10 October 2001
Cabinet was today briefed on negotiations regarding salaries and conditions of service of public servants. The meeting welcomed progress that had been made in these negotiations, including the signing of the agreement by some of the unions.
It urged those unions that had not signed to do so as urgently as possible in the interest of their members, the public service and society at large. [A detailed statement on this issue is contained in the address made this afternoon in Parliament by the Minister of Public Service and Administration].
The meeting also examined the report of the Medical Research Council on the impact of HIV/AIDS on adult mortality in SA. The meeting noted that the Interdepartmental Task Team and Statistics South Africa had expressed concern on the methodology and findings of the report. In so far as official statistics on trends in mortality are concerned, Statistics South Africa is continuing with its research, and its findings will be released towards the end of the year.
Cabinet resolved that the MRC could, if it so wished, release the report to the public. This is with the understanding that this report is but one contribution to a continuing official process. Stats SA will explain to the public both the concerns on the findings of this report as well as the processes leading up to the release of official statistics on this matter.
Cabinet noted the actions by law-enforcement agencies on matters ostensibly related to investigations into the arms procurement process. It reiterated the position of government that these agencies are obliged to carry out their functions without fear or favour, and that the accused should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise. Government remains confident that the primary contracting process, which was its main function, was watertight enough to obviate possibilities of corruption. It will respond appropriately to the report of the investigation agencies when it is released.
The meeting was briefed on the visit by President Thabo Mbeki to Belgium, to deepen relations with that country and promote co-operation between Africa and the European Union through MAP/NAI. Cabinet also noted the meeting currently under way of the Bi-national Commission between SA and Sweden, led by the Deputy President and Deputy Prime Minister respectively; and it welcomed the strengthening of relations between our two countries.
Cabinet reviewed progress in the implementation of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). It welcomed progress as well as weaknesses in various Departments, and urged Members of the Executive, at national and provincial levels, and Accounting Officers to ensure that all the provisions of the Act are observed.
The appointment of one Deputy Director-General in the Department of Defence, and two in National Treasury (Stats SA) was approved.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)