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Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Cabinet convened for its last 2017 meeting at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

A. Cabinet Decisions

Cabinet approved the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) 2016-2026 for implementation. The NTSS is anchored on five strategic pillars, namely marketing, facilitation of ease of access for tourists, enhance visitor experience, destination management and broad-based benefits.

The full document is available on the Department of Tourism’s website: www.tourism.gov.za.

Cabinet approved the framework for the establishment of a National Broadband Network Company. It will be formed out of the merger of Sentech and Broadband Infraco. This will facilitate the roll-out of the interdependent elements in a coordinated manner and create a national broadband champion.
 
Cabinet approved the First Annual Progress Report on Implementation of the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (WPRPD). The report covers the period from 1 January to 31 December 2016.

The report gives a high-level assessment of the extent to which government departments have started embedding the policy directives of WPRPD into their respective planning, budgeting, and service delivery and reporting systems.
 
Cabinet approved the publication of the Strategic Disability Policy Framework for the Post-School Education and Training System for public comment.
 
Cabinet was briefed on the outcomes of the Review of the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme conducted from November 2015 until September 2016. The programme is part of the broader Public Transport Strategy, which aims to provide an integrated safety and efficient transport system in South Africa.

Cabinet approved that more consultation and work must be done with relevant departments before the National Department of Transport can embark on the revised approach.
 
Cabinet approved the public release of the 8th edition of the Development Indicators (2016). The Development Indicator Report focuses on South Africa’s development since democracy and monitors implementation of the National Development Plan Vision 2030.
 
Cabinet approved measures to strengthen the management of discipline of public servants in relation to officials conducting business with organs of state. It gives effect to the Public Service Regulations 2016, which prohibits public servants from conducting business with the State. From 1 March, National Treasury, supported by the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), will monitor all new registrations on the online Central Supplier Database against the Persal System.
 
Cabinet approved the New Performance Management and Development System for Heads of Department, which accurately reflects the link between individual and organisational performance. It comes into effect on
1 April 2018.
 
Cabinet approved the introduction and implementation of the Public Service Graduate Recruitment Scheme Framework. This forms part of the development programme within the Public Service to attract talented graduates into the Public Service.

The framework includes earmarking a percentage of each department’s vacant posts for the recruitment of graduates in scarce occupations. The Minister of Public Service and Administration will also align this framework to the Youth Employment Service Programme.
 
Cabinet approved for the publication of the following Notices in the Government Gazette relating to the Rationalisation of Courts Jurisdiction, which aims to increase access to justice for previously marginalised and under-serviced rural villages. The rationalisation is in magisterial districts in the Free State and Northern Cape, and the removal of certain Magisterial Districts from the Gauteng Division of the High Court and placing them under the jurisdiction of the North West Division of High Court.
 
Cabinet approved the Regulations on Mediation Rules in terms of the Protection of Investment Act, 2015 (Act 22 of 2015). The regulations provide for an investor that has a dispute in respect of action taken by government that affects an investment, to request the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) to intervene with possible mediation mechanism.
 
Cabinet approved the convening and hosting of the following conferences:

. National Community Development Workers Programme Consultative Conference 2018 by the DPSA.
. International Association of Prosecutors 23rd Annual Conference, to be hosted by the National Prosecuting Authority in Durban during September 2018.
. 2021 World Science Forum in South Africa. The Department of Science and Technology will engage with the World Science Forum Steering Committee for possible hosting.
. 2017 African Union (AU) High-Level Dialogue, hosted by the DPSA from 6 to 8 December 2017.        

Cabinet approved for the designs and commemorative collectors’ and circulation coin series to be issued in 2018.

The coin designs, with their proclamations, will be printed in the Government Gazette: 

. 2018 2oz, 22-carat gold Krugerrand;
. 2018 24-carat gold Natura coin series (Rise of the dinosaurs – Archosauria);
. 2018 24-carat gold R1 coin series (Reptiles of South Africa – the parrot beaked padloper);
. 2018 bi-metal R5 circulation coin (Nelson Mandela Centenary);
. 2018 24-carat gold and sterling-silver Protea coin series (Life of Legend – Nelson Mandela);
. 2018 sterling-silver R2 Crown and 2 ½ Tickey series (South African inventions – Computed Tomography); and
. 2018 sterling-silver colour finished coin series (Birds and Flowers of the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve).

