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Presidential Working Committee on Jobs focuses on local procurement and agriculture

President Cyril Ramaphosa has today, 02 December 2019, chaired the fourth monthly meeting of the Presidential Working Committee on Jobs at Nedlac House, Rosebank.

The Presidential Working Committee was established to accelerate implementation of the commitments made at the Jobs Summit held in 2018 to create jobs and stem job losses. The Working Committee is composed of leaders of government, labour, business and civil society.

The President has welcomed the steady progress in addressing some of the main impediments to job creation. In this regard, the President has  commended work done to date including the piloting of eVisas, the acceleration of the water licensing process, the process towards spectrum allocation  and a more pragmatic approach to attracting critical skills to the country.

“Through these meetings we have witnessed the value of working through issues as social partners. We are still some distance from where we want to be. We are not yet seeing the results of new investments or the benefits of policy reforms but the progress we have made is stirring hope. We need now to convert that hope into investment, growth and jobs,” said President Ramaphosa

Today’s meeting of the Presidential Working Committee on Jobs, which is the last for the current calendar year, focused on progress being made to realise local procurement as well as agricultural sector commitments. 

On local procurement, the meeting received a report on ongoing work to create a transparent business-to-business procurement platform to allow more companies, especially black owned companies, to compete for procurement so as to increase uptake of locally produced goods by domestic retailers. 

Working together with Proudly South Africa and the Manufacturing Circle, there is also an ongoing project to identify imported products purchased in large enough volumes to warrant exploration of local production and encourage business to review their procurement budgets to increase expenditure from local producers. 

Social partners are collaborating to strengthen support for supplier development and access to markets for small, medium and micro enterprises. The Presidential Working Committee is further collecting data on company-specific interventions to identify opportunities.

The Presidential Working Committee has welcomed progress in land reform, noting that a number of private land owners and farmers had voluntarily taken the initiative to address equitable access to land. The meeting encouraged more initiatives of such a nature. 

More work still remains to be done to improve and expand the grain and livestock value chains, including expansion of feedlots, as well as growing the poultry industry to position it for the export market. The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development is working with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition to increase exports of meat and fruit products to the Middle East and Asia.

Labour has called for greater attention to be given to the challenges faced by farm workers including access to support structures in the event of evictions. 

The President has expressed satisfaction that momentum is building to addressing regulatory barriers and welcomed the progress made to date, noting that “greater determination and urgency is required in the implementation of the identified reforms.” 

Media enquiries: Khusela Diko, Spokesperson to the President on 072 854 5707

Issued by: The Presidency

President Ramaphosa congratulates President Hage Geingob and the people of Namibia on successful elections

On behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended his warmest congratulations to the people of Namibia on a successful election and to Dr Hage Geingob on his re-election on 27 November 2019 for a second term as President of the Republic of Namibia. 

The Presidential and Legislative Elections, held on of 27 November 2019, were an important milestone in entrenching democracy since the independence of Namibia in 1990.

President Ramaphosa acknowledged the deep fraternal and historical relations between the two countries. The two neighbouring countries share common  positions and common views on a number of regional and global issues. 

President Ramaphosa reiterated his commitment to work closely with President Geingob in pursuit of greater regional integration through Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) as well as continental political and economic integration as espoused in the African Union (AU)’s Agenda 2063. 

Furthermore, the two countries will continue to cooperate in advancing the interests of our continent in international forums.    

Media enquiries: Khusela Diko, Spokesperson to the President on 072 854 5707

Issued by: The Presidency

President commences working visit to Republic of Togo

President Cyril Ramaphosa has this evening, 05 December 2019 arrived in Lome, in the Republic of Togo, for a Working Visit aimed at strengthening the already strong bilateral, political and economic relations between South Africa and the Republic of Togo.

The President is on the last leg of working visits to three members of the Economic Community of West African States.

The visit to Togo follows successful engagements between President Ramaphosa and President Alpha Condé of the Republic of Guinea and President  Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the Republic of Ghana on Wednesday 04 December 2019 and Thursday 05 December respectively.

President Ramaphosa will upon his arrival in Lomé attend a State Banquet hosted in his honour by President Faure Gnassingbé. 

On Friday 06 December 2019, President Ramaphosa and President Gnassingbé will undertake a guided tour of the Port of Lomé and the Peacekeeping Operations Training Center.

Following this, the leaders will hold bilateral discussions at State House, Lomé.

The leaders will also preside over the signing of a cooperation framework agreement, an agreement that will enable cooperation in a number of fields including agro-processing, port management, mining and energy.

South African business has a significant footprint in Togo and some of the major South African companies operating in the country including MTN, WBHO, AngloGold Ashanti, Gateway Africa and UBU Holdings. Nedbank is a shareholder in the Lomé Head-Quartered West African Bank, Eco bank.  

President Ramaphosa’s Working Visits to the sister Republics provide an opportunity for South Africa to explore new areas of cooperation with the three partner states and to promote increased trade and investment flows to the mutual benefit of the peoples of the four countries. 

The visits will also create a platform for President Ramaphosa to engage with his counterparts on matters of mutual interest in South Africa’s quest for a peaceful and prosperous continent in line with the aspirations of the African Union's transformative Agenda 2063 as well as reform of the global governance system. 

President Ramaphosa is accompanied by the following Ministers: International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor; Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Ms Thoko Didiza; Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; State Security, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo, and Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Mr Fikile Majola. 

