13 April 2005
At its meeting today, Cabinet was briefed on implications of climate change for biodiversity and other natural resources as well as the status of multilateral climate change negotiations. Cabinet also endorsed the BEE Charter and scorecard for the tourism sector. Details of the work that is being done in both instances will be presented by the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) in early May. Further, the meeting endorsed the joint initiative by the Departments of Public Works and DEAT to develop and manage fishing harbours. This is with the aim of developing the harbours' full economic and social potential, including tourism growth, recreational enjoyment and investment in commercial and residential properties.
The following appointments were approved:
- Glen S Thomas as DG: Department of Land Affairs, currently serving as DDG in the same department;
- Masiphula M Mbongwa as DG: Department of Agriculture, currently serving as DDG in the same department;
- PJL du Toit as Divisional Commissioner (DDG) in SAPS, responsible for the Criminal Record Centre and Forensic Science Services;
- Bongani Gxilishe as DDG responsible for the Expanded Public Works Programme in the Department of Public Works;
- Extension of the term of office of members of the SA Statistics Council; and
- Extension of the contract of Dr J Phaahla in the post of CEO of the SA Sports Commission (SASC) pending the dissolution of the Commission at the end of September 2005.
The President informed Cabinet that he had granted a request from the Chief of the SANDF, General Siphiwe Nyanda to take early retirement at the end of May 2005. In this regard, the President, after consultation with the Minister of Defence has appointed Lt. Gen GN Ngwenya as Chief of the SANDF with effect from 1st June 2005. Government expresses its profound appreciation to General Nyanda for his sterling service to the people of our country; and wishes him well in his new endeavours.
The meeting was also briefed on matters pertaining to appointments in the management and Board of Denel. Details in this regard will be announced by the Minister of Public Enterprises during the course of this week. Cabinet noted that these matters are being handled in consultation with all parties concerned, and with full appreciation of the contribution that each of the affected individuals have made and will continue to make in this and other sectors of our defence industry and economy as a whole.
Cabinet welcomed the success of the National Imbizo Focus Week, which involved executive members from the three spheres of government in directly exchanging views about government programmes with citizens. Information currently available indicates that about 460 events were held throughout the country, making this the largest ever interaction since the programme was launched.
The meeting welcomed the progress that has been made in assisting leaders of the Ivory Coast to reach agreement on processes that should result in the restoration of peace and development in that country. President Thabo Mbeki, in taking forward some of the decisions taken at the negotiations, has communicated his determination on the issue of citizenship and eligibility for participation in elections to the role-players in that country, and awaits their response. SA commits itself to continue assisting the people of Ivory Coast in implementing the peace agreement.
Government noted the conclusions reached by various Observer Missions on the conduct of the recent parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe, including those from the SA government, SADC, the AU and other bodies within Zimbabwe. The meeting noted that all the Missions were at one that these elections were an improvement on previous ones.
Government agrees that the outcome of the elections was a credible reflection of the will of the people of Zimbabwe. However, while welcoming these improvements, government has noted the issues raised by other role-players such as discrepancies in counted votes and number of people for various reasons turned away from polling stations. These matters should be and are being addressed by the people of Zimbabwe through the relevant authorities.
SA will continue to work with the main parties in that country, as part of collective regional and international efforts to assist them in finding solutions to the national challenges of economic growth and development as well as in pursuing the common approach among them to seek a new constitutional dispensation.
In this regard, we agree with the hope expressed by SADC that "the spirit of co-operation and political tolerance will continue to thrive among all parties and role-players in the post-election phase." We are also at one with the sentiment expressed by the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth in urging member-countries "to engage with Zimbabwe as best as they can for the sake of the people of Zimbabwe".
The following statutes were adopted for submission to Parliament:
- Human Resources Development Recommendation adopted at the 92nd Session of the ILO; and
- Education Laws Amendment Bill which deals with such matters as appointment of school educators, disciplinary processes, norms and standards for payment of school fees and matters pertaining to "temporary" school teachers.
Cabinet expressed its condolences to Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa whose father has passed on, and reiterated its sympathy and solidarity with the family in this time of grief.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)