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Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 27 September 2017

Cabinet met on Wednesday, 27 September 2017, at the Union Buildings, Pretoria.

1. Issues in the environment

1.1. United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)

Cabinet welcomed President Jacob Zuma’s address to the 72nd Regular Session of the UNGA in New York, USA on 12 September 2017, under the theme “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet”.

Deliberations focused, amongst others, on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); climate change; peace and security issues and UN reforms, especially UN Security Council reform.

President Zuma also signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which reflects South Africa’s continued commitment towards the achievement of a world free from the threat posed by nuclear weapons and ensuring that nuclear technology is used for peaceful purposes only.

President Zuma hosted a centenary celebratory dinner in honour of the late former President of the African National Congress, Mr Oliver Reginald Tambo.
 
1.2. Heritage Month

Cabinet thanks all South Africans for celebrating Heritage Month in September and reiterates President Zuma’s Heritage Day message for all in the country to aspire for greater unity in diversity.

As the country concludes Heritage Month under the theme “The Year of Oliver Reginald Tambo: Celebrating our Liberation Heritage”, South Africans are encouraged to build on the values espoused in the Constitution and strengthen efforts to build a nation free from poverty, hunger, homelessness and inequality.

In fostering a spirit of heritage, Cabinet welcomes the agreement signed between South Africa and Tanzania, which is aimed at preserving the history of the liberation struggle.

The UN has endorsed the implementation of the Roads to Independence in Africa Project. It is a celebration of the spirit of solidarity and cooperation amongst Africa’s liberation movements and will see the construction of a museum, library and archives.
 
1.3. World Tourism Day

South Africa, under the leadership of the Minister of Tourism, Ms Tokozile Xasa, participated in World Tourism Day (27 September 2017) and  the Tourism Month, under the theme “Sustainable Tourism – A Tool for Development”.

This provides a platform to support changes in policy, business practices and tourism consumer behaviour, towards a more sustainable tourism sector, which can contribute aggressively towards the attainment of the SDGs. During World Tourism Day, different countries and cultures celebrate a multiplicity of region-based activities such as the promotion of special tariffs and/or broadening access to facilities, mass-based free access to parks and gardens, and various engagements with stakeholders.

South Africa has been successful in promoting tourism through its various attractive facilities such as our parks, blue flag beaches, and the world accredited heritage sites. Tourism’s labour absorption capacity remains a great weapon against unemployment. As a tourist destination, South Africa faces the prospects of growing its transversal tourism sectors to enable massive economic potential through the so-called traditional dominant tourism economic sectors. These include rural, medical, agro and cultural tourism.
 
1.4. Antiretroviral pricing agreement

Cabinet welcomes the ground-breaking pricing agreement reached by the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, in collaboration with a number of international organisations, to accelerate the availability of the first affordable single-pill HIV-treatment regimen.

It is estimated that the price reduction will result in savings of up to R11.7 billion over the next six years. This will enable South Africa to enrol more patients on treatment.

The pricing agreement makes the medicine Dolutegravir, which is recommended by the World Health Organisation, more affordable for governments in low and middle-income countries.

In light of the pricing agreement, the Department of Health plans to introduce the new fixed-dose combination of three drugs, Tenofovir, Lamivudine and Dolutegravir in April 2018.

Cabinet calls on all sexually active South Africans, especially youth, to continue to live a healthy life which adopts preventative measures such as continuously practising safer sex by abstaining, being faithful and condomising, and regularly testing for HIV.
 
1.5. Health

Cabinet welcomes the unveiling of the new wing of the Cecilia Makiwane Hospital in Mdantsane, East London. It is a milestone towards the implementation of the National Health Insurance that will result in the provision of quality healthcare, particularly to poor communities.

This world-class tertiary hospital is an investment to realise the National Development Plan’s (NDP) vision and the UN’s SDGs of universal healthcare.
The 526-bed hospital is supported by an integrated system that will optimise delivery of quality healthcare. It applies technological innovation to reduce patient waiting times, improve diagnosis and enables a quicker health intervention in patients.

This R1 billion investment infrastructure will support local economic development in the townships. As we revitalise public health infrastructure, we are also expanding opportunities for local communities to improve their lives through job creation and local enterprise development.
 
1.6. Social Development Month

Cabinet calls on South Africans to continue to uplift those less fortunate than themselves ahead of Social Development Month in October.

Social Development Month is held annually to commemorate the many strides the country has made, in providing social assistance to the poor and the most vulnerable in South Africa.

President Zuma will officially launch the commemoration of Social Development Month on Friday, 29 September 2017.

Cabinet warmly wishes all senior citizens and older persons a happy Older Persons Day, which will be commemorated on Sunday, 1 October 2017.

South Africans are encouraged to use October month to recognise the role and prime sacrifice older persons made in attaining freedom in our country. It is the duty of all fellow citizens, not only government, to give extra care to our older persons and vulnerable groups.

The South African Government’s social-assistance programme is built on a firm belief that social-security assistance is a basic human right and is key to restoring the dignity to its citizens. Social grants bring financial relief to millions of households and working together with government uplifts the vulnerable so that their living conditions improve with dignity.
 