B. Issues in the Environment

GDP Growth Results

Cabinet is pleased with South Africa’s economy growth which grew by an annualised 2% in the third quarter of 2017, from an upwardly revised 2.8% in the second quarter. The stronger-than-expected performance was mainly due to continued strong growth in the agriculture sector, which contributed 0.9 percentage points to overall growth on the back of 44.2 per cent quarter-on-quarter growth.

Strong performance in agriculture, which has seen three consecutive quarters of robust growth, was due to higher production of field crops (such as maize) in summer rainfall areas and horticultural products. Mining and manufacturing also contributed to the growth recorded, with mining and quarrying increasing by 6.6% and contributing 0.5 percentage points to growth.

The electricity sector was the biggest laggard, down by 5.5%. Growth in household consumption of 2.6% was mainly due to spending on durable goods, which accounted for 1.6 percentage points of the 2.6% increase. Stronger-than-expected growth and the upward revision to the second quarter growth outcomes means growth could reach 0.9 per cent in 2017.

This is higher than the 0.7 per cent anticipated at the time of the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement. Government needs to ensure that this growth momentum is maintained by continuing to implement the 14 confidence-boosting measures that build on improving consumer confidence and can restore business confidence.

InvestSA One-Stop Shop

Cabinet welcomes the launch of the InvestSA One-Stop Shop in KwaZulu-Natal by President Jacob Zuma as part of efforts to improve the ease of doing business in South Africa. This is the third One-Stop-Shop launched in the country. It aims to create a conducive environment by providing a focal point of contact for investors to obtain all services to fast-track projects and reduce government red-tape when starting a business.

South Africa-Angola relations

Cabinet welcomes the agreements signed during the State Visit to South Africa by Angolan President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço. The following agreements were signed: Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the creation of a Presidential Binational Commission, MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Environment, Implementation Guidelines for the visa waiver, Protocol on Police Cooperation and an Agreement on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters.

Fifth AU-EU Summit

Cabinet welcomes outcomes from the Fifth Summit of the AU-European Union (EU). The summit provided an opportunity for South Africa to enhance strategic economic and diplomatic relations through various engagements in the summit and in side events such as the Business Forum and Youth Summit, with a focus on inclusive economic growth, youth employment and entrepreneurship.

Slave trade of African migrants

Cabinet joins the international community in condemning the reports of auctioning of African migrants in Libya as slaves. Such inhumane acts go against the ideals of the AU, and relevant African and international instruments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Cabinet welcomes the announcement by authorities that they will set up a transit and departure facility in Tripoli for refugees and migrants in need of international protection.

Outbreak of Listeriosis

Cabinet appeals to all people to take the necessary precaution – such as washing their hands before preparing food and avoiding raw or uncooked foods – to curb the spread of Listeriosis, whilst investigations continue to establish the source of the bacteria.

The disease is caused by a bacteria found in soil, water, vegetation and non-pasteurised dairy products, and may result in flu-like symptoms with diarrhoea. It can be successfully treated with antibiotics, if detected early.

Cabinet calls on South Africans to continue using water sparingly as the country still continues to experience drought/. Notwithstanding the recent rains, the dam levels nationally continue to decline. This is due to the high temperatures as well as that we did not as yet have consistent rains.

Cabinet is encouraged by the progressive negotiations with the highly indebted municipalities towards finding a solution to the municipal debt.

C. Bills

Cabinet approved the submission to Parliament of following Bills:

. Social Assistance Amendment Bill of 2017.
The Bill provides improved benefits with respect to child support grants for orphaned and vulnerable children, including those residing in child-headed households.
 
. Property Practitioners Bill of 2017
The Bill repeals the current Estate Agency Affairs Act, 1976 (Act 112 of 1976). It creates an enabling regulatory environment to enhance economic activity within the real estate industry while also addressing a need to ensure transformation in the sector.

. National Qualifications Framework Amendment Bill of 2016
The Bill strengthens the current National Qualifications Framework Act, 2008 (Act 67 of 2008). It introduces measures to deal with issues of misrepresentation and imposes consequences on persons who misrepresent their qualifications or organisations that issue qualifications that are invalid.

. International Crimes Bill of 2017
The Bill provides an improved legislative framework to deal with international crimes committed in South Africa and across our border. It also provides improved protection and justice for victims of international crimes.

D. Messages

Cabinet congratulated:

. President Uhuru Kenyatta on his inauguration as the President of the Republic of Kenya and his second term in government. Cabinet looks forward to building on the solid relationship enjoyed between our two countries.

. President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa on his inauguration as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. Cabinet looks forward to continuing a strong working relationship with the Government of Zimbabwe.