Media enquiries: Khusela Diko, Spokesperson to the President on 072 854 5707

Issued by: The Presidency

President concludes successful working visits

President Cyril Ramaphosa has today, Friday 06 December 2019, concluded successful Working Visits to three members of the Economic Community  of West African States.

The visits to the Republic of Guinea, the Republic of Ghana and the Republic of Togo from 04 to 06 December 2019 were directed at deepening political, economic and social relations between South Africa and sister countries.

The visits also formed part of the prelude to South Africa’s assumption of the Chairship of the African Union early in 2020, as well as the inception of the  African Continental Free Trade Area in the middle of 2020.

The visits were marked by a strong focus on measures that could be taken to enhance trade, investment, infrastructure development and the transfer of skills and technology between South Africa and the respective partner states.

In agriculture in particular, cooperation will facilitate the transition from subsistence farming to commercially scaleable cultivation and the beneficiation of agricultural products within comprehensive value chains.

South Africa and the three states will also cooperate in defence and security as part of the African Union’s “Silencing of the Guns” campaign which forms part of the continent’s developmental Agenda 2063 and seeks to end all forms of conflict and insecurity from politically motivated conflicts to gender-based violence.

The host Presidents expressed their support for South Africa’s Chairship of the AU and shared South Africa’s positive anticipation of an era of free trade across the Continent.

In the Republic of Guinea, President Ramaphosa and His Excellency President Professor Alpha Condé discussed wide-ranging discussions on bilateral relations as well as on regional and international issues of common interest.

They have agreed to consider developing new agreements  in various areas to promote the exchange of expertise between the countries.

The Presidents reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening and deepening bilateral relations by holding regular sessions of the Joint Commission of Cooperation, the third of which will be held in Conakry in 2020.
During his visit to Accra, Ghana, President Ramaphosa and His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo engaged on areas of cooperation in defence, security, agriculture, sports, arts and culture and infrastructure development, among other areas.

The leaders also witnessed the signing of an agreement to establish a Bi-National Commission between the two countries, which will elevate relations to the Presidential level.

President Akufo-Addo commended President Ramaphosa for dispatching Special Envoys to a number of countries, including Ghana, whose nationals were affected by violence in South Africa several months ago.

President Ramaphosa congratulated President Akufo-Addo on Ghana's designation as the seat of the Permanent Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which comes to force in 2020.

At the conclusion of his working visit in Togo, President Ramaphosa and His Excellency President Faure Gnassingbé witnessed the signing of a cooperation framework agreement that will enable partnership in a number of fields including agro-processing, port management, mining and energy.

The two leaders agreed to encourage business people from South Africa to Togo to explore opportunities for trade and mutual investment as well as the promotion of tourism between the two countries.

Addressing continental concerns, the two leaders strongly condemned continued terrorist and extremist activities in various regions of the Continent.

President Ramaphosa expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to visit the Autonomous Port of Lomé, a strategic logistical hub for the region. 

The Port of Lomé is a transshipment hub for the West African sub-region and provides important economic infrastructure and networks to surrounding landlocked states.

In terms of Togo’s National Development Plan, the Lomé port is due to expand container terminals and fishing wharfs. This provides opportunities for South African enterprises wishing to enter the West African sub-region as well as companies that could play a role in the port expansion projects.

South Africa was commended for the role it is currently playing as a Non-Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council and its anticipated role as Chair of the African Union in 2020.

On the three visits, President Ramaphosa invited businesses in Guinea, Ghana and Togo to identify opportunities for partnerships with South African counterparts in the interest of advancing mutual  development and growth.

President Ramaphosa was accompanied by the following Ministers: International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor; Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Ms Thoko Didiza; Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; State Security, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo, and Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Mr Fikile Majola. 

President Ramaphosa returns to South Africa this evening, Friday 06 December 2019.

Media enquiries: Spokesperson to the President, Khusela Diko on 072 854 5707 

Issued by: The Presidency

President Ramaphosa to receive a courtesy call from the World Council of Churches delegates

President Cyril Ramaphosa will, on Monday 09 December 2019, receive a courtesy call from the World Council of Churches (WCC).  

The Council is in South Africa hosted by its affiliate the South African Council of Churches from 7-12 December 2019, including members of the Churches Commission for International Affairs of the World Council of Churches whose Moderator is Reverend Frank Chikane. 

The Council's engagements are centered on issues of gender based violence and public violence targeting foreign nationals and South Africans

The engagement by the President with the highest echelon of the clergy is in the context of advancing the objective of realising a socially cohesive and  safe South Africa and the world. 

Members of the media are invited for a photo opportunity as follows:
Date: Monday, 09 December 2019
Time: 9h00
Venue: Lakes Hotel, Benoni

Media enquiries: Khusela Diko: Spokesperson to the President on 072 854 5707

Issued by: The Presidency

President calls for swift action on devastating power cuts

President Cyril Ramaphosa received an update today, Monday 9 December 2019, on the most recent developments at Eskom’s power stations, which resulted in the escalation of load shedding to Stage 6.

The President has been in constant communication with the Minister of Public Enterprises and the leadership of the electricity utility on the state of the national grid and on the work being done to address the current crisis. 

President Ramaphosa said: “The ongoing load shedding is devastating for the country. It is causing our economy great harm and disrupting the lives of  citizens.

“The extreme weather in several parts of the country over the last week has compounded the problems of an electricity grid that was already under great strain.

“Our immediate priority is to get as much generating capacity back on line within the shortest possible time. Eskom’s emergency response command centre and technical teams are working around the clock to fix multiple breakdowns.

