1 September 2004
Cabinet today received a briefing from the Auditor-General on the outcome of the audit of government institutions for the 2003/04 financial year.
The meeting noted the progress in strengthening financial accountability within national and provincial departments in line with the Public Finance Management Act, as well as the need to strengthen, in a number of establishments, the areas of asset management, transfer payments and internal audit functions. It also resolved to work with public entities and local government structures to improve compliance with auditing requirements.
Cabinet expressed its appreciation of the support by the Auditor-General’s Office in improving democratic governance, and of the work being done in the Office, including training, to transform the institution.
The Comprehensive Housing Plan for the Development of Integrated Sustainable Human Settlements was approved as a framework for housing programmes in the next five years. The Plan provides for comprehensive oversight by government in promoting the residential property market. This includes the development of low-cost housing, medium-density accommodation and rental housing, stronger partnerships with the private sector, social infrastructure and amenities. The Plan also aims at changing spatial settlement patterns, informed by the need to build multi-cultural communities in a non-racial society.
Cabinet approved the broad thrust of the National Water Resource Strategy, which has been amended after the draft was released for public comment in 2002. The Strategy, which conforms with our country’s policies and obligations deriving from the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), deals with such matters as the country’s present and future water requirements, sustainable balance between water availability and needs, institutional arrangements and other matters to ensure sustainable use of this resource.
The following statutes were approved for submission to Parliament:
- General Amendment Bill which seeks to correct technical errors in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act and the Mining Titles Registration Act;
- Instruments adopted at the International Labour Conference in 2002 and 2003 dealing with such issues as safety and health in agriculture, occupational diseases and promotion of co-operatives.
Cabinet also approved a Consumer Policy Framework, which is to be released as a Green Paper for public comment. The Framework seeks to improve the system of consumer protection by strengthening consumer rights and redress mechanisms, to consolidate the patchwork of protection mechanisms under a law of general application, and to provide for relevant authorities that would more effectively protect the welfare of all economic citizens.
The meeting noted preparations for the National Imbizo Focus Week that will take place from 24 to 30 September 2004. Thus far, over 350 events have already been planned for. The programme will include a visit to Mpumalanga Province by the President (30 September to 02 October), and it will involve popularisation of the government’s programme of action, promotion of public participation in line with the People’s Contract and feedback on issues raised during previous iimbizo. As part of the imbizo approach to governance, the Deputy President will this week undertake various such activities in the Western Cape Province.
Cabinet noted recent developments with regard to alleged mercenary activity targeted at Equatorial Guinea. In this regard, government wishes to reiterate its respect for due process, presumption of innocence until guilt is proven and our country’s commitment to co-operate with African and other countries in eradicating unlawful removal of governments from office. South Africa will do everything in its power to ensure that our country is not used as a base for illegal activities.
Government congratulates Team South Africa for the performance of our athletes at the 2004 Olympic Games. Both the medal winners and the rest of the team acquitted themselves well, and they have made a humble contribution on behalf of all South Africans to making the Olympics a celebration of friendship among nations. The lessons learnt from this experience will inform intensified programmes to develop sport in our country, as well as preparations for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
The meeting approved the appointment of two members of the Board of the SA Weather Service.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)