Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of Wednesday, 26 May 2021
A. Issues in the environment
1. Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) vaccine roll-out
1.1. Cabinet is pleased that Phase 2 of South Africa’s vaccine roll-out programme commenced smoothly and that thousands of eligible people have already been vaccinated.
1.2. All vaccination sites across the country are ready to assist those who have been allocated a vaccination slot. Cabinet reminds everyone visiting the vaccination sites to adhere to the strict health protocols of wearing a mask, sanitising and social distancing to protect themselves and others. These sites can be found at: https://sacoronavirus.co.za/2021/05/12/active-vaccination-sites/. (link is external)
1.3. As we edge closer to achieving universal health coverage, Cabinet is encouraged that over two million people have already registered on the COVID-19 Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) https://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za.
1.4. To ensure that no one is left behind, a number of platforms are available for people to register. Cabinet calls on all those who are 60 years and older to register on the EVDS. Family members and friends of persons who are 60 years and older are urged to encourage and help them to register.
1.5. People can use WhatsApp to register by sending ‘Register’ to 0600 123 456 or through SMS by dialing *134*832*ID number#. This service is free on all South African mobile networks. People can also register by calling the toll-free hotline: 0800 029 999.
1.6. Cabinet further reminded all South Africans of the imminent third wave and reiterated the importance of preventing the transmission of COVID-19 by strictly adhering to the non-pharmaceutical interventions of wearing a mask in public, maintaining a social distance of at least 1,5 metres, and frequently washing hands with soap and water or using a 70% alcohol-based sanitiser.
2. Presidential Employment Stimulus
2.1. Cabinet welcomed the progress report on the implementation of the Presidential Employment Stimulus, which aims to create new jobs, provide support for livelihoods and protect existing jobs in vulnerable sectors.
2.2 The report shows that by the end of March 2021, a total of 532 180 people had directly benefited from the stimulus and created or retained 422 786 jobs as well as supported 109 394 livelihoods.
2.3. A further 161 972 job opportunities are still being processed as part of Phase 1 of the employment stimulus, bringing the total number of opportunities supported to 694 152.
3. Paris Summit on the Financing of African Economies
3.1. Cabinet supported the call by leaders at the Summit on the Financing of African Economies held in Paris, France on Tuesday, 18 May 2021, that African states should have access to a special drawing rights of at least US$100 billion in International Monetary Fund’s reserve funds.
3.2. The allocation will boost the prospects for a strong and sustainable economic recovery among African nations hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and provide liquidity to the global financial system.
3.3. The summit affirmed the widely held view that access to vaccines must be expanded to all countries particularly Africa and all developing countries, given global commitments that vaccines must be treated as a global public good.
3.4. It also recognised the role of extensive immunization against COVID-19 as a global public good. It also committed to ensuring and accelerating equitable access in Africa to safe and affordable vaccines, treatments and diagnostics through the World Health Organization’s Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (known as ACT-A) and its COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (known as COVAX) facility.
3.5. Cabinet also reiterated the call made by President Ramaphosa that the support for the temporary waiver of the World Trade Organisation Trips Regulations should be supported by all. Such an intervention will to ensure the expanded production of vaccines and other health technologies as part of an appropriate response to the pandemic emergency.
4. Tafelkop handover of title deeds
4.1. Cabinet welcomed the handover of 189 hectares of land along with title deeds to 30 black farmers at Tafelkop in the Groblersdal district of Limpopo.
4.2. This is a culmination of the land reform process and part of the ongoing work of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Land Reform to accelerate land reform.
4.3. The farmers have been successfully farming various agricultural produce for 25 years on this land and supply food stores, school feeding schemes as well the Pretoria and Johannesburg fresh produce markets.
5. Budget votes
5.1. Cabinet welcomed the start of budget votes, which allow departments to give a detailed account of their plans and priorities for the year. Parliament, as the representative of the people, holds a robust debate on the budget votes and ensures public funds are used to benefit the public.