“The anger and frustration that this load shedding has caused is understandable. It is essential at this time that all stakeholders work together to restore adequate supply of electricity in the shortest time. We call on all South Africans, especially energy intensive users, to reduce consumption at this time.”

Government has taken far-reaching and necessary decisions to ensure the sustainable security of energy supply. As we confront the immediate challenges, we are working to put these long term solutions in place.”

“The energy challenges in this country will not be resolved overnight. We have set out on a bold path of restructuring and rebuilding. Despite the setbacks of the past week, we are making progress and will steadily begin to see the fruits of these efforts.”

The President has directed the Ministry of Public Enterprises as well as Eskom to continue to give regular updates and communication on the progress being made to restore the units back to full capacity.

Media enquiries: Khusela Diko, Spokesperson to the President on 072 854 5707

Issued by: The Presidency 

President Cyril Ramaphosa to meet with Eskom Management, visit flood-stricken areas

President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Wednesday the 11th of December 2019 meet with the Board and Management of the national power utility Eskom - where he will be briefed on plans to mitigate and resolve the current electricity crisis affecting most of the country.
President Ramaphosa will also visit the operations centre at Eskom headquarters at Megawatt Park in Gauteng.

The President departed the Egyptian capital Cairo on Tuesday, where he held official talks with President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi.

President Ramaphosa was slated to participate in a high-level panel at the Inaugural Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development on the 11th  of December 2019 but has returned to South Africa to attend to urgent domestic priorities. 

The focus of the Egypt visit was to strengthen bilateral and economic relations with the largest export market in North Africa for South African goods. The leaders of both countries further discussed new avenues of cooperation in trade and investments; including infrastructure, manufacturing and agro-processing.

The President was accompanied by the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Minister of Trade and Industry Mr Ebrahim Patel, Minister of State Security, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo and Minister of Tourism Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.

With South Africa assuming the Chair of the African Union in 2020, President Ramaphosa and President El-Sisi, who is the outgoing AU Chair, also discussed matters around deepening continental integration, peace, security and development.

The President is also expected to visit Tembisa on Gauteng's East Rand that has been severely impacted by the recent rains, leading to wide scale flooding. 

The President will meet with local residents, community leaders and provincial officials managing the support being given to the stricken community.

Details of the engagements on Wednesday are as follows:
Eskom meeting
Time: 10:00
Venue: Eskom Megawatt Park, Johannesburg
Visit to flood stricken area in Mamelodi
Time: 12:00
Venue: Mamelodi Baptist Church, City of Tshwane

Media enquiries: Khusela Diko, Spokesperson to the President on 072 854 5707

Issued by: The Presidency 

President Cyril Ramaphosa's 2020 New Year message

Fellow South Africans,

As the 25th year of our democracy draws to a close, we look back on a year that has been filled with both highs and lows, a year in which we measured great progress, but also encountered several setbacks.

In May millions of South Africans went to cast their votes, peacefully and enthusiastically, this once again demonstrated for all the world to see that we  are a robust and vibrant democracy.

We recommitted ourselves build a new society founded on the will of the people, in which all South Africans – black and white – truly belong.

And yet, for many South Africans, the hardships endure.

While our economy created jobs, these have not been nearly enough to stop the rise in unemployment or the deepening of poverty.

Many South Africans’ lives have changed for the better, but many others are yet to feel the benefits of the economic reforms and new investment.

This has also been a year in which we have had to confront the darkest forces of our nature.

As a nation, we have witnessed the brutality perpetrated by men against women and against children.

We have seen lives, both young and old, ended with brutal violence.

We have seen fear in our homes, schools and streets.

Yet, as a nation, we have stood as one in our determination to end the crimes perpetrated by those men who have no respect for the lives, the rights or the dignity of women and children.

An outpouring of grief and anger has incited the nation to action, to undertake an emergency response plan that will turn the tide on this national shame.

Despite the difficulties of this past year, day-by-day, we draw closer to our ambition of a better life for all South Africans.

Day-by-day, we are drawing closer to our goal  of providing quality health care to all South Africans, and redistributing land to all those who work it and all those who need it.

We are making progress towards our aim to provide free higher education to all students from poor and middle-class families, and to ensure all children benefit from early childhood development.

Each day, we draw closer to our target of R1.2 trillion in new investment in the factories, mines, refineries, shops that will drive our economic renewal.

Steadily, we are rebuilding the public institutions that are so vital to our democracy, restoring our law enforcement agencies, and taking forward the fight against state capture and corruption.

And so, we enter this New Year and this new decade, encouraged by the progress we have made under difficult conditions, knowing that we still have many mountains to climb, and many treacherous rivers to cross.

From January, South Africa takes up its position as chair of the African Union. We will seek to work with our sister countries to realise an Africa Free Trade Area that stretches from Cape Town to Cairo, and from Dakar to Mombasa.

We know only too well the enormity of the challenges that confront us, but we are united in the knowledge that we have the means and the determination to overcome them.

Just as the strongest steel is forged in fire, just as diamonds are forged deep inside the earth’s crust under the most extreme pressure, let us turn adversity into opportunity.

In doing so, let us each play our part:  for upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all.

By working together towards the South Africa that we all want, sparing neither strength nor courage, we will progress and we will succeed.

I wish you and yours a successful and peaceful 2020.

Happy New Year to you all.

Issue by: The Presidency

Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 28 February 2018

Cabinet met on Wednesday, 28 February 2018, at Tuynhuys, Cape Town.

