13 May 2004
Cabinet held its first lekgotla after the elections on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, as well as a regular Cabinet meeting on the morning of Wednesday.
The Cabinet lekgotla dealt comprehensively with matters pertaining to the government's programme of action deriving from the electoral mandate. In this regard, the lekgotla examined progress and challenges in respect of matters of governance, economic growth and development, provision of social services, security and justice, as well as international relations.
While attention was paid to the challenges in the coming five years, the lekgotla focussed on concrete programmes that need to be implemented with immediate effect, in order to start the process of further consolidating our democracy and taking the country onto a higher growth and development path.
Details on the outcome of the lekgotla will be articulated by the President in his address in Parliament on 21 May 2004, and in the ensuing Ministerial briefings.
Cabinet noted and welcomed the work that has been done by the SA Bid Committee working with government, the private sector and other civil society bodies for SA to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Government wishes the delegation, led by President Thabo Mbeki, well in their presentation to the FIFA Executive Committee tomorrow. While we are all holding our breath in anticipation of the announcement on Saturday, we are confident that SA has done everything in its power to demonstrate both our capacity and will to stage this event.
The following appointments were approved:
- Murphy Morobe as Deputy Director-General responsible for communication in The Presidency;
- Cunningham Ngcukana as Deputy Director-General in The Presidency working in the NEPAD Secretariat;
- A member of the Railway Safety Regulator; and
- Board of Control of the SA Rail Commuter Corporation to be chaired by JM Ngobeni.
Cabinet requested the Minister of Home Affairs urgently to convene the Committee of Ministers dealing with Immigration Regulations so that these regulations could be finalised as soon as possible.
Cabinet received a formal request from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), through the AU, for SA to accommodate President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti in our country.
The South African government has acceded to this request, and the decision will be formally conveyed to the AU, CARICOM and Mr Aristide. This arrangement will be a temporary one, until the situation in Haiti has stabilised to the extent that it would be possible for him and his family to return.
The SA government will take responsibility for Mr Aristide's residence and upkeep.
In acceding to this request South Africa seeks to contribute to international efforts to bring stability to Haiti. On 30 April the UN Security Council unanimously approved a United Nations Peacekeeping Mission to that country. The UN Mission will take over on 1 June 2004 from the current US-led Multinational Interim Force. The Mission is tasked with establishing a secure and stable environment, fostering democratic governance, assisting in organising free and fair elections, strengthening the rule of law and supporting human rights institutions and groups.
South Africa has a responsibility, as an African country and as part of the international community, to ensure that democracy and peace prevail in Haiti, and that the people of this country are able democratically to elect their leaders. We support the call for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr Aristide's removal from office, and we are committed to building international consensus against unilateral regime changes.
We are confident that South Africans will handle this matter with the level of maturity and dignity that is concomitant with the kind of role that SA plays and is expected to play in international relations.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)