7 August 2002
Cabinet was today briefed on preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, and it expressed appreciation at the progress that has been made in readying Johannesburg and other venues for the Summit. The meeting also noted the massive interest shown by most countries of the world, including Heads of State and Government, to be part of this historic gathering. Government wishes to emphasise that making such a large and complex international event a success is the responsibility of all South Africans.
The meeting was briefed on preparations for the interment of Sarah Bartmann, which will take place on Women's Day, 9 August. This event symbolises the restoration of the dignity of a South African, and through her, the dignity of all of us, as we consign to the past a history of humiliation and exploitation that Africa suffered under colonialism. The event on August 9 gives practical meaning to the theme for August, Putting Women's Empowerment at the heart of Africa's Reconstruction: Respect our Rights, Restore our Dignity!
Cabinet confirmed the decision by Transnet Limited to award a number of tenders at the Port of Ngqura, amounting in total to about R2-bn. These relate to Maritime Civil Engineering Works, Sand Bypass Works and Dredging Works. For each of the contracts, concrete time frames of not more than three years have been set for completion of the projects.
The meeting was briefed on progress being made in the joint working group between government and role-players in the mining industry, to finalise the charter for black economic empowerment. It is estimated that a joint draft document should be completed soon. It is in part a reflection of confidence among investors of the possibilities that the new minerals legislation provides, that Anglo Platinum has taken far-reaching long-term investment decisions announced today, encompassing significant BEE partnerships and amounting to over R10-bn.
Cabinet reiterated that there was no intention on the part of government to mobilise disadvantaged South Africans to "flood banks with applications" at the instance of the adoption of Community Reinvestment legislation. The meeting noted that the Minister of Housing had never made such a statement, in the first instance. On the contrary, the process of consultation between government and the banks continues, to finalise a draft that would be approved by Cabinet before submission to Parliament.
The following Bills were approved for submission to Parliament:
- Intelligence Services Bill, which provides for the regulation of conditions of service and skills provision;
- Electronic Communications Security (Pty) Limited Bill which provides for the setting up of an agency to provide electronic communications services to government;
- Intelligence Services Control Amendment Bill, which amends provisions on accountability of the Inspector-General for Intelligence and vetting of Parliamentary Oversight Committee members;
- National Strategic Intelligence Amendment Bill which regularises definitions and membership of NICOC;
- Agricultural Debt Management Bill, which improves mechanisms for processing of such debt;
- Deeds Registries Amendment Bill which updates the 1937 Act to comply with new laws on such matters as customary marriages;
- Petroleum Product Amendment Bill which ensures current legislation conforms with government's policy objectives in this sector;
- Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill which is now being submitted to Parliament after consideration of public comments; and
- National Health Bill, which provides for regulation and structuring of a national health system across the three spheres of government.
Cabinet also approved the signing of SADC Memoranda of Understanding, firstly on macro-economic convergence and, secondly, on co-operation in taxation; as well as the accession by SA to the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade.
The following matters related to appointments were approved:
- Two members of the Board of the Road Accident Fund;
- Restructuring of the Municipal Infrastructure Investment Board and extension of the life of the MII Unit by 3 years; and
- Members of the Board of the newly-formed Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO).
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)