5.2. The budget votes build on the various priorities outlined by His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa during the State of the Nation Address (SoNA) in February 2021. They are also informed by the National Development Plan: Vision 2030 and the 2019-2024 Medium Term Strategic Framework.
5.3. This year government focuses on growing our economy, boosting economic growth and creating much-needed jobs. We will specifically be focussing on four critical areas highlighted during SoNA: (a) Defeating the COVID-19 pandemic; (b) Accelerating economic recovery; (c) Implementing economic reforms to create sustainable jobs and drive inclusive growth, and (d) Fighting corruption and strengthening the State.
6. Fighting crime
6.1. Cabinet joins the Commission for Gender Equality in welcoming the six life terms handed down to Mr Nowa Makula (32) for the murder of his girlfriend, Ms Nomzamo Mhlanti, and five children. This sends a strong message that all perpetrators of such abhorrent crimes will face the full might of the law.
6.2. Cabinet condemned the recent senseless killings in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape and Zandspruit in Gauteng that claimed the lives of 21 people. Cabinet commended police for the quick response in arresting suspects and called on the community to work with police to make our streets safer for all.
6.3. Cabinet welcomed the collaboration between local and international law-enforcement agencies that resulted in the seizure of drugs in Africa and the Middle East. The operations, led by Interpol, involved 41 countries and resulted in the seizure of drugs worth nearly 100 million euros. As part of this successful operation, the police in South Africa seized drugs worth around 32 million euros from a fishing vessel and arrested 10 people.
7. Pilot census
7.1. Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) will conduct a pilot census in selected areas as a dress rehearsal for the main census to test all systems and processes.
7.2. Registration for the pilot census is open from 17 May to 30 June 2021. Households and institutions which choose to fill the pilot census questionnaire by telephone will receive a call from a Stats SA call centre agent.
7.3. Cabinet encourages households and institutions to register to ensure that they are counted. Citizens are encouraged to visit getcounted.statssa.gov.za to register online. The date for the main census will be announced in due course.
8. Humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe.
8.1. Cabinet approved the humanitarian assistance to the people of Zimbabwe . This was in response to an appeal made in March 2019 by Zimbabwean government for the humanitarian assistance following the Tropical Cyclone Idai that caused severe flooding that destroyed infrastructure and killed people.
8.2. South Africa, through the African Renaissance and International Cooperation Fund, had pledged R50 million in humanitarian support to Zimbabwe. However, the outbreak of the COVID-19 global pandemic delayed the implementation of the project.
8.3. The first consignment of 450 000 bags of 12,5 kg maize meal to be distributed to families in desperate need of food aid was delivered on Africa Day on Tuesday, 25 May 2021.
B. Cabinet Decisions
1. Youth Month Programme
1.1. Cabinet approved the Youth Month Programme for 2021 under the theme: The Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke: Growing youth employment for an inclusive and transformed society. Youth Day on will be commemorated at the Harry Gwala District in KwaZulu-Natal. The event will include the launch of the Presidential Youth Service and the release of the Integrated Youth Development Strategy (2021-2023), which provides an enabling framework for the growth and development of youth in South Africa.
1.2. The planned month-long activities in June to commemorate Youth Month will take place within the COVID 19 health protocol requirements.
2. Progress on the national government intervention in North West
2.1. Cabinet was briefed on progress made regarding the national government interventions in the North West Provincial Government under Section 100(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996. Cabinet was pleased with the great progress in stabilising the provincial departments that were under administration.
2.2. The report will be presented to the National Council of Provinces Adhoc Committee for further processing. The committee will deliberate this report on its sitting scheduled for 24 June 2021.
3. Emfuleni Local Municipality intervention
3.1. Cabinet approved the intervention by national government to resolve the water and sewerage challenges faced by the community under the Emfuleni Local Municipality in the Sedibeng District in Gauteng. The intervention is in terms of Section 63(2) of the Water Services Act, 1997 (Act 108 of 1997).
