Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 26 June 2019
Cabinet met on Wednesday, 26 June 2019 at Tuynhuys in Cape Town.
A. Issues in the environment
1. State of the Nation Address (SoNA)
1.1. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s first SoNA of the sixth democratic administration last week, inspired and galvanized all South Africans to work towards a shared prosperous future. SoNA 2019 charts the course for the implementation of the electoral mandate received by the governing party from our people.
1.2. This sets out how working together, we will improve the lives of South Africans and grow the economy for our country, by addressing the persistent realities of unemployment, poverty and inequality. President Ramaphosa’s call for a new social compact requires the contribution of all South Africans working together to overcome our challenges and place the country on a path of greater growth.
1.3. This includes expanding the industrial sector, strengthening the mining industry, supporting the agricultural sector, improving the skills base of our youth and making it easier for tourists to visit the country. As South Africans, we must continue to encourage and support local industries and buy local products.
1.4. The hard work that government will undertake is anchored in seven key priorities that it will pursue over the next five years, and give effect to the National Development Plan (NDP) and our drive to attain Vision 2030.
1.5. The debate on SoNA has highlighted the significance of us repairing the economy and repairing the broken parts of our state machinery in the implementation of the electoral mandate. This will lead us to achieve the South Africa we want and the South Africa of our dreams as encapsulated in Vision 2030 of the NDP.
1.6. Cabinet calls on all social partners, business, labour, civil society and political formations, to reinforce their collaborative efforts in making our country a better place for all and take shared responsibility for accelerating the country’s growth trajectory.
1.7. On our part as government we will redouble and triple our endeavours as directed by the President to remove an impediments to the growth of our economy and build the capacity of our state organs to deliver to our people. During July, respective Ministers will table their Budget Vote statements, in which practical plans will further be unveiled in order to realise the vision that the President has put before the nation.
2. Youth Month
2.1. The June Youth Month is a stark reminder of the role played by our youth in creating conditions that led to our freedom. The President’s SoNA puts the growing of the economy and the creation of jobs for our young people at the epicentre of the Sixth administration’s work. The President engaged with various sectors of young people including those living with disabilities, youth in business, in the arts environment and academia prior to his SoNA organised by the National Youth Development Agency under the theme: “25 years of democracy – celebrating youth activism”. This Presidential Youth Dialogue reaffirmed the continued difficulties and challenges faced by our youth that needs urgent intervention by our government.
2.2. In this regard we want to confirm that various government programmes, including the Department of Basic Education’s Second Chance Programme, the National Youth Service and the Youth Employment Service initiative, go a long way in preparing our youth for the work environment.
2.3. We nonetheless need to double and triple our efforts as a country in creating the much needed jobs for our young people. For us to do so it is incumbent upon us to ignite the growth of our economy as directed by our President. We know it will not be easy, we know there will not be quick solutions turning around the economy but we also know that it must be done for the sake of our country and our youth.
2.4. Cabinet calls on all sectors to take their cue from the President and to actively engage young people in working together to find practical solutions to challenges they experience. We will also do our part in improving the performance of our economy to create jobs for our young people.
3. Reconfiguration of government
3.1. South Africans have given this sixth administration a clear mandate to accelerate inclusive economic growth, act with greater urgency to tackle poverty, improve government services, fight corruption and end state capture.
3.2. Cabinet confirms that the macro reorganization of government will streamline and improve service delivery to our people through a seamless, cost-effective and efficient government that is more responsive to the needs of South Africans.
4. Trade agreements
4.1. Cabinet welcomed the signing of ninety-three (93) agreements between South African suppliers and Chinese companies, to buy local products for export to China, with a contract value calculated at R27 billion, which will strengthen growth and the creation of jobs.
In addition to that, one of the agreements signed was an investment agreement that covers the Beijing Auto Industrial Cooperation’s investment in the auto-manufacturing plant in the industrial development zone of Coega. It is an investment to build vehicles in South Africa for the South African market but also for markets elsewhere. These deals are part of commitments which came out of the existing comprehensive strategic partnership agreement of 2010, and the eight major commitments made at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
5. Quarterly employment statistics
5.1. The Statistics South Africa released the Quarterly Employment Survey for the first quarter of 2019 in the past week.
5.2. Findings show an increase of 22 000 jobs (+0.2%) from 10 152 000 to 10 174 000 in the formal non-agricultural business sector. This was largely due to increases in the following industries: community services, mining and quarrying, manufacturing and business services.
