South Africa: Statement On the Virtual Cabinet Meeting of Wednesday, 11 May 2022

A. Issues in the environment

1. Disaster management after the floods

1.1. Cabinet expressed condolences to all people who have lost their loved ones in the recent devastating floods that hit several parts of our country, particularly KwaZulu-Natal.

1.2. The declaration of a National State of Disaster and socio-economic relief interventions recently announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, sought to ensure an effective and coordinated response across all spheres of government, through the National Disaster Management Centre.

1.3. The R1 billion made available by the government is being used to support relief and recovery efforts, restore basic services and provide humanitarian assistance in the form of food, water, shelter, sanitation and clothing.

1.4. The process to rebuild affected areas has already started as the people of our country unite in their determination to assist those who have lost their homes and possessions.

2. Update on the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

2.1. Cabinet noted with concern the recent spike in COVID-19 infections in some parts of the country and urged all people to take precautionary measures to protect themselves against the deadly virus, especially during winter.

2.2. The virus is still a constant threat and vaccination remains the most effective weapon to protect ourselves. The cabinet is pleased that more people continue to choose vaccination as their first line of defence against COVID-19 after recent statistics showed that we have reached the milestone of over 50 per cent of adult vaccinations in five provinces.

2.3. Cabinet calls on those who have not yet been vaccinated to do so to protect themselves and their loved ones. We should also all continue to adhere to all COVID-19 prevention protocols, including the wearing of a mask that covers both the nose and mouth, washing hands with water and soap, or using a 70% alcohol-based hand sanitiser, and keeping a safe social distance of at least one metre.

3. Social Relief of Distress (SRD) Grant

3.1. Cabinet encouraged citizens receiving the R350 SRD Grant to reapply, following the introduction of new regulations governing applications and eligibility for the grant.

3.2. Applications can be lodged on the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) website: https://srd.sassa.gov.za/. The application system opened on 23 April 2022 and is a fully digital process to enable quick turnaround times.

3.3. The relief grant is an important safety net for needy families who would otherwise be devastated by the scourge of poverty and unemployment. Government is committed to providing social assistance to the most vulnerable so that they can meet their basic needs.

4. Safety and security

4.1. Cabinet continues to condemn the senseless killing of women and has welcomed the swift response by law-enforcement officers in arresting suspects in connection with the death of Ms Hillary Gardee (28), of Kamagugu in Mpumalanga. Cabinet further condemned the killing of six people in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. These senseless murders are a reminder that we must do more as a society to end violence and gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF).

4.2. Cabinet urged all people in the country to work with the government in the fight against crime and GBVF. Together we can ensure that our communities and streets are safer for all people, including the elderly, women and children.

5. Economy

5.1. Cabinet welcomed the official opening of Corobrik’s Kwastina brick manufacturing factory at Driefontein in Gauteng by President Ramaphosa on Wednesday, 4 May 2022. The state-of-the-art factory forms part of an R800 million investment, which goes hand in hand with a further R200 million earmarked to expand Corobrik’s concrete operations in KwaZulu-Natal. Corobrik is one of several local businesses that have responded to President Ramaphosa’s call on South African and international enterprises to invest in this economy.

5.2. Cabinet noted that the fledgling hydrogen economy has been given a boost with the launch of a hydrogen-powered truck by Anglo American. The truck – which was converted from diesel to hydrogen, and is powered in part by lithium-ion batteries – is a world first. The hydrogen economy has been identified as a strategic priority for our country’s green economy, and to drive economic growth and employment.

5.3. Cabinet also welcomed a further investment into our economy by an Irish food company, The Kerry Group, which has opened a new R650-million plant in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal aimed at producing sustainable food for the continent. The plant is unique as it boasts numerous sustainability features including low energy usage equipment, solar power generation to reduce consumption from the local grid, waste heat capture, and efficient water capture, reuse and reduction. The Kerry Group has had a presence in South Africa since 2011, and their further investment is a sign that South Africa remains an investment destination of choice.

