3 August 2005
At its meeting today, Cabinet was briefed on the wide-ranging discussion that took place at the Land Summit, and it welcomed the fact that all critical role-players participated in the consultations on this critical question, starting off with the provincial summits that preceded the national meeting. The outcome of the Summit is being processed, and a detailed discussion will take place in due course to determine whether there will be any need to develop new policy and/or implementation approaches on the part of government.
The meeting noted the various events taking place during Women's Month (August), around the theme, "Women building a South Africa that truly belongs to all - building on Beijing ". In addition to honouring women who fought for freedom, these events will also provide an opportunity for collective review of the progress and challenges in the struggle for women's emancipation since the advent of democracy and the adoption in 1995 of the Beijing Platform of Action.
As SA gains experience in its participation in Peace Missions across the continent and further afield, the issue of the utilisation of SA Police Service members in such missions has arisen as requiring clear policy and operational guidelines. Cabinet reflected on this matter today, taking into account the experience of, and prescripts guiding, the SA National Defence Force and the deployment, for the first time, of civilian police monitors in the AU Peace Mission in the Darfur Region in Sudan.
The meeting approved standard "Entry and Exit Criteria" for such missions. These include mandating by AU and/or UN, approval by Cabinet, clarity on SAPS members' role, jurisdiction over the members, consideration of national interest and so on. It was also agreed that, in addition to tabling each proposal on deployment in Parliament, consideration should be given to amending the SAPS Act to provide for such exercises.
Cabinet was briefed on the development of a 2010 Transport Action Agenda, which deals with transport planning in preparation for the Soccer World Cup. Further work is being done on the programme for finalisation during the course of this month. It was agreed that, in the meantime, the capacity of provincial transport agencies would be strengthened, including in particular in respect of spending on infrastructure.
With regard to the totality of government's specific responsibilities in co-ordinating preparations for the Soccer World Cup, Cabinet agreed that an adequately-resourced structure needed to be set up, over and above relevant Ministers' participation in the LOC. In this regard, it was agreed to appoint Dr Joseph Phaahla, currently CEO of the SA Sports Commission, as Government Co-ordinator for the 2010 Soccer World Cup (backed by an Inter-Ministerial Committee and a Technical Team), at the level of Director-General.
The meeting also approved the following appointments:
- Extension of term of DG: Provincial and Local Government for a period of three years;
- Board of the State Information Technology Agency (SITA), with Ms Thenjiwe Chikane as Chairperson;
- Extension of the term of Ms N Mtshotshisa as Chairperson of the Telkom Board for a period of one year, and as Director for 3 years;
- One DDG in the SA Management Development Institute (SAMDI); and
- Dr N Mathabe as Chairperson of the SA National Commission for UNESCO.
The meeting was briefed on the challenges of managing national water resources infrastructure, and the various options to strengthen this capacity. It was agreed in principle to set up a National Water Resources Infrastructure Agency. This will be phased in, by bringing together the Infrastructure Branch in the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry and the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority. The Agency will play a critical role in ensuring that the country is able to meet its long-term water needs in a sustainable, efficient and equitable manner.
Cabinet was briefed on the ongoing interaction between SA and Zimbabwe on the assistance that SA can provide to that country. In principle, government is open to such assistance, including provision of a loan facility in relation to Zimbabwe 's obligations to the International Monetary Fund. Our approach on this matter is premised on the principle that such assistance should be to the benefit of the Zimbabwean people as a whole, within the context of their programme of economic recovery and political normalisation.
Further, government will work with the UN and SA religious leaders to provide emergency humanitarian assistance, including particularly in the aftermath of "Operation Restore Order".
Cabinet noted and accepted the report of the Public Protector on the matter pertaining to PetroSA and its contractual relations with Imvume. While government had always understood that the allegations of improper conduct on the part of state officials were unfounded, we do appreciate that this matter, as it relates to government, has been laid to rest. Cabinet respects the authority and integrity of the constitutional bodies set up to protect our democracy, and we hope that the same principles will be observed by other institutions in our society.
The meeting noted positive developments in the economy, including the upgrading of South Africa's credit rating by Standard & Poor's and employment statistics indicating that half-a-million (500 000) additional jobs had been created between March 2004 and March 2005 - surpassing the number of new entrants into the labour market. This is an improvement on the 400 000 new jobs reported the year before. We are confident that, working together, government, business, labour and other partners can improve the performance of the economy so we can build a better life for all.
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Issued by: Government Communication (GCIS)