5.3. Total employment increased by 76 000 or 0,8% year-on-year between March 2018 and March 2019.
5.4. Cabinet notes this favourable development but remains convinced that there is still a long way to go to improve the performance of all sectors of our economy and create the much needed jobs in our country. To this end Cabinet commits to work with all sectors of our South African society including the private sector.
6. Tax Season
6.1. The revenue generated from income tax ensures government has the capacity to provide much-needed services and social support to millions of less fortunate communities.
6.2. Cabinet encourages South Africans to prepare their tax submission for the 2018/19 tax season. Appropriate and efficient revenue collection enables government to ensure fiscal sovereignty.
6.3. Taxpayers who are registered for eFiling or use the new South African Revenue Service’s MobiApp can file their income tax returns from 1 July 2019. South Africans who earn less than R500 000 per year and meet certain other criteria, do not need to file tax returns.
7. Crime fighting
7.1. Cabinet has noted with concern the spate of the killing of members from law-enforcement officers. In September 2018, twenty-eight (28) members of the police were reported to have been killed. Since the beginning of 2019, twenty-six (26) police officers have been killed.
7.2. The most recent cases being that of Sergeant Zephania Dladla, Constable Nomasonto Mhlanga and Constable Nhlamulo Vukeya. Cabinet extends its deepest condolences to their families, friends and colleagues.
7.3. Cabinet condemns in the strongest possible terms these attacks and killings. Police officers risk their lives to protect our communities. We all have to work together with law-enforcement agencies to ensure that perpetrators of these heinous crimes are arrested and face the full might of the law.
7.4. Cabinet commends the justice system that has resulted in nine perpetrators of these crimes being handed life sentences, in this year alone.
8. Mozambique Border shooting incident
8.1. Cabinet noted that the South African Government has sent a high-level team to Mozambique following a shooting incident in which two Mozambican police officers died on the KwaZulu-Natal border.
8.2. The team comprises members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and South African Police Service (SAPS), and will meet with their Mozambican counterparts. They are led by SANDF Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant-General Barney Hlatshwayo and SAPS Deputy National Commissioner Lieutenant-General Sehlahle Masemola.
8.3. The team is on a fact-finding mission into the shooting incident. They are expected to, amongst others, discuss a joint investigation team between Mozambique and South Africa.
8.4. Cabinet request all South Africans to await the conclusion and outcomes of this joint investigation. We remain committed to working with the government of Mozambique as a good neighbour in improving the well-being of all our citizens.
9. International Labour Organisation Conference
9.1. Cabinet welcomes the participation of President Ramaphosa in the 108th (Centenary) Session of the International Labour Conference held between 10 and 21 June 2019. The President formally submitted the report of the Global Commission on the Future of Work, that he co-chaired with the Prime Minister of Sweden, H.E. Stephan Lofven, to the conference.
9.2. The Minister of Employment and Labour, Mr Thulas Nxesi, accompanied the President and also led the tripartite delegation that participated in different committees of the conference and plenary discussions that discussed the report of the International Labour Organisation’s Director-General.
9.3. Important outcomes of the conference included a joint Centenary Declaration of the parties. In addition, the conference adopted a new Convention on Violence and Harassment in the Workplace designed to enhance the protection of vulnerable workers. These outcomes are important in setting international benchmarks and guidelines to raise and defend labour rights and standards.
B. Cabinet decisions
1. 12th Extraordinary Summit
1.1. Cabinet was briefed on the 12th Extraordinary Summit to launch the operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the First Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the African Union (AU) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs).
1.2. President Ramaphosa is scheduled to lead the South African delegation when the 12th Extraordinary Summit is held on 7 July 2019 in Niamey, Niger.
1.3. South Africa will take over the Chairship of AU at a seminal moment when the continent will be implementing the AfCFTA, which will make Africa the biggest common market in the world. The AfCFTA will boost intra-Africa trade, reignite industrialisation, and pave the way for the meaningful integration of Africa into global value-chains and the global economy in general.
1.4. South Africa remains committed to the African Agenda, and supports regional economic and political integration. This includes the strengthening of coordination between the AU Commission and the RECs to achieve sustainable development in a peaceful and stable Africa as envisaged in Agenda 2063.
1.5. South Africa is fully committed to the AfCFTA process in view of its strategic importance in the economic integration agenda of the African continent and South Africa’s developmental agenda.
