Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 5 July 2023
A. Issues in the environment
1.1. Cabinet welcomed the improvement in Eskom’s Energy Availability Factor, which is now closer to 70%. About 400 megawatts (MW) have been added to the grid and planned maintenance has improved in a short space of time.
1.2. Cabinet also noted the decision by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment’s National Air Quality Officer to grant Eskom a postponement to meet the Minimum Emission Standards at the Kusile Power Station in Mpumalanga, subject to certain strict conditions.
1.3. The postponement will allow Eskom to carry out repairs on the stack that was damaged on 23 October 2022. The power utility will also construct three temporary stacks that are expected to return 2 100 MW of power to the national grid and reduce load-shedding by two levels.
1.4. Cabinet reiterated that government is committed to the Just Energy Transition (JET) and determined to mitigate the impact of climate change. The JET, which was established in 2020, aims to achieve “Net Zero” carbon emissions by 2050.
1.5. Cabinet thanked South Africans who continue to use electricity sparingly, especially during peak times. Our combined energy efforts have helped bring about lower stages of load-shedding.
1.6. Cabinet further welcomed the commitments made at the New Global Financing Pact Summit held in Paris, France from 22 to 23 June 2023. President Cyril Ramaphosa attended the summit, which aimed to build a new contract between the North and the South to help address issues of climate change, development and debt.
2. Severe weather conditions
2.1. Cabinet expressed appreciation to Provincial Disaster Management teams for their quick response in assisting communities affected by the recent floods in KwaZulu-Natal and Northern Cape. We are all deeply saddened by the loss of lives in KwaZulu-Natal, and express our condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives.
2.2. The road infrastructure, electricity supply, sewer systems and houses in affected areas in KwaZulu-Natal have been extensively damaged while roads in some parts of the Northern Cape have suffered structural damage.
2.3. Government and humanitarian organisations continue to provide immediate relief supplies to the affected communities in KwaZulu-Natal, including food parcels, blankets, plastic sheeting and emergency boxes.
2.4. Eskom and municipal electrical departments have also been activated to restore power to affected areas.
3. Joint Working Visit to the Netherlands and Denmark
3.1. Cabinet welcomed the successful Joint Working Visit between the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mr Mark Rutte and Prime Minister of Denmark, Ms Mette Frederiksen that solidified South Africa’s relationship with the two countries in the areas of green hydrogen, renewable energy and the JET.
3.2. The visit also brought a group of investors to South Africa to reinforce the high levels of cooperation and good relations between the country and the two important European partners.
3.3. During the joint official talks, a Memorandum of Understanding in the Field of Green Hydrogen was signed between South Africa and the Netherlands, while an agreement between South Africa and Denmark regarding Development Cooperation concerning the Energy Partnership Programme of 2017 was amended.
4. KwaZulu-Natal District Development Model (DDM) Presidential Imbizo
4.1. President Ramaphosa, joined by leaders from all three spheres (national, provincial and local) of government, undertook the 7th DDM Presidential Imbizo of the Sixth Administration on Friday, 30 June 2023 at the uThukela District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal. Government leaders used this opportunity to interact with residents on service-delivery challenges and plans for the development of the district.
4.2. Cabinet called on residents to play an active role in determining the future of their communities by participating in the DDM Presidential Imbizo programme.
5. All citizens are urged to play a role in the development of their communities by being active citizens. By working together, we can identify issues of concern and unblock impediments to integrated service delivery.
6.1. Cabinet reflected on the latest Quarterly Employment Statistics released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) that showed a decrease in employment in various sectors and gains in others. Although growth remains subdued, our resilient economy continues to create jobs, even though not at the preferred pace.
6.2. Interventions such as the Presidential Employment Stimulus programme are helping to turn the tide. Cabinet is encouraged that by March 2023, more than 1, 2 million people had directly benefited from the programme since its inception in 2020. So far, about 800 000 short-term jobs, mostly for young people, have been created in the critical areas of education, early childhood development and community safety.
6.3. The programme has ensured that many vulnerable South Africans participate in meaningful work and receive a stable income. It has helped ease the economic hardships of thousands of families.
