6 November 2002
Cabinet was briefed today on the Language Policy Framework for Higher Education and it approved the broad approach in dealing with this matter. This includes the development of other South African languages, in addition to English and Afrikaans, for use as scientific/academic languages, and promotion of the study of languages and literature in Higher Education.
Cabinet noted and welcomed progress that has been made in Abuja at the meeting of the NEPAD Heads of State Implementation Committee, regarding the implementation of the NEPAD programme. This includes the steps taken towards the operationalisation of the African peer review mechanism as a comprehensive system addressing, first and foremost, the interests of the people of the continent.
While, in the medium-term, AU structures will play a critical overarching role in this regard, concrete steps have been taken urgently to develop criteria and indicators for measuring performance on political and economic governance, and to finalise the accession process. This will start the process of self-assessment on the part of the continent, in the interest of socio-economic development and realising the basic human rights of Africa's people.
The meeting was briefed on a campaign to be launched by the Department Home Affairs for all South Africans to acquire Identity Documents. This will include focussed activity in schools and a drive to ensure registration of all children at birth. The campaign is critical for the implementation of some of the poverty eradication programmes. Further, it is also envisaged that political parties would play an important role in this campaign.
Cabinet noted the progress being made by the security agencies in tracking down the individuals responsible for recent bomb explosions in Gauteng. Government is of the firm conviction that these are criminal actions, by individuals with irrational objectives that cannot be achieved.
In expressing its condolences to, and sympathy with, the families affected, government calls on all South Africans to be vigilant and to work with the security agencies to ensure that these individuals are brought to book. Together, we are fully capable of eliminating these acts of violence; and no one can stop South Africa from its chosen path of reconstruction and development, nation-building and reconciliation.
Cabinet approved the presentation of a number of international conventions to Parliament for ratification:
- the SADC Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation;
- the UN Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts;
- the AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, after it has been signed by the President;
- International Atomic Energy Agency Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management.
Cabinet noted the recent debates on the issue of transformation in all sporting codes, including cricket. Government, like all other sectors of our society, reiterates its full support for all our national sports teams and players; and regards continuing transformation, in this respect, as a necessary process in our changing society.
While condemning unethical conduct in the handling of confidential discussions, government also rejects malicious rumours that can only have the effect of undermining efforts directed at improving participation by all South Africans in various sporting codes. In this regard, it welcomed the consultations that have started between the Sport and Recreation Minister and the leadership of the UCB to bring focus back to matters of substance.
In the coming weeks, the Minister of Sport and Recreation will submit a comprehensive report to Cabinet on progress in the process of transformation.
The meeting approved the provision of Hospital Services by the SANDF to the UN Mission (MONUC) in the DRC.
Cabinet approved the appointment of 3 members to fill vacancies in the Sentech Non-executive Board of Directors.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)