1.7. Examination preparations

Cabinet wishes all learners well, especially those in Grade 12, as they prepare for their final end-of-year examinations.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) is on schedule for the matric exams starting on the 16 October 2017 that will be written by more than 798 000 registered learners.

The DBE is providing additional support to matriculants with onsite learning after school hours, and during weekends and school holidays.

Cabinet calls on parents and guardians to avail the necessary support to learners as they prepare for exams.
 
1.8. Annual Thusong Service Centre Week

Government successfully concluded this year’s Annual Thusong Service Centre Week, which took place from 18 to 22 September 2017 under the theme: “The Year of OR Tambo – Advancing Small Medium and Micro Enterprises at Thusong Service Centres”.

This formed part of Public Service Month and promoted the Thusong Programme by showcasing the integrated mobile outreach programme and its effectiveness in responding to the needs of the citizens. Thusong Services Centres bring a basket of government services and information closer to the people.

The programme reaches approximately six million beneficiaries every year through the Integrated Mobile Outreach Programme, the Annual Thusong Service Centre Week and other Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) platforms.

Through this programme, government continues to redress the imbalances of the past by bringing quality public services closer to communities previously marginalised from the mainstream of socio-economic development.

Thusong Service Centres also empower communities with the necessary skills and training to better their lives, through existing partnerships with government, parastatals and the private sector.

Cabinet reiterates the call to communities to continue using Thusong Service Centres to access basic services such as Home Affairs, Labour, Justice, South African Social Security Agency and the Road Accident Fund.
 
1.9. Myanmar

Cabinet is concerned about the plight of Rohingya civilians who have fled their homes in Myanmar.

South Africa supports the statement by UN Secretary-General, Mr António Guterres, who emphasised the responsibility of the Government of Myanmar to provide security to all affected communities, and further request for humanitarian agencies to be granted access to communities in need of assistance and protection.

Cabinet urges all parties to end the violence to avoid further human suffering and appeals that situation in the Rakhine State be resolved with the ambit of the law.
 
1.10. Angola

Cabinet joins President Zuma in congratulating the Republic of Angola on conducting successful National Legislative Elections. President Zuma attended the Inauguration Ceremony of President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço in Luanda on Tuesday, 26 September 2017.

South Africa and the Republic of Angola share a common history of the struggle against colonialism and apartheid. Since 1994, the two countries have continued to grow and expand strong bilateral ties.

Angola is one of South Africa’s largest trading partners on the African continent and continues to grow its bilateral relations.
 
1.11. Attack on tourists from Netherland

Cabinet condemns the recent robbery of tourists from the Netherlands who were followed from OR Tambo International Airport. All South Africans should condemn such crimes which threaten our ever growing tourism sector. Cabinet further called on the South African Police Service to do whatever it can to apprehend the perpetrators of this crime.

Cabinet appeals to the public to come forward with any information that may assist law-enforcement authorities and calls for the full might of the law to be applied to those found guilty.
 
1.12. Launch of the Bakoena Ba Mopeli customary law book

Cabinet applauds the launch of the book, Bakoena Ba Mopeli Customary Law of Succession and Genealogy, as a milestone achievement for traditional leadership in South Africa.

The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr Des van Rooyen, and His Majesty King Letsie III, the Head of State of the Kingdom of Lesotho, attended the event on Monday, 25 September 2017.

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs started documenting the history of 13 Kingships/Queenships in 2011. This book will assist in understanding the history of Bakoena Ba Mopeli and succession genealogy in order to preserve our history.
 
2. Cabinet decisions

2.1. Southern African Development Community (SADC) protocol

Cabinet approved the ratification of the SADC Protocol on Environmental Management for Sustainable Development, by Parliament. The objective of the protocol is to promote sustainable use and transboundary management of the environment, which is of interest to SADC member states.

South Africa, as Chair of the SADC from August 2017 to August 2018, is committed to strengthening regional efforts to conserve transboundary natural resources and promote sustainable development within the SADC region.

This is aligned to the NDP, which prioritises the deepening of integration of the SADC region as well as ensuring environmental sustainability and an equitable transition to a low-carbon economy.
 
2.2. Partnership for Action on the Green Economy Ministerial Conference
Cabinet approved the hosting of the Partnership for Action on the Green Economy Ministerial Conference in September 2018. This platform supports countries and regions to put sustainability at the heart of economic policies and practices to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

It is a UN programme which brings together expertise from five UN agencies namely; UN Environment Programme; International Labour Organisation; UN Development Programme; UN Industrial Development Organisation and the UN Institute for Training and Research.

Hosting the Ministerial Conference will advance the agenda, domestically and on the African continent, of inclusive growth in adopting a low carbon and climate resilient economic pathway.
 
2.3. Umngeni Water Board

2.3.1. In order to stabilise the governance issues of the Board Cabinet endorsed the appointment of the Interim Board whilst the Minister is expediting the process to appoint the fully fledged Umngeni Water Board. Cabinet was satisfied with the work that the Minister was doing in stabilising the Umngeni Water Board.

