Presidential Spokesperson media briefing, Union Buildings, Pretoria
This briefing follows a period of intensive engagement by the President on international platforms where President Ramaphosa advanced our national interest – that of growing our economy and leaving no-one behind as we do so – and stated the case of the Global South for transformation of global governance processes and structures.
Today we are focusing on a number of engagements the President will undertake in the coming weeks.
PROGRESS UPDATE ON GOVERNMENT AND BUSINESS COLLABORATION
Yesterday, September 26, 2023, President Cyril Ramaphosa met with members of Cabinet and senior business leaders to receive an update on progress made in the collaboration between government and business.
This collaboration was initiated in June 2023 with the aim of growing South Africa’s economy and restoring public and investor confidence through critical interventions to address the key challenges of energy, logistics, and crime and corruption.
Highlighting the meaningful progress made since the start of the initiative, President Ramaphosa said:
“We have established an effective working relationship between government and business to tackle the most immediate challenges facing our economy.
“While we have identified key milestones and set out the processes to achieve these, the real test of our success will be in the results felt by ordinary citizens. We are confident that by working together and marshalling the significant resources and expertise that exist in our country, we will end load shedding, fix our logistics system, and tackle crime and corruption.”
A DETAILED JOINT STATEMENT HAS BEEN RELEASED BY THE PRESIDENCY AND B4SA ON THE FOCAL AREAS OF COLLABORATION
PRESIDENCY EXPRESSES CONDOLENCES TO THE MANDELA FAMILY AT THE PASSING OF MS ZOLEKA MANDELA
As the Presidency, we add our sincerest condolences to the sympathies expressed by many individuals and organisations at the passing of Ms Zoleka Mandela.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Ms Mandela who has passed away at an age that has deprived all of us of benefiting from the full potential of her charismatic and creative commitment to a diversity of social causes and campaigns.
We wish the family well in their preparations for remembering and taking leave of Zoleka.
May her soul rest in peace.
PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA EXPRESSES HIS SYMPATHIES TO PEOPLE AFFECTED BY THE WESTERN CAPE FLOODS AND APPLAUDS RESCUE TEAMS
The President would like to extend his sympathies to all the people who have been affected by the recent floods in the Western Cape. The President also expresses his condolences to those who have lost their loved ones during this disaster.
President Ramaphosa is grateful for the speedy response and hard work demonstrated by various disaster management teams, law enforcement agencies, NGOS and officials who have continued to rep
INAUGURAL SESSION OF THE SOUTH AFRICA – LESOTHO BI-NATIONAL COMMISSION (BNC)
President Cyril Ramaphosa, will on Thursday, 28 September, host the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho, The Right Honorable Ntsokoane Samuel Matekane, for the Inaugural Session of the South Africa – Lesotho Bi-National Commission (BNC), in Pretoria.
The Inaugural Session of the BNC follows an agreement signed by our two countries in November 2021 to elevate the structured bilateral mechanism from a Joint Bilateral Commission of Co-operation (JBCC) that is convened Ministerial level, to a BNC that is presided over by the two Heads of State and Government.
The session will consist of the following Sectoral Committees:
• Strategic Political Cluster co-chaired by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation;
• Security and Stability Cluster co-chaired by the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans;
• Economy Cluster co-chaired by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition;
• Social Cluster co-chaired by the Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation;
• Good Governance Cluster co-chaired by Minister of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs.
This inaugural Session of the BNC provides an opportunity for both countries to take stock and track the implementation of the Joint Bilateral Commission decisions taken during the Council of Ministers Meeting held on 20 November 2020 in Maseru, in the Kingdom of Lesotho.
The BNC meeting will also provide both President Ramaphosa and The Right Honorable the Prime Minister Matekane with an opportunity to strengthen bilateral relations and to share information and exchange views on the latest developments in Lesotho and efforts by SADC to facilitate the finalisation of the reform process in Lesotho.
SPECIAL OLYMPICS TEAM TO VISIT THE UNION BUILDINGS
President Cyril Ramaphosa will on the morning of 3 October 2023, host the Special Olympics Team at the Union Buildings following the team’s success at the Special Olympics World Games that were held in Germany, Berlin between 17 and 25 June 2023.
The team brought back home a total of 49 medals - 22 gold, 20 silver and 7 bronze.
The interaction with the Special Olympics team is part of President Ramaphosa’s ongoing commitment to encourage and celebrate excellence amongst South Africa’s sports women and men and the President’s recognition of the role of sports to unite our nation and forge social cohesion.
