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Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 15 November 2017

Cabinet met on Wednesday, 15 November 2017 at Tuynhuys, Cape Town.

A. Issues in the Environment

1. Investment 

1.1. Cabinet welcomes Ford Motor Company’s R3-billion investment into the Silverton Plant, Pretoria, Gauteng. This investment will result in the creation of direct and indirect jobs due to the expected increased production of its Ford Ranger model.

1.2. Such investments affirm the work that we continue to do as government in growing the economy and addressing the challenges of unemployment. Through government’s R7.8 billion incentive scheme in Automotive Production and Development Programme, R28.5 billion private investments have been unlocked. 

1.3. These include the announcement by Toyota to manufacture their new Toyota Hilux and Fortuner models as part of R6.1billion investment. Also, BMW plans to construct a R6 billion state-of-the-art body shop. The Beijing Automobile International Corporation plans to invest R11 billion in an automotive manufacturing plant in South Africa. 

2. 2017 Tax Season

2.1. Cabinet extends its gratitude to all taxpayers who have already submitted their tax returns for the 2016/17 tax year.

2.2. The revenue generated from income tax ensures government has the capacity to provide much-needed services and social support to millions of less fortunate South Africans.

2.3. Cabinet reminds taxpayers that the deadline for submission is Friday 24 November 2017 and encourages them to submit their tax returns. 

3. Inaugural National Local Economic Development (LED) Conference

3.1. Cabinet is pleased with the outcomes of the recently held National LED Conference. It was held under the leadership of the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr Des van Rooyen and the Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu. 

3.2. It presented an opportunity to craft a new South African Local Economic Development agenda guided by the National Development Plan (NDP) priorities. Its outcomes included the launch of the first Economic Development Council of South Africa (EDCSA), which aims to professionalise the economic development sector.  

3.3.As a professional body, the EDCSA will manage and monitor the professional conduct of the many practitioners who participate in the different development initiatives. 

3.4. Cabinet noted also the historic launch of the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) at 22 on Sloane, a new start-up campus, on the 10th of November 2017, in which the Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, hosted World entrepreneurship luminary, Sir Richard Branson. The campus is the first one opened by the Global Entrepreneurship Network – offering direct and virtual support services to entrepreneurs throughout Africa as well as access to an international network of mentors, investors and entrepreneurial support organizations.

3.5. During Global Entrepreneurship Week, roughly 10 million participants take part in 35,000 events, activities and competitions in more than 165 countries around the world. 

4. Heher Commission Report 

4.1. Cabinet noted the release on Monday, 13 November 2017 of the Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Feasibility of making High Education and Training Fee-free in South Africa. Cabinet calls on all South Africans to study the report and its implications for the country while the recommendations are being considered by government. 

4.2. The President will make a pronouncement on the report in due course after processing by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Higher Education Funding and the Presidential Fiscal Committee. Government remains determined to resolve the barriers to access higher education, and looks forward to concluding a sustainable solution for higher education funding.

5. Drought

5.1. The current dam levels in the country remain a concern as there is more evaporation than rainfall. The fact that South Africa has not received sufficient rainfall to recharge our water sources to adequate levels means that the country is not yet out of the drought situation. Forecasts predict that the country will only receive its major rainfall from the beginning of January 2018.

5.2. Cabinet wishes to assure the public that national, provincial and local government are cooperating and working together to ensure South Africa does not run out of water. Cabinet encourages everyone to play their part in saving and using water wisely and sparingly.

6. Zimbabwe

6.1. Cabinet supports the intervention by President Jacob Zuma, in his capacity as Chair of SADC in response to the Zimbabwean situation. He has sent Special Envoys, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and State Security Minister, Adv Bongani Bongo. They are to meet with President Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwean Defence Force. Thereafter proceed to brief President João Lourenço as the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.  Further updates on this matter will be communicated by the Presidency.

7. Square Kilometre Array (SKA)

7.1. Cabinet welcomes the economic and social development achievements derived from the focused investment in social development in the region of the SKA South Africa. Communities neighbouring the SKA area continue to benefit through better education and training projects, investment in small businesses and increased job opportunities.

7.2. The Department of Science and Technology, under the leadership of the Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Naledi Pandor, will hold a public-participation programme to celebrate achievements with the communities around Carnarvon, Northern Cape from 16 to 19 November 2017. 

B. Cabinet Decisions

8. Second performance quarterly progress reports for 2017/18

8.1. Cabinet was apprised on the second performance quarterly progress reports for 2017/18 (July to September 2017) by all the five clusters. This forms part of Cabinet’s broad monitoring and evaluation of the Programme of Action derived from the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2014 to 2019. 

8.2. The Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and the Ministerial Cluster Committees will conduct media briefings to unpack the progress of these reports.

8.3. The GCIS will coordinate the media briefings and publish the schedule on www.gov.za in due course. 

9. Update on address harvesting initiative and assignment of addresses

9.1. Cabinet was briefed on the progress report on the implementation of the Constitutional Court Judgement to assign addresses to the voters roll.  Cabinet appreciated the full compliance with the six monthly progress reports submitted to the Constitutional Court.

9.2. To date the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), working with other state agencies   has attained almost 75% success in collecting the addresses of potential voters. Cabinet was also briefed on the planned programme by the SAPO to assist those who do not have physical addresses.

9.3. Cabinet is pleased with the progress and the collaborative work conducted by SAPO, the IEC and other state agencies on the assignment of addresses project.

9.4. Cabinet further calls on those who have not updated their addresses to do so during the next voter registration week in March 2018. 