5.4. These investments follow in the footsteps of the launch of the locally manufactured Isuzu D-Max bakkie in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape last month. The new generation D-MAX crowns Isuzu’s commitment to South Africa and is one of the successes achieved under the Automotive Production Development Programme (APDP). The APDP is a production incentive scheme for the motor industry aimed at promoting production volumes in the specified motor vehicle industry, promoting added value in the automotive component industry thus creating employment across the automotive value chain. Approximately R2,8 billion will be generated in local content production value through the lifecycle of the APDP. The investment will secure more than 1 000 direct jobs at the plant and indirectly employ 24 000 people, contributing significantly to community upliftment in the region.

6. Mining Indaba

6.1. The Investing in African Mining Indaba 2022 held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 9 to 12 May 2022, is one of the biggest platforms for engagement and collaboration between all stakeholders in the mining industry. The theme of the event was: “Evolution of African Mining: Investing in the Energy Transition, ESG, and the Economies”.

6.2. Cabinet is confident that the Mining Indaba will assist in showcasing and promoting South Africa as an investment destination of choice.

6.3. South Africa welcomes investments into our country and is committed to creating favourable conditions for inclusive growth and transformation of the economy.

7. International and regional relations

7.1. Cabinet also welcomed President Ramaphosa’s recent interactions with President Joe Biden of the United States, President Emmanuel Macron of France and President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia on different platforms.

7.2. These engagements allowed the President to strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation between South Africa and partner states on key regional and international issues, including finding a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine.

B. Cabinet Decisions

1. Budget Votes

1.1. Cabinet calls on all citizens to follow the various Budget Votes by national government departments and The Presidency so that they can hold the government to account.

1.2. During Budget Votes, all departments give a detailed account of their plans and priorities for the year. Budget Votes seek to ensure that public funds are spent efficiently in meeting the needs of the public.

1.3. They also provide the ideal platform for Ministers to further unpack the work of government, including successes and challenges.

2. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Rollout Strategy

2.1. Cabinet approved the LPG Rollout Strategy for implementation, which was published for public consultation in March 2022. The strategy seeks to expand the LPG industry in the country. LPG will contribute meaningfully to the diversification of sources of energy.

2.2. The strategy will amongst other interventions, regulate the pricing in the value chain and support the manufacturing of LPG cylinders in the country. It will also educate the public about the benefits of using LPG as an alternative form of energy.

2.3. It will be accessible after it has been published by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy on www.dmr.gov.za.

3. National Strategic Framework on Disability Rights Awareness-Raising Campaigns for Persons with Disabilities

3.1. Cabinet approved the National Strategic Framework on Disability Rights Awareness-Raising Campaigns for Persons with Disabilities. The framework seeks to guide both private and public sectors in ensuring the rights of persons with disabilities are protected, as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996.

3.2. The framework provides a toolkit that will assist in the removal of discriminatory barriers in decision-making, especially those related to persons with disabilities. It also conscientise persons with disabilities to know their rights as protected by the Constitution. The framework also provides training, media reporting and awareness-raising within society on the rights of persons with disabilities.

3.3. It gives effect to the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. South Africa is a signatory to the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the UN Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (African Disability Rights Protocol).

3.4. The framework was consulted with all relevant stakeholders, including the National Economic Development and Labour Council.

4. Land Administration and Land Tenure in Communal Areas Summit

4.1. Cabinet approved the hosting of the Land Administration and Land Tenure in Communal Areas Summit on Friday, 27 and Saturday, 28 May 2022 in Gauteng.

4.2. Cabinet adopted the Position Paper on Land Administration and Land Tenure in Communal Land Areas in March 2021. It directed that further consultation be undertaken will all relevant stakeholders.

4.3. The summit will be the culmination of the work that was done in the past year, which solicited inputs from various stakeholders.

C. Upcoming Events

1. Fifth Global Conference on the Eradication of Child Labour

1.1. South Africa will host the Fifth Global Conference on the Eradication of Child Labour at the Durban International Convention Centre in KwaZulu-Natal from Sunday, 15 to Friday, 20 May 2022. It is the first time the International Labour Organisation (ILO) hosts this conference in Africa.