A. Issues in the environment

1.    National Budget Speech

1.1.  Cabinet appreciates the overwhelming confidence expressed in the 2018 National Budget which was tabled in Parliament, Cape Town, last week. In the recent spirit of renewal that has gripped our great nation, Cabinet calls on all South Africans to partner with government to grow our economy and create much-needed jobs.

1.2. The reduction in expenditure of R85 billion over the next three years demonstrates government’s commitment to fiscal consolidation and the prudent allocation of resources to grow the economy.

1.3.  The steps announced to slow the pace of debt accumulation and contain the budget deficit greatly improve our fiscal framework and give South Africans confidence in the future prospects of our economy.

1.4.  Cabinet is resolute that the interventions will reflect in our country’s economic growth, affirm its economic standing and safeguard its investment grade status.

1.5.  The 2018 National Budget supports the poor in our society through a comprehensive social assistance programme and fee-free tertiary education for students from poor households.

1.6.  As a response to the concern raised on the Value-Added Tax (VAT) increases proposed, Cabinet is considering expanding the list of basic goods that are zero-rated on VAT.

2. Nelson Mandela Centenary

2.1.  Cabinet joins President Cyril Ramaphosa in his call on South Africans to reaffirm a shared commitment to serve people as we continue to celebrate the centenary of the birth of former President Nelson Mandela. Madiba is the first President of a Democratic South Africa and would have turned 100 years of age on 18 July 2018.

2.2. Madiba is a global icon who is revered worldwide as a Champion of Human Rights, non-racism and non-sexism. He played a critical role in unifying South Africans, and inspiring democratic unity across Africa and the globe.

2.3. The first celebration of Nelson Mandela’s centenary took place during the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2018. A number of events will be held throughout the country this year to reflect on the life of Tata Madiba.

2.4. Cabinet calls upon all South Africans to join in the centenary celebrations in their workplaces, schools, churches and civic organisations. It calls on each one of us this year to emulate the values of Nelson Mandela by working in our respective ways to build a united, non-racist, non-sexist and prosperous country.

2.5. The country also celebrates the centenary of one of the great daughters of the African soil Mama Albertina Sisulu, who dedicated her life to fight for the emancipation of women and the liberation of South Africa.  Cabinet will in the next meeting also outline a programme for the celebration of the Centenary of Mama Albertina Sisulu.

3.  Drought

3.1. Cabinet appreciates the relentless efforts made by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Drought together with stakeholders in all spheres of government and society in dealing with the persistent drought conditions that have hit several parts of the country.

3.2. Apart from the fact that South Africa is a water-scarce country, the effects of global warming continue to affect the rain patterns, thus causing our dam levels to remain low.  

3.3. The Inter-Ministerial Task Team on Drought continues to facilitate work between national government, provinces and municipalities in all drought-affected areas. This includes implementing short, medium and long-term measures to address and mitigate the potential impact of this drought.

3.4. Government has made funds available to provide short-term assistance to affected provinces. It has provided a relief grant worth R473 million and an additional R6 billion in the 2018/19 financial year to augment water infrastructure in the Western Cape‚ Eastern Cape and Northern Cape.

3.5. Cabinet calls on all to continue to work with government in conserving water by using it responsibly and sparingly. Cabinet remains committed to making South Africa a country of choice for visitors and potential investors alike. 

4. Police killings

4.1. Cabinet expresses condolences to the families and friends of the five police officers and a former soldier who were recently brutally murdered in an attack on the Ngcobo Police Station in the Eastern Cape.

4.2. Cabinet strongly condemns any senseless killing of our servicemen and women.  The loss of one police officer, soldier or any other person who serves to protect society and our people is unacceptable.

4.3. Cabinet has committed, through the Minister of Police, to do whatever possible to capacitate our police stations to prevent such attacks in the future. 

4.4. Cabinet further appeals to parents and society at large to ensure children are kept safe at all times and to partner with law-enforcement agencies to protect the rights of our children. Any form of abuse against a child must be exposed and reported immediately. By working together, we can keep our communities safe and ensure that criminal elements have no place to hide.

B. Cabinet decisions  

1.  Cabinet approved the Draft Revised White Paper on National Transport Policy to be published for public comments. The policy aims to provide a transport system that is integrated with other related sector plans so as to reduce both the cost of commuting and doing business. It also aligns the country’s transportation plans to the global transportation trends.

2. Cabinet approved the Green Paper on Roads Policy for South Africa to be published for public comments. The policy provides the overarching framework that ensures South Africa’s roads are better managed, safer and include all modes of transport to deliver a sustainable approach to roads management. It guides the road regulations, infrastructure, safety, road funding and non- motorised transport.

3.  Cabinet was briefed on the findings of the 2015/16 National Survey of Research and Experimental Development (R&D Survey). 
R&D is an integral part of the country’s socio-economic development.  This has been collective efforts of government, industry and research institutions. The report is available on the Department of Science and Technology (DST) website:

4. Cabinet approved the designs of the 2018 commemorative collector’s coin series, which will be produced by the South African Mint Company. The 2018 designs collection will be celebrating the Nelson Mandela Centenary. These collections were preceded by the 2017 commemorative coins that celebrated South Africa under the theme of Freedom, Democracy and Cultures.

C. Bills

1. Cabinet approved the submission of the Customary Initiation Bill of 2018 to Parliament. The Bill seeks to protect, promote and regulate the governance aspect of the practice of customary initiation. 
It provides national norms and standards aimed at the protection of life and the prevention of injuries and all forms of abuse experienced by initiates.

