Statement on virtual Cabinet Meeting of 18 November 2020

Statement on virtual Cabinet Meeting of 18 November 2020

A. Issues in the environment

1. 12th Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Summit

1.1. Cabinet welcomed the outcomes of the 12th BRICS Summit which, was led by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Hosted by President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation, the summit deliberated on the BRICS partnership for global stability, shared security and innovative growth.

1.2. The outcomes included the adoption of a revised Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership (2020-2025) and the adoption of the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The Moscow Declaration adopted at the end of the summit expressed, among other issues, support for the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and the efforts towards intensified integration and development in the continent, including implementation of the Agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area.

1.3. The summit also noted progress achieved by the AU in addressing infrastructure gaps, particularly within the framework of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, and the importance of promoting investments to support industrial development, create jobs, ensure food security, fight poverty and provide for Africa’s sustainable development.

2. Working Visit by the President of Malawi

2.1. Cabinet welcomed the recent successful Working Visit to South Africa by members of the Malawian Government led by President Lazarus Chakwera. The meeting between Presidents Chakwera and Ramaphosa discussed bilateral, regional and continental matters of mutual interest.

2.2. South Africa remains committed to deepening and strengthening relations with Malawi through expanded trade and investment with a goal of achieving decent livelihoods in both countries. The two countries have cordial relations dating back many decades.

2.3. Cabinet was also briefed on the issue of Mr Shepherd and Mrs Mary Bushiri, who fled to Malawi while out on bail of R200 000 each following charges of fraud and money-laundering.

2.4. Cabinet was satisfied with the manner in which the Justice, Crime Prevention and Safety Cluster has handled the matter and the cluster will update the public on the developments regarding this matter. Extradition processes have been initiated.

3. Municipal by-elections

3.1. Cabinet commends the Independent Electoral Commission for the successful by- elections, held in 95 wards across 55 municipalities on Wednesday, 11 November 2020. Municipal elections remain a pillar of sharpening our democracy at district and municipal levels.

3.2. Cabinet thanked all South Africans who took part in the by-elections, which were the first time after election activities were suspended in March owing to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

4. Five national days of mourning

4.1. Cabinet has urged South Africans to take part in the five days of mourning to remember those who have lost their lives to COVID-19 and gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF). All national flags will fly at half-mast during five days of mourning starting from Wednesday, 25 November to Sunday, 29 November 2020.

4.2. In a united move to honour and remember all those who have succumbed to COVID-19 and GBVF, all citizens are encouraged to wear attires and ornaments which symbolise mourning based on their culture, tradition and religious belief.

5. Signing of Sugar Master Plan

5.1. Cabinet welcomed the signed Sugar Industry Master Plan by Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza and the sugar industry sector. The Sugar Master Plan seeks to take urgent action to protect thousands of jobs, rural livelihoods and businesses, and at the same time create a bold new ambition for the future, which seeks to create diversified revenue streams for sugar producers, and deliver significant new job opportunities.

5.2. The sugar industry is a critical employer of workers and a source of livelihood for large numbers of rural communities.

B. Cabinet decisions

1. National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS)

1.1. Cabinet approved the NACS which provides a nationwide intervention framework. The strategy is the culmination of a countrywide consultation with various sectors, including business, government and civil society. The NACS Reference Group, comprising civil society, academia, business and government representatives, supported the compilation of this strategy.

1.2. The NACS covers six pillars, which include promoting and encouraging active citizenry, whistle-blowing, integrity and transparency; advancing the professionalization of employees, enhancing governance in institutions, and strengthening resourcing and coordination of performance and accountability.

1.3. The strategy also proposes and interim National Anti-Corruption Advisory Council as a structural arrangement to ensure greater monitoring, accountability and transparency. This interim structure will commence a process to set up an independent overarching statutory structure that will report directly to Parliament.

2. National Protected Areas Expansion Strategy (NPAES)

2.1. Cabinet approved the revised NPAES for implementation. The strategy was approved for public consultation in November 2018. These consultations resulted in a number of revised inputs being added in the nine chapters of this strategy.

2.2. South Africa is one of the richest countries in terms of plants and animal diversity. It is listed as one of the world’s top three mega diverse nations. Managing and conserving these essential biodiverse elements also contributes to creating jobs through tourism and nature conservation programmes, and also serves as places of scientific research.

