Statement on the virtual Cabinet Meeting of Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Statement on the virtual Cabinet Meeting of Wednesday, 5 August 2020

A. Focus on Corruption

1. Abuse of resources for Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) interventions

1.1. Cabinet reflected with disappointment on recent reports of acts of corruption and theft of the much-needed resources that government has allocated to save lives and livelihoods during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1.2. Some unscrupulous individuals and companies have been looting state resources that were meant to provide food to needy families and personal protective equipment (PPEs) to frontline officials, particularly healthcare workers.

1.3. Such criminal and immoral activities included inflating quoted prices, intercepting and redirecting food parcels meant for the poor, and acts of fraud involving funds designated to alleviate the hardships of employees and businesses affected by the shutting down of economic activities during the national lockdown.

1.4. Cabinet has called on all public institutions to uphold the highest standards of integrity and accountability, and fulfil their mandates effectively and efficiently. Cabinet remains committed to building a capable, ethical and developmental state. It supports the recent call by President Cyril Ramaphosa for law-enforcement agencies to do whatever they can to arrest those involved in corruption, irrespective of who they are and ensure they recover the looted funds.

1.5. Government has over the years introduced various interventions to fight against the scourge of corruption, which negatively affects the delivery of services to the poor and vulnerable.

1.6. The recently established special coordination centre aims to strengthen the collective efforts among law-enforcement agencies to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute COVID-related corruption. It comprises the Financial Intelligence Centre; Independent Police Investigative Directorate; National Prosecuting Authority; South African Police Service’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks), Crime Intelligence and Detective Service; South African Revenue Service; Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and the State Security Agency.

1.7. Allegations of corruption being investigated include the fraudulent distribution of food parcels, social relief grants, procurement of PPEs and other medical supplies, and the looting of the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s COVID-19 Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme.

1.8. To speed up and strengthen the process of dealing with corruption, President Ramaphosa recently signed a proclamation authorising the SIU to investigate any unlawful or improper conduct in the procurement of any goods, works and services during or related to the national state of disaster in any state institution.

The SIU is empowered to probe any allegations relating to the misuse of COVID-19 funds across all spheres of the State and institute civil proceedings to recover any damages or losses incurred by the State. To ensure that action is taken speedily, the President will receive interim reports on investigations every six weeks. He will also get reports from the Health Sector Anti-Corruption Forum that is tasked to investigate irregularities and maladministration in the health sector.

1.9. Cabinet also welcomes the amendments to the original regulations of the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector, including Organs of State. The amended regulations will now allow for the sharing of information by the commission with the other law-enforcement agencies. This will help to expedite the investigation and prosecution of corruption-related cases.

1.10. As part of strengthening these interventions, Cabinet also approved the setting up of a team of five Ministers to, amongst others, look into all COVID-19-related procurements made during the lockdown period and strengthen current procurement systems. The team comprises the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mr Ronald Lamola (Convenor); Minister of Finance, Mr Tito Mboweni, Minister of Public Service and Administration, Mr Senzo Mchunu, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Minister in The Presidency, Mr Jackson Mthembu.

1.11. All government departments will be expected to submit all procurement contracts awarded during this period to this ministerial team to be published and made accessible to the public.

1.12. Cabinet welcomes the announcement that at least 36 corruption-related cases are at various stages of investigation and prosecution. These cases send a strong message that government will not tolerate any acts of corruption, particularly among its officials, and that all perpetrators will be arrested and prosecuted.

1.13. Corruption is the biggest crime that robs the poor and deprives them of basic services. As a society, we are responsible for the fight against corruption and should expose it without fear or favour. Cabinet urges the public to use the different national and sectoral anti-corruption hotlines created to support efforts to expose and pursue corruption-related allegations.

B. Key Decisions

2. National Digital and Future Skills Strategy

2.1. Cabinet approved the publication of the National Digital and Future Skills Strategy. The strategy is the outcome of the White Paper on National Integrated Information and Technology that was published in September 2016.

2.2. The strategy responds to a coordinated framework to promote skills capacity for all sectors of the economy within the context of digital transformation and technological advancement of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It provides for a futuristic and collaborative implementation approach which will include the private sector, academia and society as a whole.

3. National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (NCCAS)

3.1 Cabinet approved the NCCAS for implementation. This strategy serves as the country’s National Adaptation Plan as required by the United Nations

Framework Convention on Climate Change. The National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (NCCAS) outlines a set of objectives, interventions an outcomes to enable our country to give expression to South Africa’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change.

3.2 The Strategy that was developed in consultation with government, the private sector and local communities is aimed at reducing the vulnerability of society, the economy and the environment to the effects of climate change. It also provides an integrated and coordinated approach to the management of adaptation measures in response to the impacts of climate change.

Now that it has been adopted, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries will co-ordinate all levels of government, business and civil society in implementation. The 10-year plan will be reviewed every five years.

4 Women’s Month Commemoration, August 2020

4.1 Cabinet approved the Women’s Month commemoration programme under the theme: “Realising women’s rights for an equal future”. This year’s Women’s Month focuses on a call to action to champion women’s rights and gender equality.

4.2 Government is committed to the fight to eradicate gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF). Cabinet this week approved three Bills for submission to Parliament, which will strengthen our justice system to support and protect victims of GBVF.

4.3 The month-long programme will enhance the mobilisation of women and strengthen organised formations of women towards a sustainable path of action on issues affecting them. On Sunday, 9 August 2020, President Ramaphosa will undertake a nationwide televised activity, together with a panel of guest speakers.

