Statement on virtual Cabinet Meeting of 14 September 2021
Statement on the virtual Special Cabinet Meeting of Tuesday, 14 September 2021. The virtual Special Cabinet Meeting was held before the commencement of the Cabinet Lekgotla.
A. CABINET DECISIONS
1. Extension of the Hydrogen Society Roadmap (HSRM)
1.1. Cabinet approved the extension of the HSRM for the next 10 years. The HSRM gives effect to the Hydrogen South Africa Strategy that was approved by Cabinet in 2007 to prepare the country for a hydrogen economy. The HSRM builds on what has been achieved in the past 10 years to prepare South Africa to move from research and development to manufacturing and commercialisation.
1.2. The HSRM effectively integrates all hydrogen-related technologies in various sectors of the economy and also fosters an inclusive economic growth. It positions South Africa as a destination with sustainable hydrogen economic capability and to also expand export markets on hydrogen technologies.
1.3. Local manufacturing of hydrogen products and components will contribute towards job creation and skills development, and also enhance economic transformation that will benefit the previously marginalised sector of society, particularly women and youth.
1.4. The HSRM also provides interventions that will contribute towards the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It will amongst others enhance the provision of renewable energy to the main electricity grid and it proposes interventions in the Heavy-Duty Transport sector, which is one of the contributors in GHG emissions.
1.5. The roadmap went through extensive consultation with all relevant stakeholders, including government departments, academia, private sector and science councils. It provides a coordination framework to ensure an integration of all hydrogen-related technologies and skills development for the country. The document will be made accessible through the Department of Science and Innovation website: www.dst.gov.za.
2. Amended Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM)
2.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the amended CPPNM to Parliament for approval, in terms of Section 231(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996, which states that: “An international agreement binds the Republic only after it has been approved by resolution in both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces”.
2.2. The amendments made by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) strengthen the global minimum physical protection of facilities and nuclear material used for peaceful purposes. As a member of the IAEA, South Africa had signed this convention and subsequently ratified it in 2007.
2.3. The amendments to the convention strengthens the national security of the member states, including the physical protection requirements for nuclear facilities and material.
2.4. It provides a list of offences such as the import and export of nuclear material without prior authorisation. It enhances cooperation amongst member states in the sharing of information in respect of illegal activities on nuclear material.
3. Replacement of SAFARI-1 nuclear research reactor
3.1. Cabinet approved the setting up of the multi-purpose nuclear reactor project to replace the current SAFARI-1 nuclear research reactor owned by the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA). The reactor has been in operation from 1965 and its lifespan is due to end in 2030.
3.2. SAFARI-1 is one of the four leading producers of medical radioisotopes in the world used to treat millions of patients annually. It also provides the country with support in science research, development and innovation in medicine, agriculture, palaeontology and bioscience.
3.3. The replacement will ensure South Africa remains one of the leading countries in these fields and benefit from the new technologies in this environment. The project will be led by a number of related departments and NECSA as the main client.
4. South Africa’s 4th Biennial Update Report
4.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the country’s 4th Biennial Update Report – which provides an update on the country’s efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change – to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
4.2. The report outlines the policies implemented as well as the measures and actions undertaken by the country to reduce GHG emissions. It also provides an update on the transitioning interventions towards a lower carbon economy guided by the National Climate Change Response Policy White Paper.
4.3. South Africa has made a commitment to contribute fairly to the global efforts to stabilise GHG emissions within the country’s developmental priorities. As a signatory to the UNFCCC, South Africa is expected to submit these updated reports regularly.
5. Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC)
5.1. Cabinet approved South Africa’s revised NDC climate change mitigation target range for 2030 for submission to the UNFCCC. South Africa has revised its target range for 2025 to 398 to 510 and for 2030 to 350 – 420 Metric tons of Carbon Dioxide equivalent (Mt Co2-eq).
5.2. Under the Paris Agreement all parties are required to deposit NDCs every five years. South Africa deposited its first NDC with the UNFCCC in October 2015, committing to keep national GHG emissions within a range from 398 to 614 Mt CO2-eq for 2025 and 2030. The Paris Agreement also seeks to lower the global temperatures to well below two degrees Celsius and pursue efforts to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
5.3. All parties were expected to update their 2015 targets in 2020 to ensure they are aligned to the latest science. The revised target range takes into account the latest reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and is aligned with all the stakeholders that contribute towards the country’s efforts.
1. Marine Pollution (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Amendment Bill of 2021
1.1. Cabinet approved the Marine Pollution (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Amendment Bill of 2021 for submission to Parliament. The Amendment Bill seeks to amend the Marine Pollution (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act, 1986 (Act 2 of 1986) and align it to the revised International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).
1.2. South Africa is a signatory to MARPOL, the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes.
1.3. The Amendment Bill will contribute towards the preservation of the marine environment by eliminating pollution of the sea by ships dispensing oil and harmful substances.
1.4. It also proposes that ships should use fuel with no more than 0,50% sulphur content or use approved fuel treatment systems.
2. Companies Amendment Bill of 2021
2.1. Cabinet approved the publication of the Companies Amendment Bill of 2021 for public comment. The Bill amends the Companies Act, 2008 (Act 71 of 2008). Cabinet approved the current Bill for public consultation in August 2018 and the outcome thereof led to the redrafting of the amendments.
2.2. The revised amendments provide more clarity in a number of clauses of the Bill, which seeks to reduce regulatory regime on businesses; tighten anti-money laundering gaps; strengthen the disclosure requirements and enhance the shareholder powers in a company.
3. National Climate Change Bill
3.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the National Climate Change Bill to Parliament. The Bill seeks to provide a legal instrument towards the implementation of the National Climate Change Response Policy.
3.2. It allows for the alignment of policies that will influence the country’s climate change response. It also provides for the transitional arrangement for the country to move towards a lower carbon and climate-resilient economy.
3.3. The Bill has already gone through an extensive public consultation process involving relevant stakeholders.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
1. Mr Smunda Mokoena as Chairperson of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa.
2. Dr Margaret Mkhosi-Motsaathebe as Chief Executive Officer of the National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute.
Ms Phumla Williams – Cabinet Spokesperson
Cell: 083 501 0139
20 September 2021