LETTERS OF CREDENCE FROM HEADS OF MISSION DESIGNATE
President Cyril Ramaphosa will on the afternoon of 3 October 2023, receive Letters of Credence from Heads of Mission-Designate at a Credentials Ceremony in Pretoria.
Letters of Credence are official diplomatic documents presented to the President by Heads of Mission-designate to mark the beginning of their ambassadorship.
This ceremony is a platform where newly nominated diplomats from our continent and other parts of the globe outline relations between our two countries and their objectives for strengthening partnership.
The event will be held at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House and media pool arrangements will be in place for coverage.
BORDER MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY LAUNCH
President Cyril Ramaphosa will on 05 October 2023, preside over the launch of the Boarder Management Authority (BMA), in Musina, Limpopo Province.
The launch of the BMA follows its formal establishment and assumption of its status as a schedule 3 (A) public entity on 1 April 2023.
The establishment of the BMA means that South Africa now has an integrated border management platform, with a single command and control with which to support the attainment of secure borders, safe travel and trade.
The President will be joined by members of the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee (IMCC) on the BMA and the Border Technical Committee.
The President will also tour the Beit Bridge Border Port of Entry and later address guests during ceremonial parade at the Musina Show grounds.
PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA ASSENTS TO FOUR IMPORTANT ACTS
President Cyril Ramaphosa has recently assented to the following four Acts: the Land Court Act, the Traditional Courts Act, the South African Postbank Limited Amendment Act and the Repeal of the Transkei Penal Code.
The Land Court Act establishes a specialist and permanent Land Court which will replace the Land Claims Court which was a court with a limited lifespan.
This means permanent judges of the Land Court can now be appointed.
The Land Court will have exclusive jurisdiction and power in respect of a number of aspects which have a bearing on land more specifically on restitution claims arising from the Restitution Act.
It also will deal with matters from the Application of the Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act and shares jurisdiction with magistrates’ courts in respect of matters arising from the application of the Extension of Security of Tenure Act (ESTA).
The Land Court will resolve the challenges that were experienced under these Acts such as backlogs in land claims and dispute resolution mechanisms when disputes arise.
It will also contribute immensely to the implementation of the Land Reform Programme.
In addition, the Act makes provision for the administration and judicial functions of the Land Court and for mediation procedures.
Cabinet approved the Bill for tabling in Parliament in February 2021 and Parliament’s National Assembly passed the Bill and sent it to the NCOP for concurrence in September 2022.
At end of May 2023, the National Council of Provinces amended the Bill and returned it to the National Assembly for concurrence.
This Act is vital in bringing our country one step closer to resolving land and land rights issues in South Africa.
With respect to the Traditional Courts Act, our Constitution recognises traditional leadership as well as customary law. Section 211 of the Constitution obliges the courts to apply customary law when that law is applicable.
Traditional courts exist and it is constitutionally essential that they be aligned with the new constitutional dispensation.
Chapter 12 of the Constitution recognises the institution, status and role of traditional leadership according to customary law, subject to the Constitution, whilst schedule 6 to the Constitution recognises the existence of traditional courts.
The purpose of this Act is to provide for a uniform legislative framework for the structure and functioning of traditional courts, in line with constitutional imperatives and values.
The Act aims to improve access to justice services by enhancing the effectiveness, efficiency and integrity of traditional courts for purposes of resolving disputes, with the view to promoting social cohesion, co-existence, peace and harmony.
To date Traditional Courts have existed outside of the sanction of the Constitution with respect to their operation and regulation.
Traditional Courts were operating according to either sections 12 and 20 of the repealed Black Administration Act, 1927 and there are other homeland and self-governing states laws which regulate the role and functions of traditional leaders in the administration of justice.
The Traditional Courts Act will now bring about a single statute, regulating the role of traditional leaders in the administration of justice, which will apply across the country.
The Act repeals the remaining provisions of the Black Administration Act of 1927 and legislation of former homelands still regulating traditional courts and brings the operation and functioning of Traditional Courts in line with the Constitution.
This Act has been in the making for some time and has undergone a through public participation process and incorporated the interests of stakeholders.
In December 2015, former Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Minister Michael Masutha, held a national dialogue with Traditional Leaders and civil society which agreed that a Reference Group should be established to develop a new version of Bill.
The Reference Group consisted of representatives of civil society and traditional leaders.
The mandate of the Reference Group was to discuss outstanding matters relating to the Traditional Courts Bill, to assist in the development of a Bill and to pave the way for the introduction of the Bill into Parliament.