7. Green Hydrogen
7.1. Cabinet further welcomed a joint declaration of intent to establish the South African-German Hydrogen Task Force, which was signed by the Minister in The Presidency responsible for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa and German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck. The task force will look at how the green hydrogen market will be created and developed, as well as create business-to-business opportunities between the two countries. Green hydrogen is generated by renewable energy and it has significantly lower carbon emissions than traditional hydrogen.
7.2. Government has already created plans for a Hydrogen Valley, which is expected to run from Limpopo, through Johannesburg, to Durban. The valley will establish opportunities for projects that will kick-start hydrogen initiatives in hubs with the aim of boosting economic growth and job creation.
8. Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Heads of State and Government Summit
8.1. Cabinet noted President Ramaphosa’s Working Visit to the 8th SACU Heads of State and Government Summit held in the Kingdom of Eswatini on Thursday, 29 June 2023. Founded in 1910, SACU is the oldest Customs Union in the world.
8.2. The summit deliberated and provided updates on the status of the implementation of the SACU Strategic Plan 2022 – 2027. The SACU Strategic Plan was adopted in June 2022 as a roadmap to deepen regional integration in the Customs Union and forge stronger ties among the five member states as well as take advantage of opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area.
9.1. Cabinet is concerned about the practice of illegal mining and government is taking measures to end it through the National Coordination and Strategic Management Team (NCSMT). The NCSMT seeks to coordinate government’s efforts to combat illegal mining and the trafficking of precious metals.
9.2. Illegal mining and trafficking of precious metals are harming our economy, and have a negative impact on the safety and health of surrounding communities.
10. Community protests
10.1. Cabinet reiterated that violence is not a solution to community problems and called on communities to use existing channels to address their concerns. A Ministerial Task Team has been deployed to Diepsloot in Gauteng to work with community leaders to address their issues of concern.
10.2. Cabinet called on the community of Diepsloot and other areas to work with government, local councillors and the police to resolve issues such as crime.
B. Cabinet Decisions
1. Draft Country Investment Strategy (CIS)
1.1. Cabinet has approved South Africa’s draft CIS for implementation.
1.2. The CIS, which was published for public comments in 2022, seeks to position the country as a key African investment destination of choice by leveraging quality foreign and domestic direct investments.
1.3. The strategy is anchored on the country’s priority investment and economic development goals such as increasing employment, decreasing poverty, and supporting a just transition to a low carbon economy and energy security.
1.4. It provides investment mechanisms to attract small, medium and micro enterprises into the pursuit of economic growth, especially the green economy. The strategy also taps into a number of multilateral, regional and bilateral agreements signed by South Africa.
1.5. The strategy is aligned to the goals of the National Development Plan on economic transformation and the recently adopted National Infrastructure Plan 2050.
1.6. The country’s provinces and their metropolitan municipalities will be central in driving the strategy, which will be constantly adapted to the changing economic environment.
2. Third periodic country report under International Convention against Torture and other Cruel and, Inhuman or Degrading Treatments or Punishment (CAT).
2.1. Cabinet has approved the submission of South Africa’s third CAT periodic report to the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General. The report outlines the measures that South Africa is taking to prevent the torture and ill-treatment of citizens.
2.2. South Africa signed the Convention in 2000 and ratified it in 2008. In accordance with Article 17 of the Optional Protocol to the CAT, one of the obligations imposed on State Parties is to establish domestic mechanisms for the prevention of torture known as the National Preventive Mechanism.
2.3. Over the past 29 years, the democratic government in South Africa has removed old apartheid laws and institutions, built new democratic institutions, and initiated laws based on constitutional rights and freedoms.
2.4. Members of the public are able to report allegations of torture and ill-treatment to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate directly for investigation. South Africa also has a well-functioning Human Rights Commission, a national institution established to support constitutional democracy.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and relevant clearances.
1. Ms Ntomboxolo Mbengashe as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Post Bank South Africa for a period of five years.
2. Mr Sibusiso Bukhosini as CEO of Isimangaliso Wetland Park Authority (reappointment).
3. Ms Tamlyn Bouwer as Chief Financial Officer of the National Home Builders Registration Council.
4. Mr Morongwa Calvin Molongoana as Deputy Director-General (DDG): Statistical Support and Informatics at Stats SA.
5. Ms Daphne Yandiswa Morudu as DDG: South African National Statistics System at Stats SA.
6. Mr Rory Gallocher as Chief Operations Officer in The Presidency.
1. Draft Companies Amendment Bill of 2023
1.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the draft Companies Amendment Bill of 2023 to Parliament for processing.
