15 September 2004
Cabinet today received a detailed report on the work being done by the security agencies, particularly SAPS and the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO), with regard to the government programme to focus on the top 200 criminals in the country. As instructed by the President, Special Joint Teams have been set up which will deal with issues such as violent crime including serial murder and rape, commercial crime involving large amounts of resources, organised crime, and security cases including mercenary activity and terrorism.
The agencies also reported on major successes that have been achieved since May 2004, in arresting criminals involved in serious cases such as those involving serial bank robberies and cash-in-transit heists, serial murder and rape cases, organised syndicates involved in drug and other offences and commercial crimes. These operations form part of the overall work of the security agencies, which includes a commitment to reduce contact crimes by 7-10% per annum.
Cabinet welcomed the briefing, particularly the evidence of improved effectiveness arising out of enhanced integration. The agencies will brief the public on progress in these and other operations as and when the need arises.
The meeting noted continuing work in the various Clusters to improve the system of reporting on the implementation of the government's programme of action. The next cycle of reporting will culminate in presentations to Cabinet in October, after which the public would be briefed on these issues.
The meeting noted preparations for South Africa's participation at the UN General Assembly General Debate which will start on 21 September. SA will be represented in this debate by President Thabo Mbeki who will address the Assembly on 22 September on matters pertaining to the development of South Africa and the rest of the continent, reform of the UN, South-South co-operation and other global challenges.
Government welcomes the opening tomorrow of a session of the Pan African Parliament on South African soil. This development marks a milestone in the setting up of African institutions, whose central tasks are the integration of the continent and the attainment of a better quality of life for all. On behalf of all South Africans, government welcomes the continent's public representatives and wishes to assure them that we will do everything in our power to make their stay a productive and enjoyable experience.
Cabinet noted a report on the assessment of the positive response from Africa and in the African Diaspora to South Africa's successful bid to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup. It was agreed that the practical meaning of the concept of an "African World Cup" should be elaborated, in consultation with soccer bodies in our country, FIFA, CAF as well as other sporting and civil society structures, to ensure that the benefits of the 2010 World Cup accrue to as many Africans as possible. These matters will be attended to by the Organising Committee once it is set up early next year.
The following appointments were approved:
- Ms Lyndall Shope-Mafole as Director-General: Department of Communications for a period of three years;
- Additional members of the SA Diamond Board to fill vacancies and introduce representation of diamond organisations, UDASA and UASA;
- A Deputy Chief Commissioner of the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC, formerly Board on Tariffs and Trade).
Cabinet reviewed progress in the finalisation of the Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) Financing Strategy for State Owned Enterprises. It was agreed that the strategy should incorporate matters pertaining to the financial position of the relevant public enterprises, and should be presented to Cabinet during the course of next month.
The meeting approved the release, for public comment, of the Energy Bill which incorporates some of the energy policies developed in the past few years.
Cabinet noted the continuing negotiations between government as employer and the public service unions. Government wishes to reiterate its commitment to improve the working conditions and salaries of public servants. This will be carried out within the context of fulfilling our mandate to all South Africans to ensure higher rates of economic growth, speedier implementation of poverty-eradication programmes and provision of better services to the public.
While recognising the right of workers to undertake strike action, government will do all it can, even in this late hour, to avert the planned strike. At the same time, and in case it becomes necessary, contingency measures will be implemented to ensure that services to the public are not disrupted.
Cabinet observed a special moment of silence in honour of two stalwarts of the struggle for freedom, Rev Beyers Naude and Ms Ray Alexander Simons who passed on in the last fortnight. Government wishes once more to express its condolences to their families.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)