26 October 2020

From the Government Gazette, Speeches by Cabinet Members and Media Statements (26 October 2020)

Covid-19 disaster management


  • The Lindela repatriation holding facility is now open to visitors, according to a ministerial directive gazetted on 23 October.
  • On 21 October, the Sani Pass border post was re-opened in an amendment to the disaster management regulations for lockdown level one.
  • According to a ministerial directive gazetted on 21 October, subject to compliance with all relevant protocols, schools may now resume:
    • non-contact sports training sessions, home and away matches and related activities
    • contact sport training (although ‘physical contact between participants’ is prohibited), and
    • ‘school-based’ arts and culture activities.
  • Although President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on 15 October that the special relief of social distress grant will be extended by ‘a further three months’, this has yet to be confirmed in the Government Gazette.


Economic reconstruction and recovery

  • The 19 October edition of ‘From the desk of the President’ provided more details on the presidential employment stimulus package announced as part of government’s economic reconstruction and recovery plan.
  • Creating ‘directly-funded jobs’ and ‘a livelihood support’ programme ‘while the labour market recovers’ from Covid-19, the package:
    • focuses on ‘social employment’ that (according to ‘From the desk of the President’ and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech on the plan) will include:
      • informal settlement upgrading
      • recruiting teaching and other assistants for state-run schools (to help catch up after the lockdown)
      • ‘support’ for early childhood development practitioners
      • ‘production input grants’ for small-scale farmers
      • ‘new funding’ for the arts and culture sector
      • rolling out ‘affordable, high-speed broadband’ to low-income households
      • ‘scaled up’ working on fire and working for water programmes
      • the ‘labour-intensive maintenance and construction of municipal infrastructure and rural roads’
      • the ‘deployment’ of community health workers and nursing assistants as government proceeds with implementing national health insurance
      • the ‘improved maintenance’ of ‘public spaces and facilities’, and
      • ‘the protection of jobs in vulnerable sectors’.


Rural safety and security

  • Government is ‘fast-tracking’ its 2019 revised rural safety strategy, according to a media statement on the outcome of a Cabinet meeting held on 21 October.
  • Among other things, the strategy seeks to:
    • ‘strengthen’ and build on existing ‘relationships’ in rural communities
    • ‘encourage’ co-operation between ‘all stakeholders in rural safety’
    • promote a ‘co-ordinated, … integrated’ approach to improving rural safety and security, and to
    • facilitate ‘joint’ interventions in planning for, implementing, further developing and evaluating measures aimed at combating crime in rural areas and addressing ongoing issues.

Small-scale fishing

  • Proposals for the apportionment of local commercial and small-scale fisher allocations in the traditional line, abalone and squid fishing sectors were gazetted on 23 October for comment.
  • Input from stakeholders is invited in a separate Government Gazette notice proposing that the white mussel, oyster and hake handline fishing sectors should be reclassified as small-scale fisheries.

Broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE)

  • The Legal Practice Council is developing a B-BBEE code of good practice for the legal services sector, with consultations scheduled to begin next month, according to a media statement issued on 22 October.
  • The announcement follows a notice published in June.


4th industrial revolution report

  • The report of the presidential commission on the 4th industrial revolution was gazetted on 23 October in a document including a summary and the full diagnostic report.
  • Key recommendations include:
    • investment in human capital
    • ‘building and owning’ the necessary ‘significant’ infrastructure
    • creating platforms for citizen participation
    • establishing an institute tasked with using ‘creative artificial intelligence, big data analytics, blockchain and cybersecurity’ to address country-specific challenges across the African continent
    • protecting the sovereignty of government data
    • incentivising ‘future industries and applications’, and
    • updating the regulatory environment.
  • According to remarks in the report from Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, ‘the momentous task of developing a comprehensive implementation plan’ is already under way.


Prepared by Pam Saxby

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