16 April 2003
At its meeting today, Cabinet received a report on the Arrive Alive campaign. The report indicates, among other findings, that fatal road accidents during the December 2002 holiday period were 3,6% higher than during the corresponding period of the previous year. Cabinet approved a number of prioritised projects including Integrated Law Enforcement, establishment of a Central Traffic Accident Bureau and Visibility and Community Based co-ordinating Structures. The meeting resolved further to examine a broad based strategy dealing with all aspects of the challenge of road accidents.
Government wishes once more to call on all South Africans to observe the country's laws as well as common sense and decency in using the roads: to drive safely and arrive alive. This appeal is even more pertinent in the coming Easter Holiday period.
The meeting also noted the process of conversion of drivers' licences to the Credit Card Format, and urged those who have not yet done so, urgently to acquire the new licences before the expiry of the deadline on 30 April 2003.
The following Bills were approved:
- National Environmental Management: Air Quality Bill for public comment;
- National Environment Management Second Amendment Bill on integrated environmental management for public comment; and
- National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Bill for submission to Parliament.
The meeting also approved for submission to Parliament the Exchange Control Amnesty and Amendment of Taxation Laws Bill, which gives legal effect to the announcement in the Budget Speech on exchange control amnesty. The Bill takes into account comments obtained during the recent review by the Portfolio Committee on Finance, as well as further consultations among National Treasury, SARS and the SA Reserve Bank.
Cabinet expressed its support for the Racing Against Malaria campaign in Southern Africa, a public advocacy campaign in line with the 2000 Abuja Declaration (Roll Back Malaria). It noted and welcomed the progress being made in the region to reduce the incidence of malaria.
The meeting expressed its concern at the recent incidents of gang violence in the Western Cape, particularly in the Cape Flats, which have resulted in the deaths of children. Cabinet was informed that the National Commissioner of SAPS and his Western Cape Provincial counterpart were addressing the matter jointly, to improve the work of law enforcement agencies. The SAPS and SANDF have also been requested to develop targeted campaigns that optimally utilise the resources available.
Cabinet approved the renewal by one year, of the term of office of Dr GP Mayende, DG of the Department of Land Affairs.
The meeting noted important steps that have been taken to start substantive discussions on the matters that will come before Growth and Development Summit. It welcomed the commitment shown by all the partners to ensure that the Summit makes a practical impact through practical programmes to deal with the challenges of investment and job creation. Government believes that the postponement of the GDS by a few weeks, accepted by all the partners, will help ensure the kind of comprehensive engagement that will produce the desired results.
On examining developments in Iraq, Cabinet reaffirmed its position that the South African government would be guided by decisions of the United Nations with regard to the de facto and de jure authority in that country.
Cabinet expressed its condolences to the family of Mr Stanley Mabizela, former SA High Commissioner in Namibia who passed away on 8 April 2003.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)