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Statement on the Virtual Cabinet Meeting of 21 October 2020

A.    Issues in the environment

1.    Economy
1.1.    The Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan that President Cyril Ramaphosa presented to a Joint Hybrid Sitting of Parliament on Thursday, 15 October 2020, requires all sectors to roll up their sleeves and work together to stabilise our economy. 

1.2.    The plan builds on the common ground established by the social partners – government, labour, business and community organisations – through intensive and detailed consultations over the last few months.

1.3.    There are four priority areas that underpin this economic recovery plan, the first being a massive roll-out of infrastructure. The second priority area is to expand energy generation capacity with government accelerating the implementation of the Integrated Resource Plan. The third key area is that of an employment stimulus to create jobs and support livelihoods. The fourth area focuses on industrial growth where government will support growth in local production and make South African exports more competitive.

1.4.    The identified priority areas will contribute towards building confidence and placing South Africa on a new path for investment and economic growth following the devastation caused by the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

1.5.    To ensure the regular monitoring of the implementation of the plan, Cabinet approved the setting up of the National Economic Recovery Council. The council will be chaired by the President and comprises the Deputy President, Minister in The Presidency and all the Ministers in the Economic Cluster. The council will meet monthly to oversee implementation of the economic reconstruction and recovery plan and also to interface with the social partners in the National Economic Development and Labour Council. 

2.    National State of Disaster 
2.1.    The extension of the National State of Disaster to 15 November 2020, in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act 57 of 2002), will enable government to further minimise the spread of the virus.

2.2.    Whilst South Africa has experienced a massive decrease in the transmission and spread of COVID-19 over the past months, the virus remains with us. 

2.3.    As the country adapts to the ‘new normal’ of coexisting with COVID-19 and a possible resurgence, Cabinet once again urges all South Africans to continue adhering to the health protocols of wearing masks, practising social distancing and frequently washing hands with water and soap or using an alcohol-based sanitiser. These are the only preventive measures available to protect ourselves, our families and loved ones from contracting COVID-19.  

2.4.    Cabinet wishes all those infected by the virus including our Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize and his wife, Dr May Mkhize, a speedy recovery. 

2.5.    Cabinet once again wishes to thank all the frontline health workers for their commitment and dedication which led to the increase in the country’s COVID-19 recovery rate to over 90% and keeping our fatality rate at 2.6% 

3.    Focus on rural safety 
3.1.    Cabinet fully supports the work of our South African police in arresting those committing heinous crime in our country which includes the killing and maiming of farmers and farmworkers throughout the country. The farming community is an integral part of our economy, and crime on farms poses a threat not only to the personal safety of farmers and farmworkers but also to the country’s food security. 

3.2.    Government is fast-tracking the implementation of the revised Rural Safety Strategy to respond to the security needs of rural communities and support socio-economic development. 

3.3.    Cabinet calls on the nation to assist the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the fight against crime by joining community police forums and to report crime to the nearest police station, call the toll-free Crime Stop number at 08600 10111, send an anonymous SMS to Crime Line at 32211 or use the MySAPS App – the free, crime-reporting mobile application available for smartphones – to provide anonymous crime tip-offs.

3.4.    We must work together to root out crime in our communities and make our country safer for all. 

4.    Anti-corruption

4.1.    Cabinet welcomes the arrest of persons allegedly involved in various cases of corruption, fraud, money laundering and theft. These cases include, among others, those related to the looting of COVID-19 social relief funds, the fraudulent procurement of Covid 19 personal protective equipment, the scandal related to the asbestos housing project and failure to report or under-reporting to the South African Revenue Service. Cabinet fully appreciates and supports all endeavours to recover public funds from all those who have engaged in these fraudulent activities  

4.2.    The recent arrests are a testament that no one is above the law and they demonstrate government’s commitment to hold to account those who continue to break the law by robbing poor South Africans of much-needed government assistance and Aid 

4.3.    Cabinet calls on the public to play their part by reporting those who commit such crimes to law-enforcement agencies or calling the National Anti-Corruption Hotline on 0800 701 701. 

5.    Gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF)

5.1.    The scourge of GBVF and the abuse of children, which President Ramaphosa has denounced as the second pandemic after COVID-19, remains a plague on our communities and we must do our best to eradicate it. The Bill of Rights enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 specifically states that every child has the right to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation.