The concerns raised in respect of the 2008 and 2012 drafts of the Bill were taken into account and addressed and every effort has been made to address them, most significantly in respect of the role of women and other vulnerable groups.
In terms of the new Traditional Courts Act, traditional courts must be constituted of women and men, pursuant to the goal of promoting the right of equality as contemplated in section 9 of the Constitution.
Traditional courts must promote and protect the representation of women as parties and members thereof.
The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development must also put measures in place to promote and protect the participation of women and vulnerable persons – with reference to the elderly, children and youth, the indigent, persons with disabilities and the people of different sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Minister must also report annually to Parliament on the steps and measures so put in place.
The Act states that constitutional values are of paramount importance, for instance the right to dignity, achievement of equality, the promotion of non-racialism and non-sexism, freedom of sexual orientation and identity.
It also highlights restorative justice and reconciliation through mediation.
When dealing with disputes, the courts must be mindful of the existence of systemic unfair discrimination and inequalities or attitudes which are in conflict with the Constitution or which have the susceptibility of excluding meaningful participation in traditional court proceedings by any person or group of persons, particularly in respect of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, language, marital status and race brought about by colonialism, apartheid and patriarchy.
A founding value of customary law is that its application is accessible to those persons who voluntarily subject themselves to that set of laws and customs.
The Act provides that proceedings may not be instituted in traditional courts if the dispute is being dealt with at another level in the traditional justice system or if the matter is pending before a court of law or being investigated by the police or has already been dealt with in a court.
When it comes to the types of disputes a traditional court may deal with, the Bill limits the matters which these courts can hear to less serious disputes which disturb harmonious relationships within communities.
The Act underscores the fact that traditional courts are courts of law and their specific purpose is to promote the equitable and fair resolution of disputes, in a manner that is underpinned by the value system applicable in customary law and custom, and function in terms of the Constitution.
The Repeal of the Transkeian Penal Code Act: the Transkeian Penal Code was enacted when the area formerly known as the Republic of Transkei became ‘independent’.
The Code codifies criminal law in the former Transkei. Despite the reincorporation of the former Transkei into South Africa more than 20 years ago, the Code remained in full force and effect in the former Transkei, although the former Republic of Transkei had ceased to exist.
In the rest of the Republic of South Africa, a large part of substantive criminal law has not been codified but in the former Republic of Transkei, as a result of the application of the Code, some crimes are codified.
The continued application of the Code thus created an untenable situation, with criminal charges are brought in terms of the Code in the former Transkei but in terms of the common law (and other statutes) in the rest of the Republic.
The new Act repeals this Code. This gives effect to the right to equality before the law - which presumes the uniform application of the criminal law in the Republic, requires the State to ensure that there is a uniform system of criminal law and that there are no parallel laws that regulate the same subject-matter in different parts of the country.
The South African Postbank Limited Amendment Act seeks to amend the South African Postbank Limited Act, 2010, so as to adjust the establishment and the shareholding arrangements for the Postbank through the creation of a new banking controlling company.
The Bill provides for the transfer in shareholding for the Postbank from the South African Post Office SOC Limited to Government and the creation of a bank controlling company for “The Postbank SOC Limited” in terms of the Banks Act, 1990.
The Amendment Act is necessary to ensure that the Postbank meet the Bank Controlling Companies’ structure requirements.
DA COURT CHALLENGE OVER THE LADY R PANEL
The Presidency has noted the intention expressed by the official opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, to challenge the appointment of Judge Phineas Mojapelo as the head of the investigative panel appointed by President Ramaphosa, to enquire into the circumstances of the docking of the Lady R Cargo vessel in Simons town during December 2022.
The President decided to appoint the independent panel after having carefully considered the delicate balance that is needed between the public’s right to information and the state’s need to secure information, the disclosure of which may jeopardise our national security and/or international relations.
Hence, the President decided to appoint an independent panel rather than a commission of inquiry as provided for in terms of section 84(2)(f) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa,1996.
The President carefully considered his decision to appoint a judge to head the panel. President Ramaphosa acted within the law in doing so and we are confident that this appointment will withstand scrutiny.
In its politically motivated court action, the DA’s wants to undermine the country’s national interests, failing to appreciate the importance of resolving this matter in a manner that is credible and expeditious. The DA is failing to appreciate the damage this issue has caused into our economy and potentially, to very important diplomatic relations, which are now repaired as a result of the level of credibility attached to the panel and its work, the outcome of the investigation and the intensive amount of diplomatic work that has been conducted to date and is still being managed.
Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to the President - +27 82 835 6315
Issued by: The Presidency