3. Revised National Biodiversity Framework (NBF)

3.1. Cabinet approved the publication of the NBF for public comment. This is a sectoral plan of action to address the biodiversity threats identified during the scientific assessment of the state of biodiversity and ecosystems in South Africa done by the South African National Biodiversity Institute in 2019.

3.2. The most critical areas in the assessment report relates to fresh water ecosystems, rivers and estuaries with fresh water fish being the most vulnerable of all the species.

4. Commercial Forestry Sector (CFS) Master Plan for South Africa (2020-2025)

4.1. Cabinet approved the implementation of CFS Master Plan, which has been agreed upon by the industry, government and labour. The plan balances environmental, economic and social benefit from the forestry resources.

4.2. It captures seven key focus areas: (a) expansion of the forestry resource and maintenance/protection, (b) transformation of the sector, (c) value addition and processing, (d) timber theft and illegal activities, (e) research, development, innovation and skills development, (f) key inhibitors to the growth of the sector and (g) institutional development.

5. A national implementation framework towards the professionalization of the Public Service

5.1. Cabinet approved publication of the draft national implementation framework towards the professionalization of the Public Service. This is in line with the commitment made by the sixth administration to create a capable, ethical and developmental Public Service.

5.2. The framework proposes five critical professionalization pillars which will be led by the National School of Government (NSG), in partnership with various institutions of learning. The five pillars include pre-entry recruitment and selection within the Public service; induction and onboarding; planning and performance management; continuous learning and professional development, and career progression and career incidents.

6. Policy proposals to amend Public Service Administration Management Act (PAMA) of 2014 and Public Service Act (PSA) of 1994

6.1. Cabinet has approved policy proposals that seek to amend the PAMA, 2014 (Act 11 of 2014) and the PSA, 1994 (Act 103 of 1994). Among other things, they propose a move towards a single Public Service, retention of the status of the NSG as a national department and clarify the role of the Office of Health Standards Compliance in respect of mechanisms for the coordination of norms and standards in the public administration.

6.2. The policy proposals for the PSA include clarifying the heads of department in the Office of the Premier and The Presidency, and also correct some of the issues occasioned by the court judgements.

6.3. The amendments are premised on furthering the Single Public Administration initiative and also give effect to the policy reforms envisaged in the National Development Plan to build a professional public service.

6.4. The Single Public Administration initiative is underpinned by the principle to ensure efficient, quality, collaborative and accountable service delivery.

7. Official Identity Management Policy

7.1. Cabinet approved the Official Identity Management Policy to be released for public comment. The policy proposes a number of changes, including amending the Identification Act, 1997 (Act 68 of 1997) and Alteration of Sex Description and Sex Status Act, Act 40 of 2003) to align them with the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act of 1996 and the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (Act 4 of 2013.

7.2. It also proposes the integration of the National Population Register to enable a single view of a person with features to interface with other government and private sector identity management systems. It will integrate the current systems into a biometric- enabled National Identity System. The new proposed population register will form the basis of an official e-identity which will serve as the backbone of state and private digital platforms.

8. Protocol to the Constitutive Act of the AU Relating to the Pan-African Parliament (PAP)

8.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the Protocol to the Constitutive Act of the AU to the PAP for ratification. To give effect to this protocol, member states need to ratify them through their respective parliaments. South Africa hosts the PAP, which is the legislative arm of the AU.

C. Bills

1. National Small Enterprise Amendment (NSEA) Bill of 2020

1.1. Cabinet approved the publishing of the NSEA for public comment, which seeks to amend the National Small Enterprise Act, 1996 (Act 102 of 1996). The amendments provide for the Office of the Small Enterprises Ombud Service and repeal the provision for the establishment of an Advisory Body.

1.2. The Bill broadens access to justice for small enterprises through the Ombud Service, which will be tasked with considering and disposing of complaints by small enterprises.

1.3. Implementation of the amendments will realise greater stability to the sector and advance economic opportunity through the creation of job opportunities by small, medium and micro enterprises.

2. National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Amendment Bill

2.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the NYDA Amendment Bill for public comment. The amendments enhance the operational effectiveness of the NYDA in expanding its reach and increasing responsiveness to young people’s needs.

