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Statement on the Cabinet meeting of 24 May 2017

1. Issues in the environment

1.1 Cabinet is concerned with the rising incidences of abuse and violence against women in our society. Recent incidents involving intimate partner violence have seen many brave and courageous women speaking out against this violation of their rights.

1.2 Cabinet acknowledges that as a country we continue to have a patriarchal society and as such calls for more to be done to fight the scourge of femicide and human trafficking.

1.3 Cabinet calls on all sectors of society to join hands in defeating this scourge, oppose any form of violence committed against women and children, and work with the police and justice system in order to bring perpetrators to justice.

1.4 President Jacob Zuma has called for a stop to the continued abuse of women and children. Cabinet has instructed the Social Protection, Community and Human Development Cluster to put in place a programme of action that will drive the country in the fight to stop the abuse of women and children.

1.5 Cabinet welcomes the results of the 2016 South African Demographic and Health Survey by Statistics South Africa, which measures the health status of South Africans, and the reach and quality of health programmes. The survey amongst others reports a 20% drop in infant mortality and a 11% drop in the number of women and men who smoke tobacco.

The results demonstrate that the policy interventions that were put in place by President Zuma’s administration are yielding positive results.

Cabinet, however, is concerned about the number of South Africans that still continues to engage in unprotected sex with multiple partners. Some 32% and 42% of women and men respectively indicated that they have never been tested for HIV despite government efforts to raise awareness on HIV testing.

Cabinet calls on all South Africans to take personal responsibility for their health and well-being, practice safe sex and get tested regularly for HIV and all communicable and non-communicable diseases.

1.6 Cabinet calls on parents and guardians to ensure their children are vaccinated against childhood diseases. Cabinet remains committed to ensuring children are immunised to eliminate life threatening infectious diseases. Cabinet reassures parents and guardians that the drugs administered by the Department Health are safe.

1.7 Cabinet welcomed the first phase of the revitalised Vulindlela Heights Industrial in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. This is part of the country’s Revitalisation of Industrial Parks Programme. It is the second of its kind in the Eastern Cape and one of six parks being revitalised across the country.

Government is revitalising industrial parks to boost job creation and ensure inclusive growth. The move of economic activities away from urban centres is also part of government’s economic transformation efforts.

Information on how to take advantage of opportunities available at our industrial parks, access government support and incentives programmes, and investment opportunities in various sectors is available at www.thedti.gov.za or through the Department of Trade and Industry’s (the dti) Customer Contact Centre on 0861 843 384.

1.8 Cabinet has noted with regret the decision by General Motors South Africa (GMSA) (Pty) Ltd to phase out the manufacturing and sale of Chevrolet vehicles in the country.

This holds dire consequences for those who will lose their job and for our economy.   

Government remains committed to support the country’s automotive sector, which is critical for the economy and job creation.

The dti continues to work with all stakeholders to mitigate the impact. To increase manufacturing, employment creation and export intensity, we recently launched the ninth phase of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) to guide our actions. Cabinet notes that Isuzu, which has been partnering with GMSA over the years in South Africa, will take over the operations from GMSA.

1.9 Cabinet has noted the deterioration of the drought situation in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape. Cabinet calls on the communities to support the water restrictions introduced by the provinces. A team comprising officials from the Department of Water and Sanitation, the National Disaster Management Committee working with the provinces and local government, had been actively engaged in ensuring that short to medium-term solutions are fast-tracked to guarantee the water security of the province in the long term.

Cabinet calls on all South Africans including domestic users, businesses, mining sector, energy and agriculture to work together and use water more sparingly

1.10 Cabinet welcomed the released Anti-Corruption Strategy discussion document, which will inform the National Anti-Corruption Strategy. Cabinet invites the public to make written inputs through the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation website: www.dpme.gov.za.

The fight against corruption remains one of the main priorities for government. Corruption and integrity failures in both the private and public sector have a detrimental effect on our country’s development.

1.11 Cabinet expressed concern at the recent global cyber-attack, which has been reported as the biggest cyber-attack to date.

Cabinet urges all South Africans to take the necessary precautions when using electronic means of communicating or transacting. The use of updated antivirus software which scans the environment frequently is also recommended.

1.12 Cabinet is concerned about the recent developments at Eskom. Cabinet appreciates that the matter regarding the re-employment of Mr Brian Molefe as the Chief Executive Officer of Eskom is before courts and in Parliament, and shall therefore respect these processes. 

The President has, however, set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) comprising the Ministers of Public Enterprises, Energy, Finance and Justice and Correctional Services. The IMC is asked to gather the facts in order to guide Cabinet on how to deal with such matters in future. The convenor is the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mr Michael Masutha.

2. Cabinet decisions

2.1 Cabinet approved the publication of the Reviewed Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Charter for the South African Mining and Minerals industry in 2017.

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane will provide a briefing once the charter has been gazetted.

2.2 Cabinet endorsed the approved National Radio Frequency Plan 2017 by the Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services. The allocation of spectrum by the World Radiocommunication Conference has a significant impact on the economic growth of South Africa.

The National Radio Frequency Plan 2017 is a comprehensive source of radio frequency spectrum allocation for different radio communication services. The revised National Radio Frequency Plan 2017 ensures South Africa is aligned with the approved International Radio Regulations that were adopted in the 2015 International Telecommunication Union conference.