2. Cabinet approved for the submission of the National Qualifications Framework Amendment Bill of 2016 to Parliament. The Bill, which amends the National Qualifications Framework Act, 2008 (Act 67 of 2008), strengthens the Act by improving measures to deal with issues of misrepresentation, imposes consequences on persons who misrepresent their qualifications or organisations that issue invalid qualifications.
It also proposes regulations to ensure that fraudulent qualifications are referred to the relevant professional bodies (database of individuals who misrepresented their qualifications). It also addresses the accreditation of foreign qualifications.

3. Cabinet approved the Railway Safety Bill of 2017 to be published for public comments. The Bill seeks to improve railway safety and create a governance structure to oversee the work of the Rail Safety Regulator of South Africa. It is also aligned to the National Rail Policy regarding the strengthening of safety monitoring, and the promotion and enforcement of safety in our railways.

4. Cabinet approved for the Draft Economic Regulation of Transport Bill of 2017 to be published for public comments and consultation. The Bill addresses the regulatory and capacity gaps in respect of provision of a cost-effective and efficient transport system.

D. Upcoming events

1. South Africa will be hosting the Southern African Development Community Ministers of Labour, Employment and Social Security, as Chair, from 1 to 2 March 2018 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The theme of the conference is: “Horizon decent work: Advancing connectivity, coherence and inclusivity”. Participants will include social partners – organised business, labour and community.

2. President Ramaphosa in his capacity as the Chair of SADC will undertake consultative visits to Angola, Botswana and Namibia from 2 to 3 March 2018.  He will be accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu and Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Maphisa Nqakula.

3. South Africa will   co-host the 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) from 7 to 9 March 2018 in Cape Town under the theme: “Uniting the World for a Tobacco-free Generation”. This is the first hosting in Africa.

The WTCOH calls for committed action and provides a platform for governments, civil-society organisations, United Nations agencies, international organisations, health workers and other stakeholders to discuss shared knowledge and experiences, particularly regarding to youth and women who are exposed to tobacco use.

Hosting the conference contributes towards addressing the National Development Plan’s goals by creating awareness and education on the harmful effects of tobacco use, and the need to intensify tobacco control measures.

4. On the 10 and 11 March the IEC will open the Voting Registration Centres for people to come and register and check their registration details. 

Cabinet urges all eligible voters to visit their voting stations to update the voters’ roll in preparation for the 2019 general elections. Cabinet particularly calls on first-time voters to ensure they participate in their constitutional democratic right to vote by going to register to vote.

This registration weekend is a milestone towards the culmination of a two-year project to obtain the residential addresses of all registered voters.

The voting stations will be open between 08:00 and 17:00 to assist new voters to register to vote, and allow registered voters who have relocated to reregister in their correct voting district and update their address details on the voters’ roll.

E. Messages

1. Cabinet commends all teachers who were honoured at the 18th National Teaching Awards which took place in Johannesburg on Saturday, 17 February 2018. The awards recognised outstanding teaching and leadership in several categories, including the Nelson Mandela Lifetime Achievement Award and Professor Kader Asmal Award.

2. Cabinet conveys its condolences to Deputy Minister Obed Bapela on the loss of his wife Constance Bapela, who served the country as a councillor at the time of her passing.

3. Cabinet joins President Ramaphosa in conveying condolences to the family, friends and associates of the political economist and author, Prof Johannes “Sampie” Terreblanche, who passed on at the age of 84.

4. Cabinet congratulates Minister Naledi Pandor on her recognition by Leiden University in the Netherlands as an Oort Honorary Visiting Professor of Astronomy and Development. This is in recognition of the Minister’s extraordinary accomplishment in harnessing science, particularly astronomy, as a tool for global development and societal benefit.

F. Appointments

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

1. Ms Lerato Matabogeas Deputy Director-General (DDG): Tradeand Investment South Africa, Department of Trade and Industry (the dti).
2. Ms Shandokane Evelyn Masotjaas DDG: Consumer and Corporate Regulation, the dti.
3. Ms Vuyelwa Vumendlini as DDG: International and Regional Economic Policy, National Treasury. 
4. Mr Joseph Tebogo Leshope as Chief Operations Officer of SENTECH.
5. Ms Vuyo Zitumane as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Amatola Water.
6. Adv Seeng Catherine Ntsaba-Letele as Chief Ombud of the Community Schemes Ombud Service. 
7. Mr Edward Mamadise as CEO of the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications. 
8. Dr Sagren Moodley as the representative from the DST on the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions.

9. Reappointments to the Patent Examination Board: 
a. Ms Shanaaz Tiry Mahomed;
b. Ms Sandra Cleiland;
c. Prof Christiena Maria van der Bank; and
d. Adv Nhlanhla Paul Sibisi.

Enquiries: Ms Phumla Williams – Acting Cabinet Spokesperson 
Cell: 083 501 0139

Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 14 March 2018

Cabinet met on Wednesday, 14 March 2018, at Tuynhuys, Cape Town

A. Issues in the environment

1. Economic growth

1.1. Cabinet welcomes the 1.3% growth in the economy in 2017. This is an increase from 0.3% in 2016. The performance of the economy under difficult conditions bodes well for the country’s future economic prospects.

1.2. The growth figures signal that the economy is on an upward trajectory, with National Treasury expecting the economy to expand by 1.5% this year and accelerate to 2.1% in 2020.

1.3. Cabinet calls on all sectors of society to build on the positive momentum of 2017, and work with government to translate its plans into concrete action to sustain economic growth and create jobs.