2.2. Youth constitute nearly a third of South Africa’s population and implementation of this Bill will go further in contributing towards building a highly skilled labour force and also increasing support for entrepreneurship. This will contribute towards addressing the triple developmental challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

D. Upcoming events

1. 16 Days of Activism

1.1. Cabinet approved the theme: “Women’s Economic Justice towards a non-violent and non-sexist South Africa” for the 16 Days of Activism campaign, which is the high-point of the 365 Days against GBVF campaign. Due to the National State of Disaster regulations that prohibits large gatherings, President Ramaphosa will launch the campaign virtually on Wednesday, 25 November 2020. The Emergency Response Action Plan to combat GBVF that was approved in 2019 commenced to give effect to support survivors; uplift awareness and prevention campaigns; improve laws and policies; promote the economic empowerment of women, and strengthen the criminal justice system.

1.2. The adopted National Strategic Plan (NSP), which was received by President Ramaphosa early this year, takes forward the emergency response intervention that were started in 2019. The Inter-Ministerial Committee on GBVF led by the Minister in The Presidency for Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, continues to oversee the mainstream operationalisation of the programmes of the NSP.

2. World Aids Day – 1 December 2020

2.1. The theme for World AIDS Day on 1 December 2020: “We’re in this together, Cheka Impilo!” underscores individual responsibility to ensure that the gains made thus far in responding to the HIV and tuberculosis (TB) epidemics are not lost.

2.2. South Africa has the biggest HIV epidemic in the world, with about 7.7 million people living with HIV, and accounts for a third of all new infections in Southern Africa. More people are now testing for HIV. South Africa has the world’s largest antiretroviral therapy programme. It is the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to fully approve Pre- exposure Prophylaxis, which is now being made available to those at high risk of infection.

2.3. Cabinet urges South Africans to follow the Cheka Impilo three steps: First, get your health checked, get tested for HIV and TB for free at any clinic near you. Second, take action once you know your results, begin treatment immediately or stay on treatment. Lastly, live smart, live healthy by avoiding risky sexual behaviour, avoiding unhealthy habits, and maintaining a healthy, balanced diet.

3. Group of Twenty (G20) Leaders’ Summit

3.1 President Ramaphosa will lead the South African delegation to the virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit on Saturday, 21 November and Sunday, 22 November.

3.2 The G20 Leaders’ Summit is convened by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with a focus on deepening global cooperation around the theme of “Realising Opportunities of the 21st Century for All”. The summit is set out to lead international efforts to develop a robust coordinated global response to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, safeguard the global economy and enhance international cooperation.

3.3 Discussions will centre on empowering people, protecting the planet and the resolution of global challenges through solutions that benefit all of humanity.

A. Messages

1. Congratulations

Cabinet extends its congratulations and well wishes to:

  • President Ramaphosa for celebrating his 68th birthday on Tuesday, 17 November 2020.
  • President Alassane Ouattara and the people of Cote d’Ivoire for conducting successful elections.
  • United States of America (USA) President-elect Joseph R. Biden, and the people of the USA, following a successful election.
  • Master KG for winning the Best African Act Award at the MTV EMA’s following the hit song Jerusalema that featured Nomcebo Zikode, which became one of the biggest songs on the planet.
  • Banyana Banyana who earned a fourth successive COSAFA Women’s Championship title with a 2-1 victory over Botswana.
  • Bafana Bafana who completed a double over Sao Tome and Principe to stay on course for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

2. Condolences

Cabinet sent condolences to the:

  • people of Ghana and the family and friends of Ghana’s former President Jerry Rawlings.
  • family, friends and colleagues of the outgoing Auditor-General Mr Kimi Makwetu who served our country with distinction and contributed towards inculcating a culture of accountability in the use of state resources. Mr Makwetu’s death was a huge loss to the auditing profession and the ongoing task of building an accountable administration. Cabinet expressed pride that Mr Makwetu was elected by acclamation to the United Nations’ Independent Audit Advisory Committee, a task he would, without a doubt, have executed with distinction.
  • government and people of the State of Palestine following the passing of Dr Saeb Erekat. Dr Erekat was the Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, member of the Fatah Central Committee and prominent academic, the lead Palestinian peace negotiator and a close friend of South Africa.

