25 January 2006
Cabinet held its first ordinary meeting of the year on Wednesday 25 January.
The meeting was followed by a Cabinet lekgotla from Wednesday to Friday 27 January. The lekgotla was attended by Cabinet members, Deputy Ministers, Premiers, national and provincial DGs, advisors in The Presidency and, for the first time, office-bearers (Chairperson and Deputy Chairpersons) of SALGA as well as the SALGA CEO. The decision to extend participation in national Cabinet makgotla to representatives of local government is informed by the need to strengthen integration across all spheres of government.
The Cabinet lekgotla reviewed the implementation of the government's 2005 Programme of Action and decided on policy actions and projects to be undertaken during 2006. The content of these decisions will be articulated by the President in the State of the Nation Address on 3 February.
The ordinary Cabinet meeting in principle approved a Framework for Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly-Financed Research, and agreed on consultative processes which will lead to legislation on this matter.
It approved an electricity generation investment plan, including the split in this regard between Eskom and independent power producers. The plan will help inform decisions of the private sector: a number of private companies have expressed an interest in taking part in this programme. The meeting also approved the setting up of a Joint Commission to ensure the implementation of the Inter-Governmental Memorandum of Understanding between SA and Mozambique on the Power Development Initiatives in Northern Mozambique.
The following appointments were approved:
- Extension of term of office of CEO of Government Communications (GCIS) and Head of the Policy Unit (PCAS), JK Netshitenzhe for a period of five years: during the first year of this contract, the two positions will be decoupled and Mr Netshitenzhe will continue as Head just of the Policy Unit;
- Mr NP Nhleko as Regional Commissioner (DDG) for KwaZulu/Natal in the Department of Correctional Services;
- One DDG each in the Departments of Social Development and Public Service and Administration; and
- Members of the Board of the Council for Geoscience.
The meeting approved accession by SA to the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management.
Cabinet agreed that 1 March 2006, voting day in the local government elections, should be declared a National Holiday. This will enable voters freely to exercise their right to take part in the elections.
The President informed the Cabinet lekgotla that he had granted a request by Deputy Minister of Correctional Services, Ms Cheryl Gillwald to be released from her position in government in order to attend to family commitments. This will take effect from the beginning of February 2006. The President and Cabinet expressed their appreciation for the dedicated service that Ms Gillwald had rendered the country both as Deputy Minister and Member of Parliament, and wished her well in her new endeavours.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)