2. Land reform 

2.1. Cabinet welcomes the adopted motion to amend the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 so as to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.

2.2. Government has since 1994 worked hard to reverse the legacy of land dispossession under colonialism and apartheid. Working within the law, government has done much to ensure the continued productivity of the land, while speeding up the process of redress for those affected by land dispossessions.

2.3. The matter has been referred to the Constitutional Review Committee, which must report back to Parliament by 30 August 2018. The recommendations to the National Assembly will be informed by a series of public hearings followed by committee meetings.

2.4. Cabinet calls on all stakeholders to make their input during this process of engagement, which will guide the solutions to take our country forward. As a caring and people-centred government, all stakeholders will be engaged during this process. 

2.5. Cabinet further urges communities to desist from illegal land invasions. We are a law-abiding and peace-loving country with adequate mechanisms of dealing with issues, including the land issue.

2.6. South Africa remains open for business, and investments in agriculture and farming are welcomed. It is in South Africa's interests to have commercial farmers and this process can ensure we have even greater numbers of successful commercial farmers.

3. Nofingxana community’s Double Drift Wildlife Economy Project

3.1. Cabinet welcomes the launch of the Nofingxana community’s Double Drift Wildlife Economy project, at Double Drift Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape by the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa. This included the handing over of the title deed to the Likhaya Lethu Communal Property Association (CPA) on behalf of the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

3.2. The Double Drift Community were dispossessed of their residential and grazing rights by the 1913 Land Act.  In 1994, this community lodged a land claim which was settled in 2012 resulting in Likhaya Lethu Communal Property Association (CPA) being established.

3.3. The Likhaya Lethu CPA consist of 1500 Double Drift Community members and received R6 million from the Department of Environmental Affairs to develop a Wildlife Economic business venture in the farm Naudeshoek (1400 hectares). The transaction was processed through the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.

4. VBS Mutual Bank

4.1. Cabinet has noted the South African Reserve Bank announcement with regard to the VBS Mutual Bank.  The appointed curatorship will support the VBS Mutual Bank to restore its liquidity challenges and serve the interests of the public and VBS depositors.

Cabinet remains committed to the diversification and transformation of the financial sector without jeopardising the interest of the depositors.

5. Investment campaign

5.1. Cabinet welcomes the ‘CEOs Know’ campaign by Brand South Africa, in collaboration with Business Leadership South Africa, to promote South Africa as an investment destination.

5.2. This builds on our world-class infrastructure through InvestSA One-Stop Shop, research and development capabilities, innovation and an established manufacturing base to support investors. New growth areas have also been opened in the oceans economy, renewable energy, the green economy and shale-gas exploration.

5.3. The campaign features CEOs from multinational corporations based in South Africa sharing their insights on continued investment in South Africa.

5.4. Cabinet encourages all South Africans in the spirit of “Thuma Mina” (Send Me) sweeping across our nation to play their part by sharing their positive stories to build our country’s reputation and grow its investment appeal.

6. Independent Power Producers (IPPs) Procurement Programme

6.1. Cabinet has noted the High Court case filed by two non-governmental organisations regarding government’s decision to sign the power purchase agreements with 27 IPPs. The matter will be concluded by the High Court on 27 March 2018. In the spirit of constitutionalism and the rule of law, the signing has been postponed.

6.2. Cabinet affirms the commitment to resolve the matters around these programmes. The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme will ensure that consumers in our country have access to cost-efficient and clean energy, and will bring much-needed investment in South Africa. These projects will provide 61 600 full-time jobs, 95% of which are for South African citizens, specifically youth. 

6.3. Cabinet reaffirms its commitment to a solid public-private partnership as we pursue our energy transition objectives of the future and a better life for all. This is needed to bring much-needed policy and regulatory certainty, and maintain South Africa’s position as an energy investment destination of choice.

7. Listeriosis

7.1. Cabinet extends its heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of those who lost their lives after contracting Listeriosis, and wishes those who are recuperating a speedy recovery. More than 180 people died and 940 cases were reported in South Africa.

7.2.  Cabinet is encouraged by the intensive efforts by the Department of Health, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the World Health Organisation to stop the listeria bacteria from spreading. To further strengthen these efforts, the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, will meet with the South African Nursing Council on Thursday, 15 March 2018.

7.3. Cabinet acknowledges that the positive progress made in identifying and isolating the source of the deadly Listeriosis outbreak and subsequent recall of food products from three Enterprise and Rainbow meat processing plants – where the bacteria was found – was a defining moment to stop the outbreak.  The food-borne disease was first identified in June 2017.

7.4. Listeriosis is a serious and preventable illness that can be treated successfully with antibiotics. Those most at risk are pregnant women, very young infants, elderly persons and people with a weakened immune system. People who show symptoms of fever, muscle aches, nausea or diarrhoea should visit their medical practitioner or local clinic immediately.

7.5. Cabinet is optimistic that South Africa will defeat the current outbreak and urges all people to observe the five food safety rules during this time:

- Wash hands with soap and water before handling food, and after using a bathroom;
- Cook food thoroughly and do not eat half-cooked food as the Listeria bacteria will die when food is well cooked;
- Do not handle raw and cooked food together;
- Keep food at appropriate temperatures; and
- Make sure that all milk products are pasteurised or at least parboiled and wash non-cooked food with clean running water before ingestion or at least with pre-boiled water.

7.6. Those with any uncertainty related to Listeriosis may contact the National Institute for Communicable Diseases on 011 386 6400.