C. Upcoming Events

10. Fourth session of the South Africa-Botswana Binational Commission (BNC)

10.1. President Jacob Zuma will undertake a working visit to participate in and co-chair the Fourth Session of the South Africa-Botswana BNC to be held in Gaborone, Botswana on Friday, 17 November 2017.

10.2. South Africa and Botswana meet annually at the level of the Heads of State within the framework of the BNC to review bilateral cooperation and discuss issues of common interest.

10.3. The two countries enjoy cordial relations which are informed by cultural ties and geographical proximity. They cooperate on a number of issues including,   transport, trade and investment, health,   environmental issues etc.

10.4. South Africa is one of Botswana’s major trading partners, with several South African companies operating in that country.

11. Angolan State President visit

11.1. President Zuma will host his Excellency, the President of the Republic of Angola, João Lourenço, for a historic State Visit to South Africa from 23 November 2017. This will be his first state visit to our country after his inauguration.

11.2. The two countries have  historical and fraternal ties dating back from the days of the liberation struggle when Angola housed and supported South African liberation cadres in various camps in that country. 

11.3. Trade and economic cooperation between the two countries has grown substantially, to the extent that South Africa is Angola’s number one trading partner on the continent. Many South African companies are conducting business in Angola in a variety of sectors including construction, mining, housing, retail, food and beverages, hotels and leisure, banking and medical services. 

During his visit João Lourenço will also host a Lecture on 24 November 2017 at OR Tambo Building in Pretoria.

12. 16 Days of Activism 

12.1. Cabinet joins all South Africans who are taking a stand against women and child abuse.

12.2. The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign is taking place between 25 November and 10 December 2017. This is the 19th year of the campaign in South Africa and it will continue under the theme: “Count Me In: Together Moving a Non-Violent South Africa Forward”.

12.3. President Zuma will launch the 16 Days of Activism campaign in the Eastern Cape on Saturday, 25 November 2017.  It will focus on the continued roll-out of National Dialogues, which encourage people to talk about the scourge of gender-based violence. This will be preceded by International Men’s Day on Sunday, 19 November 2017, which calls on men to play their part in building a safer and more socially cohesive society.

12.4. The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development will undertake the second community radio campaign under its Let’s Talk Justice series, which brings government services to people by providing listeners with an opportunity to engage with officials on topical issues. The launch of a Sexual Offences Court during the campaign will also ensure better access to the justice system.

12.5. Cabinet is confident that by working together we can end the cycle of abuse. Through our collective efforts we can act to prevent abuse while ensuring a safer society for women and children.

12.6. All people in South Africa are urged to wear a white ribbon as a symbolic pledge towards eliminating this scourge from our society.

13. Build up to World AIDS Day

13.1. Cabinet calls on all in society to participate in Red Ribbon Friday activations ahead of World AIDS Day on 1 December and up until the end of that month. Wearing a red ribbon is a symbol of solidarity and commitment to the fight against HIV and AIDS.

13.2. World AIDS Day is an opportunity for every community to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV and remember those who have passed on. This year’s event will be held under the theme: “My Right to Know My Status, Prevention Is My Responsibility”, which links to the global theme: “The Right to Health”. 

13.3. This bolsters implementation of South Africa’s National Strategic Plan for HIV, Tuberculosis and Sexually-Transmitted Illnesses 2017 - 2022 (NSP), which is a key pillar in South Africa’s progress towards achieving universal healthcare as reflected in the NDP, which promotes a healthier, stronger and more equitable nation.

14. National Imbizo Focus Week

14.1. Cabinet calls on communities to join participation in the upcoming 7th National Imbizo Focus Week, expected to be held from 27 November to 3 December 2017.

14.2. Under the leadership of the GCIS, this platform promotes interactive engagements between members of the Executive and communities. It is taking place within the context of the centennial of Oliver Reginald Tambo, who advocated for gender equality. The activities are aimed to support the 16 Days of Activism campaign.

14.3. Events will be placed on the national calendar and shared on the government website (www.gov.za). 

D. Bills

15. Cabinet approved the publication of a notice in terms of section 74(5) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996. The aim is to initiate a national and provincial consultation process for purposes of effecting changes to provincial boundaries in respect of the Matatiele Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape and certain areas of Ba Ga Mothibi in North West.

The intended redetermination of the provincial boundaries emanates from the communities of the areas in question who wish to be relocated to neighboring provinces.

E. Messages

16. Cabinet congratulates France as the preferred host of the 2023 Rugby World Cup and thanks government’s delegation, headed by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Sport and Recreation Minister Thulas Nxesi and the South African Rugby Union, for the work done in promoting South Africa’s bid to host the event.

17. Cabinet congratulates Minister Pandor, who was awarded the Outstanding Educator Award. The award was presented to Minister Pandor by the Chancellor of the University of South Africa, former President Thabo Mbeki.

The Outstanding Educator Award, one of four categories, acknowledges the contribution of any outstanding educator who has excelled in or advanced teaching, learning, skills development and/or research in their area of expertise.

18. Cabinet commends the work done by the South African Astronomical Observatory, which is part of the Wide Angle Search for Planets consortium of planet hunters who have detected three new planets.

19. Cabinet congratulates the participants and winners of the 2017 Govan Mbeki Awards, which honour those in the construction sector who have excelled in the delivery of houses. The awards come as the country continues to celebrate the delivery of over 4.6 million houses and subsidies since 1994.

20. Cabinet extends its gratitude to the brave actions by emergency services, firefighters and all volunteers who assisted in dealing with the recent fires in the Western Cape.  

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