5.2.    Cabinet calls on all South Africans to work together with our law-enforcement agencies in ensuring that all vulnerable groups – particularly the elderly, women and children – are protected from violence and abuse

5.3.    The recent case of two eight-year-old girls (twins) from Mpumalanga who were allegedly abused by their father, is deeply disturbing and concerning.  One of the girls reported the incidence to her school teacher and we must commend the response by the school that led to the arrest of the suspect. As a law-abiding and peace-loving nation, we should all unite in condemning such heinous crimes with the utmost contempt they deserve. 

6.    Media freedom

6.1.    The 43rd anniversary of media freedom, known as Black Wednesday in South Africa, was commemorated on Monday, 19 October 2020. This day reminds us of the significance of the freedom of expression in our bill of rights, which includes, media freedom as an important tenant, in our constitutional democracy.  

6.2    Media Freedom Day marks the banning of a number of newspapers and arrests of their respective editors on 19 October 1977 by the apartheid police, for exposing the atrocities committed by the oppressive regime. Media continue to play an important role in entertaining, educating and informing society, as well as interpreting all facets of our socio-economic and political lives.

6.2.    Media remains a vital partner in strengthening our democracy and promoting the constitutional rights of our citizens. The freedom to perform their duties comes with the responsibility to ensure that they report fairly and objectively at all times.

6.3.    Cabinet pays tribute to all journalists who lost their lives during these difficult times of COVID-19, and commits to respect and uphold freedom of expression, inclusive of media freedom in our country.

7.    End-of-year examinations 
7.1.    Cabinet wishes the 1.058 699 million (one million and fifty-eight thousand six hundred and ninety-nine) Grade 12 learners good luck as they begin preparing for the final examinations due to start on 5 November 2020 and end on 15 December 2020.  This year the Department of Basic Education has recorded the highest number of Grade 12 learners that will write their final exams.

7.2.    Following interruptions to the academic year due to COVID-19, Cabinet appeals to all parents and guardians to support their children during this important time. The matric class of 2020 is urged to use the resources made available by government through the Woza Matrics 2020 Catch-Up campaign (wozamatrics.co.za and #wozamatrics) in preparing for the National Senior Certificate examinations. 

B.    Cabinet decisions 

1.    Support to the domestic ferrochrome industry 

1.1.    Cabinet approved a number of interventions to support domestic ferrochrome production and its chrome value-chain sector. The interventions include the proposed introduction of the export tax on chrome ore, the usage of energy efficiency technologies on smelters, and the adoption of cogeneration and self-generation technologies.

1.2.    The local ferrochrome sector is the largest global producer of ferrochrome and is the only stainless-steel producer. It is the biggest supplier of stainless steel to the automotive industry. The proposed interventions were put together by a task team comprising the departments of Mineral Resources and Energy, Trade, Industry and Competition, Public Enterprises and National Treasury. 

2.    National Youth Policy (NYP): 2020-2030

2.1.    Cabinet approved the third revised NYP 2020-2030, which is a cross-sectoral policy that was developed by representative government departments, civil-society partners, institutions of higher learning and business bodies. It replaces the NYP 2015-2020, which expires at the end of December 2020. 

2.2.    The policy proposes five key priorities: (1) quality education, skills and second chances; (2) economic transformation, entrepreneurship and job creation; (3) physical and mental health promotion, including COVID-19; (4) social cohesion and nation-building, and (5) effective and responsive youth development machinery. 

3.    National Plan of Action for Children (NPAC): 2019 to 2024

3.1.    Cabinet approved the 4th NPAC, which gives effect to the country’s obligations to the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. 

3.2.    The five-year plan outlines the strategic priorities and the implementation mechanisms in protecting and harnessing the rights of children. The plan is aligned to the Medium Term Strategic Framework that sets out the actions government will take and targets to be achieved during an electoral term. It will be implemented in collaboration with civil society organisations. 

3.3.    The NPAC will also serve as a framework to provide the country’s progress reports to both the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. 

4.    Implementation evaluation of the Older Persons Act of 2006

4.1.    Cabinet approved an evaluation report which was commissioned on the implementation of the Older Persons Act, 2006 (Act 13 of 2006). The proposed recommendations on improving the adherence to the directives of the Older Persons Act of 2006 have since been shared with the relevant department. 

4.2.    The report can be accessed from the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation website (www.dpme.gov.za). 

5.    World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General (DG)

5.1.    Cabinet supports the candidature of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the DG of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). She has previously served as the Minister of Finance of Nigeria and as Managing Director of the World Bank. The candidature was also supported by the  African Ministers of Trade chaired by  Minister Ebrahim Patel

Cabinet wishes Dr Okonjo-Iweala well and looks forward to a WTO that places development at the heart of its agenda and contributes to economic recovery post COVID-19. If she is successful in the next round of processing by the WTO, she would be the first African and first female to be elected to the position of WTO DG.

