losses.

1.8. The official rollout of the national ‘Save Energy’ campaign during the 2016 African Utility Week Conference, led by the Department of Energy, builds on the government Energy Savings campaign launched by President Jacob Zuma in 2015.  

1.9. Also launching is an ‘Appliance Check’ campaign, an energy efficiency measure that will give consumers a choice when purchasing appliances. A label will be fixed to all appliances to indicate how they perform in relation to the Minimum Energy Performance Standard.

1.10. Cabinet noted the Africa Energy Inward Buying Mission hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry and the South African Electrotechnical Export Council. South African companies with manufacturing and engineering service competencies were exposed to representatives of power utilities from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan and Nigeria. This better positioned South African companies to participate in the investment opportunities of the power infrastructure roll-out for Africa estimated at between $20 billion and $42 billion a year over the next 10 years.

1.11. Cabinet is encouraged by the launch of the Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) long-term solution at the AMD Central Basin in Germiston which will be two thirds funded by the mining sector and one third by water users. This follows the successful completion of the short-term solution under the Inter-Ministerial Committee on AMD. In 2011 government mandated the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority, a State-owned entity under the Department of Water and Sanitation, to provide a short-term solution to the AMD challenge in Gauteng.

The purpose of the long-term solution is to further treat the contaminated water by removing sulphates and creating water for commercial use as either industrial or potable water.

1.12. Cabinet appeals to all Lesotho nationals who are residing in South Africa illegally to apply for a Lesotho Special Permit at a Visa Facilitation Service Centre before 30 June 2016. The Lesotho Special Permit is issued under a special dispensation for Lesotho nationals who are working, studying or running businesses in South Africa and have been in the country in such capacity before 30 September 2015. Furthermore, Lesotho applicants who fraudulently obtained South African documents are advised to surrender them to the designated Home Affairs offices so as to obtain an amnesty letter. This amnesty will expire on 31 December 2016. Employers of Lesotho nationals should also take advantage of this permit.

1.13. Cabinet welcomes the announcement by Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula that local boxing is being broadcast again on SABC. To date “Boxing is Back” and “TKO” programmes on SABC have reached over 1.3 million households. The return of this sport to television, will greatly benefit the revenue of Boxing South Africa, strengthen women boxing and support upcoming promoters and boxers.

2. Key Cabinet decisions

2.1 Cabinet was briefed on the conclusion of negotiations and legal scrubbing of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the Southern African Development Community Group and the European Union (EU). Cabinet approved that the Economic Partnership Agreement be submitted to Parliament.

The Agreement will establish a single trade regime between the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the EU. It will also enhance South Africa’s preferential access to the European Union market for a range of agricultural products such as sugar, ethanol, wine, fisheries and fruit. The EPA builds on the Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) that South Africa concluded in 2000 with the EU.

The Economic Partnership Agreement provides South Africa with additional policy space in several areas. South Africa also negotiated a bilateral Protocol on Geographical Indicators with the EU, due to growing interest in protecting wine names and specialised agricultural product names. As such, 102 wine names will be protected under the Agreement and three agricultural product names namely Rooibos, Honeybush, Karoo Lamb.

The Agreement ensures in line with the National Development Plans objectives that South Africa advances industrialisation and promotes South African exports into the EU market. Most importantly, the EPA promotes the development of regional value chains in Africa thus contributing to regional integration.

2.2 Cabinet approved the publication of the Green Paper on International Migration in the Government Gazette for public comment. Cabinet was also briefed on further stakeholder consultations and engagements on the Green Paper for 2016/17.

The Green Paper is aligned to the National Development Plan and takes the position that to end poverty and create decent work, migration must be used to break these patterns, by growing our skills and knowledge base and by removing barriers to regional development. This requires South Africa to invest strategically in the further development of an efficient and secure immigration system. Implementation of International Migration will take us closer to achieving a balance between meeting South Africa’s development needs while safeguarding South Africa’s integrity and national security.

2.3 Cabinet also approved for the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to co-host the World Aquaculture Society Conference, together with the Aquaculture Association of Southern Africa, from 26 to 30 June 2017 in South Africa. This will be the first time that the World Aquaculture Conference is held in Africa.

The aquaculture sector has been prioritised by government to play a pivotal role in food security and economic growth of the country. Aquaculture has been included in the key initiative of Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy. Hosting of this Conference will enable South Africa to fast-track development of and investment in the aquaculture sector through the information and knowledge sharing as well as the networking opportunities.
Hosting will also create an opportunity for the tourism sector to showcase the country’s tourism activities and the local farmers will also showcase their technology innovations at the tradeshow that will cater for more than 100 exhibitors from leading aquaculture nations worldwide.

African countries will also have an opportunity to participate and showcase their products which will have a positive impact on economic development for the aquaculture sector in the African region and South Africa.

