16 May 2001
Cabinet was today briefed on progress in the preparations for the UN World Conference against Racism, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.
While welcoming the steps that have been taken to put in place requisite logistical arrangements, the meeting called for the widest possible involvement of the South Africa population in discussions around the issues which will be tabled at Conference.
Cabinet approved a Framework for the Immigration Bill, which outlines the broad parameters within which details of the Bill need to be drafted. These include, the principle of facilitating South Africa’s access to skilled personnel and capital; the setting up of the South African Immigration Service as part of the establishment of the Department of Home Affairs; and relevant powers to the Minister of Home Affairs, some of which could be delegated to the Director-General of the Department and the Head of SAIS.
The Department of Home Affairs will process the current draft Bill in line with the Framework, for finalisation and submission to Parliament.
The meeting was briefed on the latest developments with regard to the constitutional development process in the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros. It was agreed that South Africa should continue as co-ordinator of countries of the region, to facilitate commitment to, and implementation of, the All-Party Framework Agreement.
Cabinet reviewed the UN Millennium Declaration adopted last year, and committed our country to its implementation in an integrated manner. It was agreed that SA would synchronise its multilateral policies and positions in order to respond to obligations in terms of the Declaration.
The meeting approved the following statutes for submission to Parliament:
- Revised Protocol on Shared Watercourses in SADC; and
- Medical Schemes Amendment Bill, which deals with issues of discrimination, rights to dependants and governance of medical schemes.
Cabinet approved a plan for the physical security of judges, magistrates, prosecutors and detectives involved in the investigation and prosecution of cases of urban terrorism in the Western Cape. Relevant departments are required to prioritise their budget allocations for this purpose and, if additional resources were required, applications would be lodged with the Treasury Committee.
The meeting received a report on the recent outbreak of cholera at the Durban Prison, and it welcomed the effective manner in which the matter is being handled.
The following appointments were approved:
- Board of the South African Library for the Blind chaired by Dr C Marivate;
- Members of the Council of National Zoological Gardens of SA; and
- Additional members of the Denel Board of Directors, including the new Chairperson, Mr Sandile DM Zungu.
Cabinet received a report on the state of community libraries and the complex system for their management and supervision. The meeting emphasised the critical role of both provincial and local government spheres in the funding and administration of community libraries. It also urged that, as discussions continue on distribution of powers and functions in this regard, Provinces should be urged to ensure that community libraries do not close.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)