. Major Seitebatso Pearl Block on winning the United Nations (UN) Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award. The award recognises the dedication and effort of an individual peacekeeper in promoting the principles within the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which calls on all parties in conflict to protect women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence.

. Ladysmith Black Mambazo, who received two nominations for the 2018 Grammy Awards. The first is in the Best World Music Album category for their album Shaka Zulu Revisited: 30th Anniversary Celebration, and the second is in the Best Children’s Album category for Songs of Peace & Love for Kids & Parents around the World. The Grammy Awards are set to take place on 28 January 2018.

. Chad Le Clos, on becoming the first male swimmer to win four FINA Swimming World Cup series titles. We are proud of his achievement and are confident that he will continue to represent South Africa with distinction.

. Super Sport United, on making the final of the Confederation of African Footbal Confederations Cup.

. Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, on being crowned Miss Universe at the 66th pageant held recently in the United States of America.

. Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who was awarded a lifetime achievement Award Women Political Leaders Global Forum.

Cabinet extends its condolences to:

. The government and the people of Egypt following a terrorist attack on a  mosque in the Sinai Peninsula that killed more than 300 people and wounded several others. Cabinet condemns this senseless attack on innocent civilians.

. The government and the people of Nigeria following a suicide bomb blast on 21 November 2017 that killed over 50 people and injuring many others. Cabinet reiterates its principled and unequivocal condemnation of terrorism and violent extremism.

. The family and friends of Dr Mochubela ‘Wesi’ Seekoe, liberation struggle veteran and former South African Ambassador to the Russian Federation. He has served the country with distinction as a South African Ambassador to Russia and as Chairperson of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation. President Zuma had declared a Special Provincial Official Funeral for him.

. The family and friends of Struggle stalwart and ex-Robben Island prisoner, Mr Eddie Daniels, who recently passed away. He will be remembered for his selfless dedication and service to the people of South Africa.

. The family of Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, on the passing away of her father, Mr Douglas Mapisa. He passed away at the Cecilia Makiwane Hospital in East London at the age of 96.

E. Upcoming Events

Commemoration of Nelson Mandela

Cabinet joins South Africans in commemorating the fourth anniversary of Nelson Mandela's passing on 5 December 2013. In 2018 the country will mark the centenary of the life of Mandela and all South Africans are encouraged to join in the year-long celebration as we pay tribute to one of Africa’s greatest sons.

Cabinet thanks all South Africans for their participation in the various OR Tambo commemoration events across the country and looks forward to the same level of participation as we remember our icon, Madiba.

Festive Season

Cabinet wishes all South Africans a joyous and safe festive season. We call on those who will be travelling to ensure their vehicles are roadworthy. All road users, drivers and pedestrians must abide by the rules of the road.

The Minister of Transport, Mr Joe Maswanganyi, launched the Arrive Alive campaign on the 5 December in Bela-Bela, Limpopo. The SAPS is implementing its nationwide campaign for a safer festive season and all have a responsibility to support the SAPS by upholding the law and behaving responsibly.

The Department of Home Affairs will announce the 2017/18 festive season plans for the South African border environment. This is for smooth facilitation and enhanced management of movement of people and goods in and out of South Africa during this peak period.

We also appeal to parents and guardians not to leave children unattended as we are duty-bound to take care of our children.

Cabinet is pleased that the Matric exams proceeded without major incidents and wish the class of 2017 well as they await their final results.

F. Appointments

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

. Ms Ilise Karg as the dti’s representative on the National Advisory Council on Innovation.

. Board of Trustees of the National Empowerment Fund:

1. Ms Nonkqubela Helen Maliza;
2. Ms Lerato Cynthia Molefe;
3. Ms Nthabiseng Mateboho Moleko;
4. Mr Ernest Kwinda; and
5. Mr Sipho Zikode (the dti representative).

. Mr Sandile Mkhize, as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Magalies Water.
. Mr Wiseman Mkhize, as Board member of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa.
. Mr Phakamani Buthelezi, as CEO of Overberg Water.
. Advocate Samuel Vukela, as Director-General (DG) of the Department of Public Works.
. Ms Brenda Sibeko, as Deputy DG (DDG) for Comprehensive Social Security in the Department of Social Development.
. Mr Zephania Nhleko, as DDG for Economic Planning and Coordination in the Economic Development Department.
. Mr Mandla Victor Ngcobo, as DDG: Government Chief Information Officer in the  DPSA.
 
Enquiries:
Ms Phumla Williams – Acting Director-General (GCIS)
Cell: 083 501 0139