2.4 Cabinet was briefed on the refinements made to the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) Chapter on Outcome 12 and the 2016/17 Programme of Action. This responds to the Cabinet decision to strengthen alignment between the MTSF Chapter on Outcome 12 – An efficient, effective and development orientated Public Service, for the period 2014-2019 and the National Development Plan.

3. Upcoming events

3.1 June will see the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the June 16 1976 uprising, which profoundly changed the socio-political landscape in South Africa. The commemoration is being be overseen by an Inter-Ministerial Committee.
Youth Month will be launched on 1 June 2016 under the theme “Youth Taking South Africa Forward” at Hector Petersen Memorial, Soweto by Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe. This will see a month long programme, coordinated by the National Youth Development Agency, dedicated to enabling and encouraging our youth to more easily take up opportunities across various sectors so as to better their lives and enable them to effectively contribute to the development of the economy and the country.

This builds up to the National Youth Day proceedings on 16 June 2016, which will be officiated by President Jacob Zuma at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

3.2 The Department of Social Development will launch National Child Protection Week in Braakspruit Farm, Klerksdorp on 29 May 2016 under the theme: “Let Us All Protect Children to Move South Africa Forward”.  The week will coincide with an International Children’s Day event on 1 June 2016 which will be led by President Jacob Zuma at an orphanage and youth centre in Atteridgeville, Gauteng and conclude on 5 June 2016 in Amersfoort, Mpumalanga.

Cabinet urges communities to protect children against neglect, abuse, violence and exploitation by reporting all such incidences to the authorities.

3.3 The Department of Environment Affairs will lead the country in marking World Environment Day on 5 June 2016 to mobilise South Africans to take positive environmental action to protect our planet. This year’s World Environment Day theme: "Go Wild for Life," focusses on wildlife crime and the damage it causes.

South Africa’s success in conservation of our biodiversity has made the country a prime target for organised, transnational environmental and wildlife crime. The impact of environmental and wildlife crime is devastating on ecosystems, sustainable livelihoods and tourism.

3.4 The observance of World Oceans Day on 8 June 2016 under the “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet” allows us to highlight the impact of oceans on our country and the various ways in which oceans contribute to our economy. It also highlights challenges in dealing with marine pollution, maintaining the oceans’ capacity to regulate the global climate, supplying essential ecosystem services and providing sustainable livelihoods and safe recreation.

4. Cabinet’s position on key issues in the environment

4.1 Government remains focused on reigniting economic growth, preserving existing jobs and creating more sustainable jobs through working together with business and labour. Through our programme of structural reforms and fiscal consolidation, government will remain within its expenditure ceiling to ensure that our economy emerges stronger when the global economy recovers. President Jacob Zuma has led several effective interventions through partnerships, both domestically and internationally to boost economic growth and job creation.

4.2 Cabinet noted the growing number of investment initiatives that have been announced in the country which demonstrate confidence by the international investment community in South Africa’s economy. It further demonstrates that our country is on a path to recovery and continues to be a viable investment destination. The magnitude of the following investments demonstrates the continued confidence that global automotive producers have in South Africa as an investment destination, and the supportive policy environment that government is providing.  

4.3. These include the investment by Toyota for a new Toyota Hilux and Fortuner manufacturing plant in Prospecton, Durban, which was opened by President Jacob Zuma. This was made possible through the support provided by the Department of Trade and Industry which has attracted investments of over R25 billion in the automotive industry in the past five years. This investment will support more than 4 000 jobs with total employment in the plant already exceeding 8 000 jobs.

This plant is part of Toyota's injection of R6.1 billion investment into South Africa's manufacturing industry and the country's local vehicle production. Toyota has increased local procurement in its supply chain to support local component suppliers, the company has also focused on recruiting female technicians and providing more opportunities to women in the workforce.

4.4 Cabinet also welcomed the BMW announcement on the start of its R6 billion construction of a new, state-of-the-art body shop. The expansion will enable BMW to produce and export the next generation of the BMW X3. This demonstrates the Rosslyn Plant as being highly competitive within the global BMW production network both in terms of cost of production and quality.

4.5 In another investment, the Minister of Trade and Industry launched a R100 million Dursots & All Joy Tomato Processing Plant in Modjadjiskloof near Tzaneen. The factory currently employs 70 people with a potential increase of 300 by next year. It would also create a further 900 seasonal jobs. The company has also initiated an export structure and plans on exporting 25% of its products to the Middle East, China and the rest of Africa.

These investments showcase the steady implementation of the Nine-Point Plan and the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) that focus on increasing manufacturing-based value addition, employment creation and export-intensity to grow the economy and create jobs. Despite global economic headwinds, the South African economy is poised to forge ahead.

4.6 Cabinet reminds all eligible voters to responsibly exercise their democratic right on 3 August 2016. Cabinet expresses its gratitude to all those voters who took the time to register and verify their details, to ensure that their name appears on the voters’ role, which is now closed.