3.2. The poor state of governance and financial management at Emfuleni Local Municipality has resulted in minimal maintenance of the water and sanitation infrastructure. This has resulted in continuous sewerage spillages to surrounding communities and the Vaal River which pose a serious health hazard to over 120 000 households living around the area.
3.3. The Department of Water and Sanitation has been directed to oversee this intervention and report back to Cabinet annually. Cabinet further approved the setting up of an IMC that will consider the broad challenges of water facing a number of municipalities. The terms of reference and members of this IMC will be announced in due course.
C. Upcoming events
1. France State Visit
1.1. President Ramaphosa will on Friday, 28 May 2021 host His Excellency President Emmanuel Macron of the Republic of France on a State Visit at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
1.2. President Macron’s first visit to South Africa at the invitation of President Ramaphosa is aimed at strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries, which is substantiated by a number of bilateral agreements in various areas of cooperation.
1.3. The visit will focus on issues pertaining to the global response to COVID-19 and the economic, health, research and manufacturing responses to the current pandemic and beyond.
1.4. The leaders will also discuss the expansion of mutually beneficial trade and investment opportunities. South Africa is France’s largest trading partner in Africa while France is South Africa’s second-largest trading partner within the European Union trading bloc.
2. Sudan Prime Minister Visit
2.1. The Prime Minister of the Republic of the Sudan, Dr Abdalla Hamdok, at the invitation of President Ramaphosa, will undertake a Working Visit to South Africa on Thursday, 17 June 2021.
2.2. During the visit, the two leaders are expected to discuss modalities to enhance bilateral relations and exchange views on issues facing the continent.
3. President’s Virtual Reading Club
3.1. Cabinet invited South Africans to join the sixth session of the President’s Virtual Reading Club on Thursday, 27 May 2021 from 16:30 to 18:30. The event will take place via Zoom and interested participants can register to attend the session on www.nrc.org.za(link is external). The session will discuss Frantz Fanon’s decolonisation book, The Wretched of the Earth.
3.2. Cabinet encouraged South Africans to support the culture of reading as it is a foundational skill on which all other learning is built and creates the opportunity for access to career opportunities.
Cabinet extended congratulations to:
1.2. Her Grace Bishop Naledzani Sikhwari, after being elected as the first female Bishop of the Northern Diocese Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa after six decades of male Bishops. The appointment of Bishop Sikhwari to head a 503-years-old church is a symbol of gender equality and transformation within society.
1.3. Ms Nolitha Fakude, after being appointed as the first female President of the Minerals Council South Africa in 131 years. Cabinet wishes Ms Fakude, who is also the Chairperson of Anglo American South Africa, everything of the best with her focus of ensuring that mining contributes positively to being a catalyst for economic growth in our country.
Cabinet expressed condolences to the family and friends of:
2.2. Prof Stanislaus (Stan) Skumbuzo Mzilankatha Sangweni (87), who passed away on Tuesday,18 May 2021. He dedicated his life to the struggle for liberation and spent 30 years in exile living in various countries. He also served as the acting Director of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and on his return to South Africa, he was appointed as the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission.
2.3. the government and people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo following the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo on Saturday, 22 May 2021. At least 15 people are believed to have been killed and thousands displaced by the volcanic eruption.
2.4. Ambassador Ismael Coovadia, the former ambassador to Israel, who passed away on Monday, 24 May 2021. He contributed immensely to the struggle for liberation in South Africa.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
1. Ms Elizabeth Rhulani Ngwenya as Deputy Director-General (DDG): Corporate Management at the Department of Tourism.
2. Ms Irene Nomalungelo Mpolweni as DG at the Department of Military Veterans.
Enquiries: Ms Phumla Williams – Cabinet Spokesperson
Mobile: 083 501 0139