1.2. Heads of state, 120 ministers, tripartite constituents of 187 member countries of the ILO, UN agencies, academic institutions, civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations, media and civil society are expected to attend the conference.

1.3. The event will also allow South Africa to bring to the fore the country’s Constitution as it protects the rights of children. The country will engage with different countries that are ahead of us in eliminating child labour and learn from them.

2. District Development Model (DDM) Presidential Imbizo

2.1. President Ramaphosa will hold a DDM Presidential Imbizo in Mpumalanga on Friday, 20 May 2022 under the theme: “Leave no one behind”. As an important public participation platform, the Imbizo allows the President to directly engage various stakeholders – especially rural communities – and to listen to their issues and challenges with the aim to address them.

2.2. The DDM Presidential Imbizo aims to unlock blockages to integrated service delivery and promote public participation in line with the DDM.

2.3. South Africans can follow and participate in discussions on social media under the hashtag #PresidentialImbizo.

3. Africa Month

3.1. The commemoration of the annual Africa Month and Africa Day on Wednesday, 25 May is being celebrated under the theme: “The Year of Nutrition: Strengthening resilience in nutrition and food security on the African continent”.

3.2. As part of the long-term vision set out in Agenda 2063 (which is Africa’s development blueprint to achieve inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development over 50 years), the theme focuses on the potential of the people of Africa with an emphasis on women, adolescents and children. This is key for development as it leads to improved lives for individuals, higher earnings and improved incomes for countries.

3.3. A notable highlight in Africa Month celebrations is Africa Communications Week, which will be held at Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg from 23 to 27 May 2022.

3.4. Africa Month is an opportunity to promote African unity and deeper regional integration, and to recommit Africa to a common destiny. Cabinet reminds everyone that our national interests are intrinsically linked to Africa’s stability, unity and prosperity.

D. Messages

1. Condolences

Cabinet expressed condolences to the family and friends of:

Ms Phindile Xaba (53), who had a long and illustrious career in the media industry, both in South Africa and abroad. She worked tirelessly for the betterment of our country.

Ambassador Silumko Sokupa (74), who served the State Security Agency in various capacities over his long and illustrious career in the Public Service.

Prof Francis Wilson (83), an acclaimed economist and founder of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit.

E. Appointments

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

1. Dr Kesavan Naidoo as Deputy Director-General (DDG): Institutional Development at the Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG).

2. Mr Siphosihle Emmanuel Hlomuka as DDG: Local Government Support and Interventions Management at the DCoG.

3. Mr Risimati Patrick Mathye as DDG: Water and Sanitation Services Management at the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS).

4. Mr Collin Xolani Zwane as DDG: Regulation, Compliance and Enforcement at the DWS.

5. Mr Melanchton Makobe as DDG: SOC Governance Assurance and Performance at the Department of Public Enterprises.

F. Cabinet concurred with the Ministers on the following appointments:

1. Mr Bhekuyise Mathews Khenisa as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Housing Development Agency (HDA).

2. Ms Joy Keledi Masemola as Chief Financial Officer of the HDA.

3. Dr Cornelius Ruiters as CEO of Lepelle Northern Water.

4. Members of the Forest Sector Charter Council:

(a) Ms Nelly Ndlovu (Chairperson);

(b) Ms Makhosazana Mavimbela;

(c) Mr Dwayne Marx;

(d) Ms Tanucia Coopasamy;

(e) Mr Tyrone Hawkes;

(f) Mr Penwell Lunga;

(g) Mr Michael Peter;

(h) Mr Bruce Breedt;

(i) Mr Pierre Tullis;

(j) Mr Roy Southey;

(k) Mr Lulamile Xate;

(l) Mr Mlungisi Bushula;

(m) Ms Thandi Mokoena;

(n) Mr Darryll Sauer;

(o) Mr Tshepo Makhene;

(p) Ms Pumeza Nodada;

(q) Ms Lindiwe Mavundla; and

(r) Ms Kwena Komape.

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