Minister van Rooyen has gazetted and proclaimed the date of the local government elections, allowing for the commencement of the electoral processes in terms of the election timetable. The announcement also closes the voter’s roll for registration to participate in the upcoming elections.

Cabinet welcomes the signing of the Electoral Code of Conduct by political parties pledging to abide by the rules and ensure that elections are free and fair. This demonstrates our maturing and deepening democracy.

4.7 Cabinet welcomes the 2016 Special National Members Assembly held by the South African Local Government Association (SALGA). This comes as the country gears itself for a transition into the next term of local government ahead of the 2016 municipal elections.

The Assembly reflected on the progress made over the last 16 years and during this term of local government. The role of local government in the delivery of services and the restoration of human dignity was also profiled. Key challenges were also addressed and a recommitment made to the COGTA Back to Basics programme.

This paves the way for the fourth democratic local government term by providing a support programme for municipalities and managing the transition to ensure stability and uninterrupted service provision to the people of South Africa.

4.8 Cabinet expressed concern at the disruptions in Parliament, which are increasing in frequency and intensity. Parliament is an institution of our hard fought democracy and a public platform which must be respected by all.

4.9 Cabinet commends the work of the Inter-Ministerial Committee led by Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des van Rooyen and the provincial task team to restore normality to Vuwani, while noting that challenges continue in some parts.

Government has worked tirelessly engaging communities in a bid to resolve issues and bring services, including education back into operation. The provision of temporary classrooms has ensured the resumption of academic activities.
Government again calls on communities and leaders to raise issues through channels and platforms which have been established to enable dialogue. This unprecedented action of holding the education of our children hostage is unacceptable.
Cabinet commends all law enforcement agencies for the work done which resulted in the arrest of 34 individuals, who are suspected of participating in the destruction of 28 schools, who in effect shattered the future of those young people who are still utilising these much needed facilities.

Cabinet commends those communities and civil society organisations who rolled up their sleeves to clean up and raise funds to reopen local schools. All parents, guardians and community members are requested to assist children to catch up with the scheduled work plan of the Department of Basic Education. The IMC will continue to engage with stakeholders and communities to ensure that the entire area is calm and returns to normality.

4.10 Cabinet deliberated on the protests in Hammanskraal and indicated that the Department of Human Settlements is leading an intervention in the area together with the Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements, and the Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Cllr Kgosientso Ramokgopa. Cabinet regrets the death of two contractors involved in the Hammanskraal removals and expresses its sympathy with the families of the bereaved. Law enforcement agencies should redouble their efforts to find the killers and bring them to justice.

4.11 Cabinet congratulates the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s decision to play 90 per cent local music across all its radio stations so as to promote our home-grown content.

The decision reflects government’s broadcasting policy which encourages the safeguarding, enrichment and strengthening of the cultural and social fabric of South Africa. This exposure is also motivating to all the upcoming South African talent.

Cabinet encourages all citizens to support our local music industry which will make a significant contribution to the economy and preserve the country’s diverse cultures.

4.12 Cabinet noted the investigation of nine foreign fishing vessels by Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries and commends the combined operation involving the South African Navy, the Department of Fisheries and the South African Maritime Safety Authority which resulted in four of the vessels being arrested.

The capturing of these vessels indicates our seriousness as a country to protect our territorial and exclusive economic zone. Our marine resources are a source of food security and play a huge role in realising our goals in Operation Phakisa and must be protected.

4.13 Cabinet welcomed the release of the report of the ministerial task team appointed by Minister Angie Motshekga to investigate allegations into the selling of posts of educators by members of teachers unions and departmental officials in provincial education departments.

4.14 Cabinet congratulated the South African recipients, entrepreneur Luvuyo Rani and The Clothing Bank, who were among the winners of 2016 Social Entrepreneurs awards by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship which was presented at the fringes of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa, Kigali Rwanda.

4.15 Cabinet salutes and extends its good wishes to the former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke who retired from the Bench after joining the Constitutional Court in 2002. The former Deputy Chief Justice is a highly regarded jurist and a respected veteran of the country’s liberation struggle. In his younger years, Moseneke was involved in the liberation struggle as a member of the Pan Africanist Congress. He was tried and convicted for his political activities and, at the age of 15, became the youngest prisoner to be incarcerated on Robben Island. He was also part of the technical committee that drafted the interim Constitution in 1993 and was later appointed deputy chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission ahead of South Africa’s first democratic elections.

Cabinet also pays tribute to Supreme Court of Appeal president Judge Lex Mpati who retires from the Bench in May after 27 years of illustrious service to South Africa. Judge Mpati personifies the values of rising above self; of modesty, commitment and excellence; and of ethical behaviour.

Cabinet congratulates and extends its best wishes to Justice Baaitse “Bess” Nkabinde as acting Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court until the position is filled.

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

5.1 Office of the Public Service Commission:
a) Dr DC Mamphiswana as the, Director General, at the Office of the Public Service Commission

Enquiries:
Liezel Cerf
Cell: 076 778 2380