2.3 Cabinet approved the Inland Waterways Safety Strategy. The strategy, through the South African Maritime Safety Authority, sets standards and enhances procedures for permitting and licensing arrangements for boats operating on inland waterways. This will ensure the safety of small vessels on South Africa’s inland waterways.

2.4 Cabinet approved the Road Freight Strategy. The strategy aims to create an integrated regulatory and operational framework, which will enable South Africa to achieve best international standards of road-freight operations.

The recommendations in this strategy will enhance the efficiency of enforcement, promote road safety, improve the protection of the infrastructure, reduce environmental impacts, and create an integrated framework of quality-regulated competition within which the road freight sector can continue to serve the needs of the South African economy.

2.5 Cabinet approved the South African Mint Company’s designs for the 2017 and 2018 numismatic commemorative and circulation coins.

In collaboration with Cabinet, a new series was developed that represents culture, freedom and democracy under the theme: “Celebrating South Africa”. The centenary of Struggle stalwart Oliver Reginald Tambo’s birth was chosen as the first subject to be depicted.

The introduction of the new R50 (1oz, sterling-silver) coin, R500 (1oz, 24-carat gold) coin and R50 (base metal alloy) coin celebrating the 100-year anniversary of OR Tambo’s birthdate.

2.5.1. Designs for the following 2017 and 2018 commemorative coin series have been developed:

2017 coin series: Oliver Reginald Tambo Centenary Celebration,
2017 circulation coin: R5 coin depicting the Order of the Companies of OR Tambo,
2017 Protea coin series: Life of a Legend – Nelson Mandela,
2017 R1 coin series: Reptiles of South Africa – the Puff Adder,
2018 UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Man and the Biosphere coin series: The Waterberg Biosphere Reserve,
2018 coin series: National Geographic Society ‘Big Cats Initiative’ – The Lion,
2018 coin: 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTM.

3. Upcoming events

3.1 Cabinet calls on all South Africans to support the Child Protection Week from 28 May to 4 June under the theme: “Let us all protect children to move South Africa forward”. The protection of our children is the duty and responsibility of all South Africans; parents, guardians, individuals and communities.

As a society we have a duty to do more to ensure the most vulnerable in our society do not suffer abuse. It is in our hands to stop the cycle of neglect, abuse, violence and exploitation of children.

Cabinet encourages all sectors of society to work together to create safer and healthier communities so that our children can thrive.

3.2 In the centenary celebration of OR Tambo, South Africa will mark Youth Month in June 2017 under the theme: “The Year of OR Tambo: Advancing Youth Economic Participation.”

Over the month government will host a number of engagements including youth expos, dialogues and youth entrepreneur hubs to showcase opportunities available to young people, and inspire them to instil the educational and leadership values of OR Tambo.

Cabinet encourages all young people to access the various support and educational programmes that government has made available to improve their prospects and advance their participation in the economy.

3.3 Cabinet calls on employers to contribute to the coming Take a Girl Child to Work on 25 May and 26 May. The purpose is to expose girls from Grade 10 to 12 learners to different career options.

3.4 President Zuma will on Thursday, 25 May 2017, host the national 2017 Africa Day celebration at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria. This is a culmination of activities and programmes marking Africa Month under the theme: “The Year of OR Tambo: Building a Better Africa and a Better World”. The annual commemoration of Africa Day marks the founding of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963.

As we end Africa Month, Cabinet calls on all South Africans to partner with our fellow Africans residing in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent to ensure the prosperity for our region and the rest of Africa.

It is also incumbent on all who reside within our borders, South Africans and foreign nationals alike to adhere to the laws of the country. Together we must fight the scourge of human trafficking, abductions, and the abuse of women and children.

4. Congratulatory messages

4.1 Cabinet congratulates the Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital medical team comprising of Prof Andre van der Merwe, Dr Alexander Zuhlke, Prof Rafique Moosa, Dr Amir Zarrabi and Dr Zamira Keyser. They recently performed a second penis transplant, making it the first medical centre in the world to successfully perform this procedure twice. The success of this procedure in the hands of our transplant team is testimony to the high level of skill and expertise that exists in the public health sector in South Africa.

4.2 Cabinet congratulated iSimangaliso Wetland Park for receiving the Audit Excellence Award at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) Public Sector Excellence Awards earlier this month. The award was in recognition of the Park receiving clean audits over five consecutive years.  iSimangaliso was declared South Africa’s first World Heritage Site in December 1999.

4.3 Cabinet congratulates the Working on Fire programme for receiving a plaque from the Alberta Government in Canada commemorating the assistance provided by the programme in managing wildfires in their Province in 2016.  Working on Fire is an Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) aimed at providing work opportunities to young men and women.

5. Condolences

5.1 Cabinet joins President Zuma and the international community in strongly condemning the terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena in Manchester in England, which resulted in the unfortunate deaths and injuries of numerous children and youth. 

Cabinet extends its condolences to the government and the people of the United Kingdom, in particular the families and loved ones of the deceased, and wishes the injured a speedy recovery. Acts of violence and extremism have no place in society and constitute a threat to peace, security and development. 

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