8. Social grants

8.1. Cabinet was briefed on the state of readiness by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to provide the hybrid model in the distribution of social grants to beneficiaries on 1 April 2018. This is in line with the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) judgement that ordered the extension of the current contract with the Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) up until 31 March 2018.

8.2. Cabinet reiterates its commitment to government’s social assistance programme, which is at the heart of our poverty-alleviation initiatives and central to restoring the dignity of our people. It is satisfied that the beneficiaries of social grants will be paid on 1 April 2018. The current SASSA cards remain valid until December 2018. The process of changing the beneficiary cards will be done in a seamless manner that will not disrupt the payment of grants. All beneficiaries who receive their grants through their respective paypoints which includes commercial banks, South Post Office and other retailers.

8.3. Cabinet calls on those who do not have bank accounts to visit their nearest SAPO branches to open their accounts. Cabinet has instructed the SASSA together with GCIS to do everything possible to inform all the beneficiaries of any possible changes that may take place in the process of transition from CPS to the new hybrid model.   Cabinet remains committed to ensuring government adheres to the ConCourt judgement. SASSA offices will be opened and ready to process the new applicants.

8.4. Cabinet urges all members of the public, especially beneficiaries, to contact SASSA on 0800 60 10 11 or visit the nearest SASSA office for more information.

9. Voter registration

9.1. Cabinet joins the Independent Electoral Commission and President Ramaphosa in thanking all South Africans who heeded the call to register to vote or to update their address details in the past weekend’s voter registration drive. This is milestone in preparation for the sixth national and provincial elections expected to take place in 2019.

9.2. A total of 2 767 139 citizens visited voting stations over the past weekend.

9.3. Of the 2.76 million plus voters who visited their voting stations:

- Just over 1.3 million re-registered in their current voting district.
- More than 800 thousand changed their registration to a new voting district,
- Almost 500 thousand were votes registering for the first time
- And of the new votes registrations 82 percent were under the age of 30 and approximately 54 percent were women.
- The province of Gauteng saw the most new registrations at 23.69 percent followed by Kwa-Zulu Natal with 18.78 percent and Limpopo with 17.03 percent.

9.4. The Eastern Cape had the highest level of registration at 87 percent, followed by the Free State at just over 82 percent and Kwa-Zulu Natal, Limpopo and Northern Cape 79 percent.  Gauteng’s overall registration at 67.3 percent.

9.5. The IEC reported that the voter’s roll now stands at 26 250 939 voters, which roughly equates to 75 percent of the eligible voting population based on Statistics South Africa voting age population estimates.

9.6. About 300 000 citizens who visited voting stations are among the almost 2.8 million voters for whom the IEC did not have an address going into the weekend.

9.7. An up-to-date and accurate voter’s role affirms the credibility of the voter’s role and strengthens our democracy by ensuring free, fair and credible elections.

9.8. Cabinet calls on all South Africans who were not able to visit their local voting station over the past weekend to visit their local IEC office to verify and complete their addresses. Alternatively the IEC’s online facility at and the app remains available 24 hours a day for registered votes to check and update their address details.

10. Well wishes for triathlete Mhlengi Gwala

10.1. Cabinet joins the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Ms Thokozile Xasa, in denouncing the barbaric act of violence against a young triathlete, Mhlengi Gwala, who was attacked with a chainsaw while cycling in KwaZulu-Natal.

10.2. Cabinet wishes the athlete a speedy recovery and extends a warm thank you to the medical team of St Augustine Hospital who are caring for him.

Crime has no place in our society and Cabinet calls on communities to work together with law-enforcement agencies to bring criminals to book.

11. Drought declared a national disaster

Under the leadership of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize, government has declared a national state of disaster to deal with the country’s drought and water crisis. Cabinet extends its appreciation to those in South Africa who continue to save water and the relentless efforts made by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Drought together with stakeholders in all spheres of government and society in dealing with the persistent drought conditions that have hit several parts of the country.

Apart from the fact that South Africa is a water-scarce country, Cabinet is assured that we remain a preferred choice of destination for tourists

B. Cabinet decisions

1. Cabinet approved that the Agreement Amending Annex 1 (Co-operation on Investment) of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Finance and Investment (FIP) be tabled in Parliament for ratification.

1.1. The purpose of the FIP is to harmonize financial and investment policies of Members States, so that they are consistent with the objectives of SADC. This will ensure that any changes to financial and investment policies in one Member State does not necessitate undesirable adjustments in other Member States.

1.2. The aim of the Amendments are to preserve the right of governments to regulate in the public interest and to balance the rights and obligations of investors and Governments.

2. Cabinet approved the tabling of the Revised and Renamed United Nations (UN) Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (“Nelson Mandela Rules”), in Parliament.

2.1. The renaming of the Standard Minimum Rules to “Nelson Mandela Rules” honours the legacy of our former President, who spent 27 years in prison.

2.2. There has also been a worldwide extension of the Nelson Mandela International Day scope, observed by UN Member States on 18 July, to promote humane conditions of imprisonment, raise awareness about prisoners being a part of society and value the work of prison staff as a social service.

2.3. The rules will assist South Africa to speed up the transformation towards a people’s developmental correctional system that is consistent with various international principles and guidelines.

C. Bills

1. Cabinet approved submission of the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill of 2018 into Parliament.
The Bill aims to create the offences of hate crimes and hate speech, and to put in place measures to prevent and combat these offences. It intends to address violence against persons on the basis of prejudice. It will also give effect to South Africa’s’ obligations in terms of international human rights instruments.

