A. Issues in the environment
1. United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)
1.1. Cabinet welcomed the address by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the 78th UNGA held in New York, United States of America from 18 to 26 September 2023.
1.2. The President’s widely welcomed address reaffirmed South Africa’s position in championing the interests, and equal and meaningful participation, of the African continent and the Global South in general at the UN and other multilateral forums.
1.3. The address also reaffirmed South Africa’s resoluteness in the mobilisation of support for:
(a) renewed commitment to multilateralism, based on clear rules and supported by effective institutions.
(b) the reform of the UN Security Council (UNSC), to give meaning to the principle of the sovereign equality of nations and to enable the UNSC to respond more effectively to current geopolitical realities.
(c) wealthy nations to increase financial support to both implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and achieve their climate-change goals in a comprehensive and integrated manner, including the need to urgently operationalise the Loss and Damage Fund for vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters, as agreed at the 27th Session of the Conference of the Parties held in Egypt in November 2022.
1.4. President Ramaphosa reaffirmed South Africa’s commitment to continue addressing climate change and positioning the country as a leader in renewable energy, green hydrogen and sustainable industrialisation.
1.5. President Ramaphosa also addressed the Advancing Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response Summit, in his capacity as the African Union Champion for the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Response.
2. South Africa’s bilateral programme on the sidelines of the 78th UNGA
2.1. On the sidelines of the 78th UNGA, President Ramaphosa led a government delegation which held several bilateral meetings aimed at strengthening strategic, political, diplomatic and trade relations.
2.2. The President met with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss progress being made on the African Peace Initiative-led confidence-building measures and other developments.
2.3. President Ramaphosa also met with:
2.3.1. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Türkiye, on strengthening relations between South Africa and Turkey, and briefing each other on the peace initiatives on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
2.3.2. President Bola Tinubu of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on strengthening relations between South Africa and Nigeria. He also received an update on the Economic Community of West African States-led initiative on the coup in Niger and general efforts to restore democratic rule in the Sahel.
2.3.3. President Emmerson Mnangagwa of the Republic of Zimbabwe, on initiatives by the government of Zimbabwe to consolidate the rebuilding of that country after the recent harmonised elections.
2.4. President Ramaphosa also participated in the United States (US)-South Africa Trade and Investment Business Roundtable, which included South African and American business leaders. With more than 600 US companies operating from South Africa, this engagement was critical in the ongoing strengthening of relations between South Africa and the US.
2.5. During the period, a formal announcement was made that the 20th US-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum, (AGOA Forum) will take place in Johannesburg from 2 to 4 November 2023. The forum will also feature the ‘Made in Africa Exhibition’ that will showcase regional value chains on the continent.
2.6. President Ramaphosa also witnessed the announcement of the collaboration between Novo Nordisk and Aspen. The collaboration will see the production of insulin at the Aspen’s facilities in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape. The collaboration aims to supply over 16 million doses of insulin in 2024, which will be up scaled by 2026. This will significantly enhance access to insulin treatment not just in South Africa, but also across the continent.
3.1. Cabinet welcomed the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s granting of trading and import/export license applications to the National Transmission Company of South Africa, paving the way for procurement of power from across the region.
3.2. The return to service of the Kusile Power Station’s Unit 4 from planned maintenance has brought back 800 megawatts to our power grid. This milestone is central to improving generation capacity for the national grid and addressing the frequency of load-shedding.
3.3. Cabinet was further briefed about progress to return Units 1, 2 and 3 of the Kusile Power Station ahead of schedule.
3.4. Cabinet welcomed Eskom’s stable rating by Moody’s Investors Service, which will improve the power utility’s credit worthiness and enable it to plan ahead in implementing planned maintenance on its generation fleet.
4. Water security
4.1. Cabinet was briefed about efforts to address water challenges affecting a number of areas across the country. The Minister of Water and Sanitation, Mr Senzo Mchunu and executive mayors of some of the cities in Gauteng will provide an update on ongoing interventions to stabilise water supply in the province.
4.2. Cabinet wishes to remind everyone that South Africa is a water-scarce country. All South Africans and everyone in this country must save and use water sparingly.
5. Trade matters
5.1. The South Africa-Lesotho Binational Commission (BNC) and Ministerial Cluster Meeting
5.1.1. The South Africa-Lesotho BNC and Ministerial Cluster Meeting held from 25 to 28 September 2023 is focussing on economic cooperation, cross-border issues, and the free movement of people, goods and services between the two countries.