C.   Messages  

1.    Congratulations

1.1.    Cabinet congratulates Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu on her appointment as the Chairperson of the Partners in Population and Development (PPD), from 2021 to 2023. The PPD is an alliance of 27 developing countries that collaborate to promote South-South cooperation in population and development, reproductive health and gender equality. South Africa takes over from previous chairs, China and India.

2.    Condolences

Cabinet sent condolences to the:
2.1.    family and friends of Dr Vuyokazi Mahlati, who was the Chairperson of the  
Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture. She was also serving her second term on the National Planning Commission. 
2.2.    family and friends of former Land Claims Commissioner in the Western Cape, Ms Beverley Jansen, who was a torchbearer in our struggle against apartheid and played an important role in the success of land claims by communities around the country. 
2.3.    family, friends and colleagues of South African Human Rights Commission Deputy Chairperson, Ambassador Devikarani Priscilla Jana, who was an outstanding and fearless human rights lawyer who devoted her practice to fighting the apartheid regime. President Ramaphosa has accorded her a Special Provincial Official Funeral: Category Two.
2.4.    family, friends and media colleagues of Mr Dumisane Lubisi, who was the executive editor of City Press newspaper. He was committed to ensuring that a plurality of voices found expression in our country. 
2.5.    family, friends and colleagues of Member of Parliament (MP), Ms Dorah Dunana Dlamini, who became a member of the sixth Parliament after the 2019 elections. She had been a member of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature between 2014 and 2019 before serving in the National Assembly. 
2.6.    family, friends and colleagues of Mr Zamuxolo Joseph Peter, who became a member of the sixth Parliament after serving in various capacities, including as the Executive Mayor of the Makana Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape.
2.7.    family, friends and colleagues of MP, Adv Hishaam Mohamed, who became a member of the sixth Parliament after the 2019 elections, after a long and distinguished career as the provincial head of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development in the Western Cape.
2.8.    family, friends and colleagues of MP, Ms Thandi Gloria Mpambo-Sibhukwana, who became a member of the sixth Parliament in the National Assembly, after serving as a permanent delegate of the Western Cape in the National Council of Provinces during the fifth Parliament. She served for many years as a teacher before becoming an MP.

3.   Appointments

     All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.
1.    Board of the State Diamond Trader:
a.    Ms Monica M Ledingwane (Chairperson);
b.    Ms Faith T Mokwena;
c.    Mr Levy G Rapoo; and
d.    Ms Mpho Mosing.
2.    Board of the South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator:
a.    Mr Morake Abiel Mngomezulu (Chairperson);
b.    Mr Yershen Pillay;
c.    Ms Kanyisa Macingwane;
d.    Ms Mpho Mosing;
e.    Mrs Phydelis Zikalala-Mvelase;
f.    Mr Warren Wayne Adams; and
g.    Mr Ernest Blom. 
3.    Non-executive members to the Board of Control of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa:
a.    Mr Leonard Ramatlakane (Chairperson);
b.    Adv Smanga Sethene;
c.    Mr Matodzi Mukhuba; 
d.    Ms Boitumelo Mokgoko;
e.    Mr Dinkwanyane K Mohuba;
f.    Dr Alison E Lewis;
g.    Ms Nosizwe Nokwe-Macamo; 
h.    Ms Thinavhuyo N Mpye; 
i.    Representative from the Department of Transport;
j.    Representative from the Department of Finance; and
k.   Representative from the South African Local Government Association. 
4.    Board of Directors of the Onderstepoort Biological Products (SOC) Limited:
a.    Ms Rene A Kenosi (Chairperson);
b.    Prof Khathutshelo A Nephawe;
c.    Ms Nona N Sonjani;
d.    Mr Lufuno Nematswerani;
e.    Ms Kribashni Naidoo; and
f.    Mr Luvuyo Mabombo.
5.    Mr Pieter Uys Pretorius as Deputy DG (DDG): Corporate Services at the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. 
6.    Ms Nonhlanhla Patience Mkhize as DDG: Environmental Programmes at the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries.
7.    Adv Martin Mothusi Mafojane as the Chief Master at the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
8.     Mr Nakampe Joseph Mogale as the DDG: Corporate Management Services at the Office of the Chief Justice. 
9.     Mr Livhuwani Tommy Makhode as the DG of the Department of Home Affairs.


Ms Phumla Williams
Cabinet Spokesperson 
Cell: 083 501 0139