12 May 2005
At its ordinary meeting held yesterday, 11 May 2005, Cabinet noted the initiation by the President of the new phase of the imbizo programme, focussing on deepening democracy and improving service delivery in municipalities. Special attention in this programme will be paid to municipalities which have been identified for assistance through Project Consolidate. The programme will also involve the Deputy President and other members of the Executive from national and provincial governments.
The meeting was briefed on the content of, and process to finalise, Regulations in terms of the new immigration legislation. The meeting approved the Regulations in principle, pending further consultation among relevant departments. Once this process is completed, the Regulations will be promulgated.
The following appointments were approved:
- Duncan Hindle as Director-General in the Department of Education, currently Deputy Director-General (DDG) in the same Department;
- Adv Menzi Simelane as Director-General in the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, currently Commissioner in the Competition Commission;
- Fezile Makiwane as CEO of the new South African Social Security Agency, currently DDG in the Department of Social Development;
- Major General VI Ramlakan as Surgeon General (rank of Lieutenant General) in the South African National Defence Force, currently Inspector General; and
- Three DDGs in the Department of Science and Technology.
Cabinet welcomed the progress that has been made in finalising the transaction between Barclays and ABSA Banks. This deal, the biggest such Foreign Direct Investment transaction since 1994, reflects the confidence of the international financial sector and the investor community in general in the future of our country. While noting that a number of processes are still underway, government is convinced that, once concluded this transaction will result in Barclays Bank joining the financial sector in our country as a partner in our reconstruction and development efforts.
The meeting approved the Genetically Modified Organisms Amendment Bill which is aimed at aligning South Africa's biosafety framework with the international Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
After the ordinary meeting, Cabinet convened in a special extended session including Deputy Ministers, Premiers and Directors-General from national departments and the provinces to reflect on matters pertaining to the improvement of the organisation and capacity of the democratic state. The discussion, which was based on proposals from the Forum of South African Directors-General (FOSAD), examined a variety of matters pertaining to the structure of government, relationship between the executive and management, inter-governmental relations, morale within the public service as a whole, acquisition and retention of skills and so on.
Given the wide-ranging nature of the issues that have to be canvassed, as well as the comments made in the discussion, it was agreed that further work would be done by a team from the Management Committee of FOSAD in consultation with the President. Central in this work is the critical challenge of ensuring that government across all the spheres improves its capacity to lead society in taking the country to a higher growth and development trajectory and in providing services to citizens more effectively and efficiently. Relevant announcements will be made once the process has been completed.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)