4 February 2004
At its meeting today, Cabinet approved the following Bills for submission to Parliament:
- Public Investment Corporation (PIC) Bill, which provides for the corporatisation of the entity to operate as a commercially-driven asset management company for investing and managing funds for public bodies;
- International Arbitration Bill, which seeks to embody all South African legislation on international arbitration in a single statute and to bring such legislation in line with international multilateral agreements; and
- Water Services Amendment Bill, which provides for the operation of Water Boards outside of South Africa.
Cabinet was briefed on the strategies for consolidating, deepening and widening the impact of the National Strategy for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education. It noted the increase in the number of learners enrolling for Grade 12 Mathematics and Science, which includes larger numbers of African learners and girl children who pass these subjects in Higher Grade, as well as a marked improvement in teacher qualification and competence.
However, it was agreed that the gains were modest and that further intensive interventions were required, including:
- closer co-operation between the Departments of Education and Science and Technology;
- drawing lessons from exceptional enrolments and performances in provinces such as Limpopo; and
- investigation of incentives to attract teachers especially to rural schools.
Cabinet congratulated the Independent Electoral Commission regarding the campaign to ensure that as many South Africans as possible register to vote in the upcoming elections. It was emphasised that those who have not as yet registered should be encouraged to do so at their local municipal offices, pending the proclamation of the election date by the President.
The meeting approved the appointment of one Deputy Director-General in the Department of Public Works.
Cabinet also considered matters pertaining to the budget, in preparation for the Budget Speech by the Minister of Finance on 18 February 2004.
The meeting expressed its appreciation of the contribution made by the former Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, who, as announced earlier this week, will be taking up a post in the diplomatic service.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)