2. Cabinet approved for the iKamva National e-Skills Institute Bill, 2018 (iNeSI Bill) to be submitted to Parliament. The Bill provides for the establishment of iNeSI, as a legal entity with its own legislation to address e-skills (digital skills) capacity challenges in the country. Capacity development of e-Skills is seen as of the priority areas of Government in building an inclusive economy and to establish a capable and developmental state.

The institute (iNeSI) will act as a national catalytic collaborator and change agent, for the development of digital skills and organisational capacity in the country.

3. Cabinet approved for the introduction of the Hydrographic Bill of 2018 into Parliament. The Bill seeks to recognise and grant legislative status to the Office of the Hydrographer, which has been in existence in the Department of Defence (South African Navy) since the inception of hydrographic services in South Africa.

It will enable the Hydrographer of the South African Navy to be recognised as the National Hydrographer. It will ensure that the provision of hydrographic services is formalised and enacted into law. This is in line with the International Maritime Organisation and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, which is an international maritime treaty which sets minimum safety standards in the construction, equipment and operation of merchant ships.

D. Upcoming events

1. Human Rights Month/Day
The 2018 National Human Rights Month/Day commemorations will be held under the theme: “The year of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: promoting and deepening a human rights culture across society”.

The national event will take place on 21 March 2018 at George Thabe Cricket Pitch, Sharpeville in Vereeniging. Cabinet urges all sectors to pay homage to this national day, which celebrates South Africa’s human rights tradition and honours people such as Madiba who paid the ultimate price and sacrificed for the achievement of liberation and freedom that we enjoy today.

2. National Imbizo Focus Week

The National Imbizo Focus Week will take place from 9 to 15 April 2018 under the theme: “Together we move South Africa forward”. This year, the Mandela Centenary celebration forms a big part of the focus week, under the sub-theme: “Be the legacy”. The Executive will be engaging with communities in various parts of the country. The respective programmes of Ministers will be communicated in due course.

3. Youth employment 

3.1. President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to launch the pilot of the Youth Employment Services initiative at the Riversands hub in Diepsloot, on 27 March 2018. The initiative, in collaboration with the private sector, aims to empower one million young people over the next five years to become economically active, either as a member of the workforce or running their own businesses or finding their passion for further study.

4. Working visit to Mozambique and Zimbabwe

President Ramaphosa will undertake working visits to the Republic of Mozambique and Republic of Zimbabwe respectively on Saturday, 17 March 2018. The visits will mainly focus on strengthening bilateral relations with the abovementioned countries.

The President will also exchange views on peace and security matters in the region and the continent, and further deliberate on global issues of mutual interest.

E. Messages

1. Cabinet congratulates Ntsiki Biyela, South Africa’s first black woman winemaker who launched her own brand. With a degree in viticulture from Stellenbosch University plus 13 years working experience, her Aslina Wines will in 2018 sell 12 000 bottles in the USA, Germany, Taiwan, and Ghana.

2. Cabinet congratulates Caster Semenya on breaking the South African 1 000m record that stood for 35 years at the Athletix Grand Prix meeting held at Tuks in Pretoria. Our golden girl won the race in a time of 2:35:44, beating the old record set in 1983 by Ilze Wicksell by almost two seconds. Cabinet also commends Semenya for fulfilling her long-held goal to get a university degree, when she completed her Diploma in Sports Science at the North-West University in Potchefstroom.

3. Cabinet expresses condolences to the friends and family of Honourable Member of Parliament, Loliwe Fazeka who was killed in a car crash in the Eastern Cape, last week.

4. Cabinet also sends condolences to the loved ones of South Africa’s Ambassador to Sweden, Ms Faith Radebe who passed on Tuesday the 13th March 2018. She was previously the Inspector General of Intelligence in South Africa.

F.  Appointments
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
1.    Dr Philemon Mjwara as Director-General at the Department of Science and Technology for an extended contract period of three years, commencing on
1 April 2018.
2.    Ms Memme Sejosengwe as Secretary-General at the Office of the Chief Justice for an extended contract period of three years, effective from 1 April 2018.
3.    Ms Thuli E Radebe, as Executive Director at the Centre of Public Service Innovation for an extended contract period of six months.
4.    Mr Thilivhali Archibald Ramawa as the Chief Financial Officer of the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa.
5.    Board of Sentech SOC Limited:
a.    Mr Magatho Mello (reappointment as non-executive director and Chairperson);
b.    Mr Lumko Mtimde (reappointment as non-executive director);
c.    Dr Sandile Malinga (non-executive director); and
d.    Ms Elizabeth Malaka (non-executive director).
6.    Board of Broadband Infraco:
a.    Mr Mandla Ngcobo (reappointment as non-executive director and Chairperson);
b.    Ms Nokuthula Selamolela (reappointment as non-executive director);
c.    Mr Gift Mphefu (non-executive director);
d.    Ms Zandile Matilda Kabini (non-executive director); and
e.    Ms Jennifer Schreiner (non-executive director).
7.    Board of the SAPO:
a.    Mr Comfort Ngidi (reappointment as Chairperson);
b.    Ms Nomahlubi Simamane (reappointment as Deputy Chairperson);
c.    Adv Juliana Galetlane Rasethaba (non-executive director); and
d.    Dr Charles Nwaila (non-executive director).

Ms Phumla Williams – Acting Cabinet Spokesperson (GCIS)
Cell: 083 501 0139

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