2.3.2. Cabinet was appraised on the situation at the Umngeni Water Board which is the second largest water board in the country with an annual turnover of more than R2,4 billion and its five year Capital Expenditure budget of more than seven billion rand. Cabinet was also briefed on the discussions the department of water and sanitation was having with its investors.

3. Bills

3.1. Land Survey Amendment Bill

Cabinet approved the publication of the Land Survey Amendment Bill for public comment. The Bill amends the Land Survey Act, 1997 (Act 8 of 1997).

The amendments enhance lines of accountability and governance and provide for the appointment of certain members of the Survey Regulations Board, so as to enhance the regulation of the survey of land in South Africa.

The Bill also seeks to regulate the survey of land in South Africa by empowering the Chief Surveyor-General to exercise national oversight and management over the geodetic, topographic and cadastral surveys, geospatial and land information services.

3.2. Science and Technology Laws Amendment Bill of 2017

Cabinet approved the publication of the Science and Technology Laws Amendment Bill of 2017 for public comment. The Bill proposes harmonising and standardising the provisions which regulate the operations and governance of the public entities reporting to the Minister of Science and Technology. This will ensure consistency in all requirements to be met and processes to be followed by the entities as they relate to governance.
 
4. Upcoming Events

4.1. Transport Month

As October 2017 marks Transport Month under the theme: “Together we move South Africa Forward”. Cabinet calls on all to work together to ensure the country’s transport infrastructure benefits all and encourages road users to take responsibility and apply road safety as part of their daily lives. By working together we can reduce carnages on our roads.

During Transport Month, government – led by the Department of Transport and its entities – will highlight the economic benefits of the sector by showcasing transport infrastructure services in aviation, maritime, public transport, roads and rail. The national launch is being held at Sinaba Stadium in Daveyton in the City of Ekurhuleni on 29 September 2017.

Investments in the transport sector are stimulating development and creating jobs as part of South Africa’s Nine-Point Plan, which aims to grow the economy and create much-needed jobs. These investments will ensure the building of an integrated public transport network across the country.
 
4.2. South Africa to host the 2nd Session of the South Africa-Zimbabwe Bi-National Commission (BNC)

President Jacob Zuma will host his Zimbabwean counterpart, His Excellency President Robert Mugabe, who will be in South Africa on 03 October 2017 on the occasion of the 2nd Session of the South Africa-Zimbabwe BNC. The Agreement establishing the BNC was signed in April 2015 and inaugurated in October 2016 in Harare, Zimbabwe.

South Africa and Zimbabwe have good bilateral political, economic and social relations underpinned by strong historical ties dating back many years. The two countries do not only share strong historical relations but also economic cooperation. Zimbabwe is one of South Africa’s top five trading partners on the Continent, with trade statistics showing annual growth. In 2016, South Africa’s exports to Zimbabwe amounted to approximately R29.3 billion.

5. Messages

5.1. Birthday – Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Cabinet joins the rest of the country in wishing Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, affectionately known as the Mother of the Nation, a happy birthday as she turned 81 on Tuesday, 26 September 2017.

Mama Madikizela-Mandela is one of South Africa’s most celebrated liberation icons. Cabinet thanks her for her service to the Struggle for our hard-fought freedom and wishes her a blessed year ahead with her loved ones and family.

5.2. Banyana Banyana
Cabinet congratulates Banyana Banyana on winning the 2017 COSAFA Women's Championship after they triumphed 2-1 in the final against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo. Banyana Banyana carries the South African flag with pride and their performances continue to inspire other young and talented South Africans to excel.

5.3. Earthquake in Mexico
Cabinet joins President Zuma in extending condolences to President Enrique Peña Nieto of the United Mexican States and to the people of Mexico following the devastating earthquake, tsunami and hurricane, which resulted in more than 225 deaths and severe destruction to infrastructure.
 
6. Appointments

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

6.1. Cabinet approved the appointment of the Interim Board of the Umgeni Water Board:

Ms Ziphozethu Mathenjwa (Chairperson);
Ms Nompumelelo Chamane;
Mr Visvin Reddy;
Mr David Dikoko;
Ms Zodwa Manase;
Adv Tshidi Hatashe; and
Mr Midiavhathu Tshivhase.
 
6.2. Members to serve on the Takeover Regulation Panel:

Mr Sandile Bubele Siyaka (second term);
Mr Ntshengedzeni Anthony Michael Tshivhase (second term);
Mr Christopher Ewing (second term);
Mr Ebrahim Aboobaker Moolla (second term);
Ms Nonzukiso Zukie Siyotula; and
Ms Nocamagu Nomfundo Mbulawa.
 
6.3. Non-executive directors to the Board of the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa SOC Limited:

Mr Dhevendren Dharmalingam (Chairperson);
Ms Vuyelwa Matsiliza (reappointment); and
Ms Siobhain O’Mahony (reappointment).

6.4. Mr Patrick Khulekani Dlamini reappointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Development Bank of Southern Africa and Executive Director to the Board.

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