2. 2021 Municipal Elections
2.1. In preparation for the 2021 Municipal Elections, Cabinet approved the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Municipal Elections, as well as a technical forum for its support.
2.2. The 2021 Municipal Elections will be the fifth such elections since the advent of democracy. The IMC will work with the Independent Electoral Commission and other relevant bodies towards ensuring that the process leading to the local government elections unfolds with ease.
2.3. Members of the IMC will comprise the following Ministers: Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Chairperson); Home Affairs; Justice and Correctional Services; Finance; State Security and Minister in The Presidency. The Technical Support team will be the Directors-General from the same departments.
C. Upcoming events
1. Group of Twenty (G20) Leaders’ Summit
1.1. President Ramaphosa is leading the South African delegation – comprising the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor; Minister of Finance, Mr Tito Mboweni, and Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Ebrahim Patel – that will participate in the 2019 G20 Leaders’ Summit.
1.2. President Cyril Ramaphosa will also lead a delegation of officials and South African business executives in a roundtable discussion with leading Japanese business executives. The roundtable will aim to promote awareness of opportunities for trade and investment in South Africa, address the concerns of potential Japanese business partners, and identify and develop potential trade and investment leads.
1.3. The roundtable is being executed in partnership with the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU), a leading American international business foundation, and the Japanese External Trade Organisation (Jetro).
1.4. The roundtable is viewed in tandem with a future event, to take place on the margins of the Tokyo International Conference on Africa’s Development (TICAD) to be held from 28 to 30 August 2019 in Yokohama, Japan. Japan is South Africa’s fifth largest export partner and ninth largest import partner.
1.5. South Africa’s participation is guided by the following key pillars: Advancing national interest to attain domestic objectives; Enhancing the African Agenda and promoting Africa’s sustained development; Influencing the global multilateral architecture; and Advancing the agenda of the South through strengthening South-South Cooperation and North-South Dialogue.
2. Mandela Month
2.1. As we approach the 10th anniversary of Nelson Mandela International Day in July, Cabinet calls on all South Africans to use the month to uphold the legacy of Madiba, under the theme: “Take Action, Inspire change, Make every day a Mandela Day”, by taking collective action against poverty.
2.2. South Africans can participate in active citizenship by joining their communities and various organisations that will undertake initiatives to eradicate hunger and homelessness, build safer communities and ensure that children have access to education.
2.3. Let us all participate in this global initiative named after one of our iconic leaders and build sustainable programmes that last beyond the month of July. Let us take action, inspire change and make every day a Mandela Day
1.1. Cabinet sends heartfelt condolences to all bereaved families and friends who lost loved ones due to road carnages. From the accident on the R81 in Maphalle, Limpopo that saw many young lives lost, to the consistent road carnage being experienced by South Africans across the country. Cabinet appeals to all road users to obey the rules of the road, which requires vigilance and considerate behaviour to other road users.
Cabinet commended the following:
2.1. The women’s national team, Banyana Banyana, for flying the flag high in their maiden FIFA Women’s World Cup appearance.
2.2. Mr Botha Msila, a South African sports fan, who has arrived in Egypt in time for the start of the opening of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. Mr Msila, who mainly hitch-hiked from Cape Town, was assisted by sports broadcaster, Mr Robert Marawa, to secure a flight from Kenya to Cairo to support Bafana Bafana.
2.3. South African singer and songwriter Ms Sho Madjozi, who won the Best New International Act Award at the 2019 BET Awards in Los Angeles, USA.
2.4. A team of six South African undergraduate students (from the University of Cape Town and the University of the Witwatersrand) who won first prize against 13 teams at the International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, Germany.
The team was under the supervision of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s Centre for High Performance Computing, which is an initiative of the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology, and is one of the three pillars of South Africa’s cyberinfrastructure system.
2.5. The Junior Springboks, whose fighting spirit led to them claiming the bronze medal at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship.
Cabinet wished the following all the best:
2.6. The men’s national team, Bafana Bafana, in the 2019 African Nations Cup in Egypt.
2.7. The Proteas national netball team, as they compete in the Netball World Cup taking place in Liverpool, England, from 12 to 21 July 2019. The national netball team currently tops the ranking in Africa and ranks fifth in terms of world rankings. The Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, has accompanied the Proteas to both support the team as well as to receive the handover as South Africa prepares to host the 16th Netball World Cup in 2023.
Enquiries: Ms Phumla Williams – Acting Cabinet Spokesperson
Mobile: 083 501 0139
27 June 2019