22 August 2001
At its meeting today Cabinet approved amendments to labour legislation (Labour Relations and Basic Conditions of Employment Bills) after a protracted process of negotiations with business and labour partners. The details of these amendments can be found in the government website, www.gov.za.
This concludes an important step in defining a labour relations dispensation that takes into account the varied interests of these stakeholders, against the backdrop of the need to speed up investment and job creation, and to ensure job security. Further input on these matters will now be handled through Parliament.
The meeting also approved the following bills for submission to Parliament:
- Judicial Officers’ Amendment Bill which, among other things, brings appointment requirements for Magistrates into line with those relating to Judges and makes provision for the Head of the Constitutional Court to become Chief Justice of SA;
- Medical Schemes Amendment Bill, which amends aspects of the Medical Schemes Act.
The meeting also approved a draft National Commercial Ports Policy for public discussion.
Cabinet discussed the plans of COSATU to organise a general strike next week, in protest against "privatisation". The meeting reiterated the commitment of government to its mandated policies to restructure state enterprises in the interest of South Africa’s people, including the poor. Ministers of Public Enterprises, Trade and Industry and Minerals and Energy will brief the media on the government’s approach to the general strike tomorrow, Thursday 22 August.
Further, the meeting approved a process towards the identification of a Strategic Equity Partner for Apron Services, the ground handling entity at South Africa’s airports, as well as a long and short-term disposal strategy for Aventura Resorts.
Cabinet received a briefing on the broad background regarding recent operations of the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and law-enforcement agencies, affecting a senior person in the soccer fraternity.
Government wishes to reiterate that these actions are matters of law enforcement and compliance with tax regulations. Such operations have been carried out in the past months against all kinds of corporations and individuals in various areas of life. It is therefore critical that all South Africans co-operate with this necessary campaign to ensure full compliance with the law by all citizens. No one is above the law.
The meeting approved the introduction of a new Foreign Investment Grant, which will be incorporated into the investment incentives programmes approved by government last year. The Grant will be available only to new qualifying foreign investment in terms of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Programme, at a cost limit of R3-million per project.
Cabinet received a briefing on the Third Preparatory Committee meeting for the World Conference Against Racism. The government delegation to the Conference will finalise South Africa’s formal positions on some of the issues on the agenda.
The meeting examined the operations of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, and considered measures to improve its impact. These include improving loan procedures, development of a single national means test, linkages between the scheme and the Human Resource Development needs of the country, and the need to communicate information about the NSFAS among rural communities.
The meeting approved the following appointments:
- Perumal Naidoo as Assistant Commissioner – Provincial Commissioner for Gauteng;
- Ministerial History Committee for the South African History Project, chaired by Dr M Mulaudzi;
- Examiners and Chief Examiners of the Film and Publication Board;
- Board of the South African Maritime Safety Authority;
- Board Members of the SA National Roads Agency, chaired by Kehla Shubane;
- DDG for General Education in the Department of Education.
The meeting approved the adjustment of the remuneration package for the South African Human Rights Commission.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)