5.1.2. President Ramaphosa and Prime Minister Samuel Ntsokoane Matekane will co-chair the Inaugural Session of the BNC between South Africa and Lesotho on Thursday, 28 September 2023. The BNC will cover diplomatic relations, defence and security, water, transport, electricity and trade.
5.2. Online Intermediation Platform Market Inquiry
5.2.1. Cabinet received a report from the Competition Commission on the findings and remedial actions on the Online Intermediation Platform Market Inquiry. Cabinet commended the work of the commission in addressing monopoly concerns in digital intermediation platforms, including ecommerce, online travel agencies, food delivery, app stores, classifieds providers and search engines.
5.2.2. Cabinet has directed Ministers of relevant government departments to further engage with the recommendations for improvement, consider the policy implications and undertake necessary policy reforms that will facilitate meaningful participation of South Africans and small, medium and micro enterprises on the growing online business.
6. Bird flu
6.1. Cabinet noted the current outbreaks of highly pathogenic influenza (HPAI) H5 and H7 in the poultry industry in South Africa. The Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal experienced outbreaks of HPAI H5 while HPAI H7 has been reported in the provinces of Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West. Control measures to manage the spread of the outbreaks are in place and farmers are encouraged to observe prescribed biosecurity measures.
6.2. The outbreaks pose food security risks and trade measures in the form of imports to manage availability of fertile eggs, table eggs and poultry meat may be implemented. The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, South African Health Products Regulatory Authority and the industry are exploring applications for the registration of possible vaccines, with compliance measures relating to safety, efficacy and quality being paramount for registration of such vaccines.
7. Integrated fight against crime
7.1. Cabinet welcomed the update on the fight against crime, which was also provided to the nation by the Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele, and the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure.
7.2. The multidisciplinary operation on illegal mining and immigration in the Northern Cape led to the arrest of 867 people, many from Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and some South Africans. Cabinet echoed the sentiments of law-enforcement agencies that South Africans who harbour criminals involved in illegal mining activities will face the full might of the law.
8. Extreme weather
8.1. The country’s extreme weather patterns underscore the impact climate change is having in our lives and the need for sustained action to decarbonise our economy while pursuing sustainable development.
8.2. Cabinet is being kept abreast on the devastation caused by severe storms and flooding in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Gauteng, with indications that this will likely spread to other provinces.
8.3. Cabinet calls on communities to remain on high alert for further extreme weather warnings, which could bring further devastation across the country.
8.4. Government continues to support emergency services and disaster management centres for rescue operations and to provide humanitarian support.
9. Winnie Mandela Avenue
9.1. Cabinet noted the renaming of William Nicol Drive in Sandton to Winnie Mandela Avenue as an important step in rewriting the history of South Africa to reflect the contribution of those who fought for our freedom.
9.2. The event coincided with what would have been Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s 87th birthday on 26 September 2023.
B. Cabinet decisions
1. Revised Game Meat Strategy for South Africa
1.1. Cabinet approved for implementation of the Revised Game Meat Strategy for South Africa, which seeks to formalise and transform the game meat industry.
1.2. The strategy aims to strengthen the game meat sector as both a provider of food security and an economic growth sector that can help create jobs.
1.3. South Africa is ranked number one on the African continent for game-meat production. The strategy seeks to ensure the creation of 202 666 sustainable jobs in the game meat industry by 2030.
1.4. The strategy will be published on the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment’s website: www.dffe.gov.za.
2. Tourism Sector Master Plan
2.1. Cabinet has approved the alignment of the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan to a new Tourism Master Plan.
2.2. An important component of the Master Plan is to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism sector. It further provides a road map for full recovery of tourism in the country. Whereas the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan was developed to facilitate the recovery of the sector, preserve jobs and protect livelihoods, the Master Plan will take this work to another level and facilitate new opportunities in the sector.
2.3. The plan proposes seven intervention strategies to ensure the tourism sector returns to its glory days, and that it becomes the centre of job creation and entrepreneurship.
2.4. The tourism industry is a vital contributor to the economy and had supported 725 000 jobs before the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Bill of 2023
1.1. Cabinet approved the submission of the SABC Bill of 2023 to Parliament.
1.2. Once passed into law, the Bill will result in the repeal of the current Broadcasting Act, 1999 (Act 4 of 1999). The amendments will strengthen the efficiency of the operations of the public broadcaster.
1.3. The Bill further proposes reforms in the SABC’s funding model and the TV-licensing system.
2. Draft Water Services Amendment Bill
2.1. Cabinet approved the publication of the Water Services Amendment Bill for public comments.
2.2. The key aims of the Bill are to strengthen accountability for water services providers and to introduce transparency.