C. Bills

5 GBVF Bills approved

5.1 Cabinet approved the submission of the three GBV Bills – Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill of 2020; National Register for Sexual Offences) and the Domestic Violence Amendment Bill – to Parliament. These Bills respond to a number of issues raised during the Presidential Summit Against GBVF held in 2018 in respect of the criminal justice system.

5.2 The amendments provide a victim-centred response in the criminal justice system in respect of sexual offences. It tightens bail conditions for perpetrators of sexual offences. Warrants of arrest will no longer be a requirement prior to law-enforcement agencies responding to reported sexual crimes. Parole conditions are also strengthened and minimum sentences increased. The amendments also strengthen the consequences of contravening a protection order.

5.3 The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill also amends the National Register for Sex Offenders by broadening its scope from only children and mentally disabled persons, and extends it to protect all vulnerable groups. Persons who are in this register are compelled to disclose this information when they submit applications to work with these groups.

5.4 The Domestic Violence Amendment Bill facilitates the obtaining of protection orders against acts of domestic violence via electronic means. It obliges the Department of Social Development and Department of Health to provide certain services to victims of domestic violence and aligns the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, 1998 (Act 116 of 1998) with the provisions of the Protection from Harassment Act, 2011 (Act 17 of 2011).

6. Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill of 2020

6.1. Cabinet approved the submission to Parliament of the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill of 2020 for processing. The Bill gives effect to a Constitutional Court judgement that declared unconstitutional some parts of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act, 1992 (Act 140 of 1992) and Medicines and Related Substances Control Act, 1965 (Act 101 of 1965).

6.2. The judgement was suspended for 24 months to allow Parliament to correct those sections. This Bill regulates the use and possession of cannabis and the cultivation of cannabis plants by an adult for personal use. It provides the limit of the quantity of cannabis that may be possessed by an adult and criminalises the smoking of cannabis in public places.

7. Fund Raising Amendment Bill of 2017

7.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the Bill to Parliament. The Bill rationalizes the Fund-Raising Act, 1978 (Act 107 of 1978), by consolidating the existing three funds – Disaster Relief Fund, South African Defence Force Fund and Refugee Relief Fund – into one National Social Development and Relief Fund.

7.2. The fund will thereafter focus on proactive mitigations of disasters and promote the social development of communities. The consolidated fund will assist in streamlining the administrative processes, and enable efficient services to poor communities and reduce costs. It will consolidate the three boards into one board.

D. Appointments

All appointments are subject to security and qualification verification.

8.1. South African Police Service

a. Brigadier Ebrahim Ahmed Kadwa – Gauteng Provincial Head: Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI); and
b. Brigadier Moiki Obed Ngwenya – Eastern Cape Provincial Head: DPCI.

8.2. Mr Collins Letsoalo – Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Road Accident Fund.

8.3. Non-executive members to the Board of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency:

a. Ms Bongekile Zulu (Chairperson);
b. Mr Tshikane Owen Mtsetweni;
c. Dr Prittish Dala;
d. Ms Dorcas Khosa-Shikwambana; and
e. Mr Bonolo Molemo Ramokhele.

8.4. Non-executive directors to the Airports Company South Africa Board:

a. Ms Dudu Hlatshwayo; and
b. Dr Kgabo Badimo.

8.5. Non-executive members to the Railway Safety Regulator Board:

a. Mr Boy Johannes Nobunga; (Chairperson);
b. Ms Yongama Pamla (Deputy Chairperson);
c. Mr Sisa Lunga Mtwa;
d. Adv Nokuzola Gloria Khumalo;
e. Ms Nompumelelo Ekeke;
f. Ms Dineo Mathibedi;
g. Ms Salome Chiloane-Nwabueze;
h. Adv Frans Johannes van der Westhuizen; and
i. Adv Johannes Collen Weapond.

8.6. Mr Khathutshelo Ramukumba – Chief Financial Officer of the South African Post Office.

8.7. Mr Mlamli Booi – CEO of SENTECH SOC Limited (Reappointment).

8.8. Dr Mzubanzi Bismark Tyobeka – CEO of the National Nuclear Regulator (Reappointment).

8.9. National Nuclear Regulator Board:

c. Dr Thapelo Motshudi (Chairperson);
d. Ms Dineo Peta (Deputy Chairperson);
e. Mr Protas Phili;
f. Ms Devinagie Bendeman;
g. Dr Nomusa Qunta;
h. Mr Bernard Pelei Petlane;
i. Mr David Mamphitha; and
j. Ms Lindelwa Dlamini.

8.10. Board of Directors to the National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute:

a. Ms Thandeka Zungu (Chairperson);
b. Mr Mogwera Khoathane (Deputy Chairperson);
c. Dr Kgaugelo Chiloane;
d. Dr Cornelius Ruiters;
e. Ms Leandra Vilakazi;
f. Ms Lerato Makgae (Department of Mineral Resources and Energy); and
g. Mr Trevor Mark Gordon (Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries).

8.11. Extension: Term of Office for the Interim Board of Directors of the Small Enterprise Finance Agency:

a. Mr AM Mahosi (Chairperson);
b. Mr M Radebe (Deputy Chairperson);
c. Mr J Kganyago;
d. Ms N Dlamini;
e. Ms NR Mlonzi;
f. Ms DL Mabuza;
g. Ms M Makara; and
h. Industrial Development Corporation representative.

8.12. Mr Mlindi Mashologu – Deputy Director-General (DDG):  Information Society Development and Research, Department of Communications and Digital Technologies.

8.13. Ms Thabitha Constance Mametja – DDG: Corporate Services, Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

Enquiries: Ms Phumla Williams – Cabinet Spokesperson
Mobile: 083 501 0139

Issued by: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)

6 August 2020