1.2. The proposals in the Bill aim to reduce regulatory and administrative burdens to business owners and will enhance South Africa’s attractiveness to potential investors. Most of the amendments were technical in nature, and were concerned with streamlining and clarifying administrative issues.
1.3. One of the key priorities of this democratic government is job creation and this cannot be achieved if the ease of doing business in South Africa is not addressed.
1.4. The amendments also provide more clarity on a number of clauses in the Bill, which seek to reduce the regulatory regime on businesses; tighten anti-money laundering gaps; strengthen the disclosure requirements and enhance the shareholder powers in a company.
1.5. Excessive remuneration, particularly at the highest levels of a company, is a matter of great concern internationally and in South Africa.
1.6. The amendments in the Bill will promote transparency and clarify responsibilities between directors and senior management on the one hand, and shareholders on the other, as well as address public concerns regarding high levels of inequalities in society.
2. Intergovernmental Monitoring, Support and Interventions (IMSI) Bill of 2022
2.1. Cabinet approved the publication of the draft IMSI Bill of 2022 for public comments.
2.2. The Bill will be used as a remedy to many challenges experienced when government invokes sections 100 and 139 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 when compelled to do so due to failures in some spheres of government.
2.3. Section 100 empowers government to intervene if a province fails to meet its administrative and service-delivery obligations while Section 139 empowers the provincial executive to intervene if a municipality does not fulfil an obligation in terms of the Constitution or legislation.
2.4. The IMSI Bill is introduced as the regulatory instrument to address challenges on enforcing Section 139, monitoring and evaluation, and the impact of interventions.
2.5. The Bill will regulate the implementation of Section 139 of the Constitution, including the relevant processes. It will provide for targeted support to municipalities in need of assistance, and also provide for the monitoring of municipalities to fulfil their executive obligations in terms of the Constitution or legislation.
E. Upcoming Events
1. Tax Season
1.1. Cabinet reminds everyone that the 2023 tax filing season will open on Friday, 7 July 2023 and run until 23 October 2023. Taxpayers are encouraged to file their returns on eFiling or on the South African Revenue Service (SARS) MobiApp.
1.2. The tax-filing process is now even simpler and SARS will continue with auto-assessments this year. Between 1 and 7 July 2023, taxpayers are being notified by SMS or email if they had been selected to receive an auto-assessment. Should you receive the SMS, the next step for you would be to review the auto-assessment on the SARS MobiApp or eFiling. If you agree with the auto-assessment, you do not have to do anything.
1.3. The timely and accurate submission of tax returns ensures that taxpayers remain compliant, and helps government to deliver services to South Africans and grow the economy.
2. 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup
2.1. Banyana Banyana, the reigning African Champions, and the pride of the nation, will carry the hopes and dreams of South Africa when they participate in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup in New Zealand and Australia from 20 July to 20 August 2023.
2.2. Cabinet wishes them well as they embark on their quest for glory. South Africa is with you every step of the way, and we look forward to you making new history and inspiring future generations.
3. 2023 Netball World Cup
3.1. In the next few days, the eyes of the sporting world will turn to Cape Town, in South Africa for the start of the 2023 Netball World Cup from 28 July to 6 August. This is the first time that this prestigious global showpiece is being held on the African continent.
3.2. Cabinet calls on everyone in the country to support our girls as they strive to make history by winning gold on the African continent.
Cabinet extended its congratulations and well wishes to:
- Mr Edward Kieswetter, the Commissioner of SARS, following his appointment as chair of the World Customs Organisation and becoming the second South African to chair the organisation.
- Adv Pansy Tlakula on her re-election to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Her term will run from 2024 to 2028.
- Adv Thembile Joyini on his election as Judge of the International Tribunal for Law of the Sea from 2023 to 2032.
- the Film and Publication Board (FPB) for being appointed as a full member of the Global Online Safety Regulators Network. The membership allows the FPB a global response to fight online harms and promote online safety alongside regulators in Australia, the United Kingdom, Fiji, Ireland and others.
Cabinet expressed condolences to the family and friends of:
- Mrs Maggie Mathabatha (61), wife of the Premier of Limpopo, Mr Stanley Mathabatha.
Ms Nomonde Mnukwa – Acting Government Spokesperson
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