E. Appointments

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

1. Governing Body of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration:

a. Mr Enos Ngutshane (Chairperson);
b. Mr Siobhan Leyden;
c. Mr Kaizer Moyane;
d. Mr Sifiso Lukhele;
e. Ms Riefdah Ajam;
f. Mr Narius Moloto;
g. Mr Bheki Ntshalintshali;
h. Mr Thembinkosi Mkalipi;
i. Ms Thabitha Constance Mametja; and
j. Ms Tshepo Mahlaela.

2. Non-executive members to the Board of Directors of the Armaments Corporation of South Africa:

a. Ambassador Jeanette Thokozile Ndhlovu (reappointment);
b. Dr Reginald Cassius Lubisi;
c. Dr Phillip David Dexter;
d. Ms Refilwe Matenche;
e. Maj Gen (ret) Lungile Christian Pepani;
f. Ms Fundiswa Skweyiya-Gushu;
g. Mr Timothy Mandla Sukazi; and
h. Ms Peta Nonceba Mashinini.

3. 6th-Term on the Council of the Engineering Council of South Africa:

1. Ms Refilwe Buthelezi;
2. Ms Prudence Madiba;
3. Ms Tshwaraganang Ramagofu;
4. Mr John Daniels;
5. Mr Mashao Lawrence Lebea;
6. Mr Kasango Nyembwe;
7. Mr Simphiwe Nathaniel Zimu;
8. Mr Thembinkosi Cedric Madikane;
9. Mr Sipo Mkhize;
10. Ms Nirvanna Rampersad;
11. Ms Liezl Smith Smith;
12. Ms Refilwe Lesufi;
13. Ms Sarah Skorpen;
14. Ms Abimbola Olukunle;
15. Mr Sandiswa Jekwa;
16. Ms Linda Njomane;
17. Mr Mpho Ramuhulu;
18. Ms Philile Precious Mdletshe;
19. Mr Lesetja Boshomane;
20. Ms Amelia Mtshali;
21. Mr Thulebona Memela;
22. Ms Simangele Mngomezulu;
23. Ms Otilia Mthethwa;
24. Mr Thembinkosi Gamedze;
25. Ms Phumza Zweni;
26. Mr Bhekinkosi Williamson Mvovo;
27. Ms Patronella Fikile Sibiya;
28. Ms Cingisa Mbola;
29. Ms Thulisile Mwelase;
30. Mr Kemraj Ramgobind Ojageer;
31. Mr Enson Muranganwa Mangwengwende;
32. Ms Thandeka Chili;
33. Mr Sifiso Keswa;
34. Ms Sejako Morejwane;
35. Ms Nirasha Sampson;
36. Ms Sewela Mutileni;
37. Ms Nokhana Moerane;
38. Mr Mamadi Isau Mailula;
39. Ms Natalie Skeepers;
40. Mr Matome Edmund Modipa;
41. Dr Reginald Sethole Legoabe.
42. Mr Carlo Van Zyl;
43. Mr Ranthekeng Moloisane;
44. Mr Njabulo Nhleko;
45. Ms Elizabeth Theron;
46. Mr Arnold Heinz Sommer;
47. Ms Rachel Ledwaba;
48. Mr Nic Smit; and
49. Mr Sekete Zachia David Botsane;

4. Commission for Employment Equity

a. Ms Tabea Kabinde (Chairperson);
b. Mr Bhabhali kaMaPhikela Nhlapho;
c. Ms Lebogang Mulaisi;
d. Mr Puleng Tsebe;
e. Mr Mpho Vuma;
f. Thembi Chagonda;
g. Ms Zinzisa Pearl Mgobondela;
h. Ms Stieneke Jensma; and
i. Ms Dineo Mmako.

5. Mr Mashwahle Joseph Diphofa – Extension of five-year contract as Director-General (DG) of the Department of Traditional Affairs.

6. Dr Phil Mjwara – Extension of two-year contract as DG of the Department of Science and Innovation.

7. Dr Duncan Ettienne Pieterse – Deputy DG (DDG): Economic Policy, Department of National Treasury.

8. Dr Thuli Nomsa Khumalo – DDG: Climate Change and Air Quality Management, Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries.

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

Issued by: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)

19 November 2020