2.3. The amendments to the Water Services Act, 1997 (Act 108 of 1997) will ensure that water-service providers deliver high-quality water as part of their licensing conditions.
2.4. The amendments will also address weaknesses that have been identified in the water services sector.
2.5. The Bill sets minimum standards for the functioning of water services providers, which must be enforced by Water Services authorities.
3. Draft National Water Amendment Bill
3.1. Cabinet approved the publication of the draft National Water Amendment Bill for public comments. The Bill amends the National Water Act, 1998 (Act 36 of 1998).
3.2. These amendments will improve regulations and will ensure that the country’s water resources are well managed, protected and conserved.
3.3. The Bill also makes proposals to eliminate the imbalances of the past relating to water allocation, and provides for effective and quicker internal dispute resolution mechanisms.
All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and relevant clearance.
1. Mr Kuberndran Moodley as General Manager: Manufacturing and Engineering at the Government Printing Works.
2. Mr Sihle Ngubane as General Manager: Operations Management at the Government Printing Works.
3. Ms Mmolaeng Mooki as General Manager: Corporate Services at the Government Printing Works.
4. Appointment of non-executive directors to the Board of the South African Special Risk Insurance Association
4.1. Ms Deshnie Subbiah; and
4.2. Mr Jannie Venter.
5. Appointment of non-executive directors to the Board of the Development Bank of Southern Africa
5.1. Mr Bongani Nqwabana (reappointment);
5.2. Mr Petrus Matji (reappointment);
5.3. Ms Pinkie Nqeto (reappointment);
5.4. Mr Jonathan Muthige;
5.5. Ms Chantal Naidoo;
5.6. Ms Disebo Moephuli;
5.7. Mr Barry Hore;
5.8. Mr Joel Netshitenzhe;
5.9. Prof Edgar Pieterse; and
5.10. Ms Zodwa Mbele.
E. Upcoming Events
1. Transport Month
1.1. This year’s Transport Month will be commemorated under the theme: “Siyakha – Building better infrastructure to grow South Africa”.
1.2. Transport Month 2023 will focus on major investments in transport infrastructure, and a call to action to protect transport infrastructure from theft and vandalism.
2. World Teachers’ Day
2.1. South Africa will join the rest of the world in commemorating World Teachers’ Day on Thursday, 5 October 2023, under the theme: “The teachers we need for the education we want: The global imperative to reverse the teacher shortage”. The day aims to raise awareness, understanding and appreciation for the vital contribution that teachers make to education and development across the globe.
2.2. This day has been declared jointly by the International Labour Organization and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to celebrate the critical work that our teachers do.
Cabinet extended its congratulations and well-wishes to:
General Bheki Cele, the Minister of Police, who received the Great Wall Commemorative Medal from the People’s Republic of China for the South African Police Service’s contribution to the broader law-enforcement cooperation between the two countries.
Ms Angie Motshekga, the Minister of Basic Education, on being selected by the Secretary-General of the UN, Mr Antonio Guterres, to serve on a Global High-Level Panel to advise him on how countries can transform their education systems. The selection of Minister Motshekga into the high-level panel reflects her level of expertise in the field of education and is an expression of confidence on South Africa’s education trajectory.
The panel includes representatives from the International Labour Organization, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Teacher Task Force, Global Teacher Unions and three education Ministers. The panel was co-chaired by two former Presidents.
Cape Town Film Studios, local actors and stunt performers, for their work on the Netflix series, One Piece, that rocketed to number one worldwide on the online streaming platform.
Van Ryn’s Distillery, for being awarded the World’s Best Brandy trophy for its 12-year-old potstill brandy at the 2023 International Spirits Challenge in London.
Cabinet expressed condolences to the family and friends of:
Mr Aziz Goolam Hoosein Pahad (82), the former anti-apartheid activist who was the first South African democratic government Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1994 to 2008.
Lieutenant Commander Gillian Elizabeth Hector, Master Warrant Officer William Masela Mathipa, and Warrant Officer Class One Mmokwapa Lucas Mojela, who died in the line of duty while aboard the submarine, SAS Manthatisi, off Kommetjie in the Western Cape.
the 22 mineworkers from the Venetia Diamond Mine in Limpopo, who died in a road accident in Musina (Vhembe District).
Ms Zoleka Mandela (43), author and activist, and the granddaughter of anti-apartheid heroes Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Eleven people who lost their lives in the extreme weather conditions that hit several parts of our country in the past week.
Source: Government of South Africa