18 April 2007
Cabinet held its sixth meeting of the year yesterday morning, 18 April 2007, in Cape Town.
Cabinet approved the establishment of the Broadband Infrastructure Company (INFRACO) as a state-owned enterprise that will provide electronic communications network services. The non-core Fixed Services Network (FSN) assets of Eskom Ltd and Transnet Ltd will be transferred to INFRACO.
The Broadband Infrastructure Company Bill will be tabled in Parliament during the 2007 session. The Minister of Public Enterprises will be the shareholder Representative.
The meeting approved the transfer of South African Express Airways (Pty) Ltd (SAX) from Transnet to the state, with the Minister of Public Enterprises as the shareholder representative. This decision effectively completes Transnet’s turn-around strategy of exiting the aviation sector in order to focus on its freight operations. The Transfer of South African Express Airways and the South African Express Bill will be tabled in Parliament during the 2007 session.
Cabinet noted that preparations for the celebration of Freedom Day on 27 April were on track. The President will participate in the national event which will be held in Bisho on that day. This thirteenth anniversary of the achievement of our freedom is an occasion for all South Africans to reflect on the progress they have achieved since 1994 in creating a better life for all, and overcoming the divisions of the past. It is a time to recognise how much still needs to be done; and to renew our pledge to work together in a national partnership to achieve our shared goal of a just, prosperous and united society.
During this period, the President will be honouring the men and women who have inspired young people, and who have contributed to the national effort to build a better life for all current and future generations. The National Orders ceremony will be held shortly before Freedom Day, on 24 April, at which the President will bestow National Orders on these stalwarts in recognition of their contribution to our democracy.
The meeting received a preliminary report on the National Imbizo Week which took place from 10-17 April. The widespread interaction between the public and members of the executive in all three spheres of government included over 300 events across the country, involving the President, Deputy President, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, Premiers and MECs, Mayors and Councillors. The topics canvassed, covered a whole range of issues related to the programme of action and service delivery challenges. The interaction confirmed both appreciation of progress and the need to intensify implementation of government programmes to improve the lives of our people. We take this opportunity to thank all South Africans for their participation and invaluable feedback.
Cabinet noted that our preparations for the 15th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), which will be meeting in New York from 30 April to 11 May, were on track. The CSD’s mandate is to follow-up, monitor and report on the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation that was adopted at the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). Cabinet noted the need for African countries to develop and adopt a common position on environmental matters, and to highlight the linkages between poverty eradication; sustainable development and maintaining the integrity of the natural resource base in the long term. The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism will spearhead a process of developing South Africa’s position which will incorporate issues covered in the Kyoto Protocol and the targets set at the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development.
The meeting approved the proposal for South Africa to sign the Framework Agreement for International Collaboration on Research and Development of Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems. This agreement will be submitted to Parliament for final approval. The Department of Minerals and Energy Affairs will be the implementing agent.
Cabinet welcomed the agreement by the Government of Sudan to implement the second phase of the agreement on UN support of the AU’s Africa Mission in that country. Cabinet would like to recognize the contribution made by our President who has worked tirelessly to ensure that peace returns to Sudan. The latest positive developments are a critical step for further progress towards creating conditions for a resolution of the political, military and humanitarian situation in Darfur, and towards implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for Sudan. South Africa has made and will continue to make, through our President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, a meaningful contribution towards promoting peace and stability in that region. We call upon all Sudanese stakeholders and the International community to encourage the rebel groups to join the national dialogue as a matter of urgency.
The meeting welcomed the decision of the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government which gave President Mbeki the mandate to facilitate dialogue between the Zimbabwean government and the leaders of the opposition. The government, opposition and the people of Zimbabwe must take advantage of the goodwill shown by the SADC Heads of State, and move speedily towards finding a lasting political solution. The critical and urgent challenge facing all Zimbabweans is to take the necessary steps to create an environment that would be conducive to free and fair elections in 2008. Zimbabwe and the whole SADC region need a stable socio-economic and political climate that would enable the region to attend to the urgent challenges of economic growth and development of our peoples. Cabinet was encouraged by the confidence publicly expressed by, amongst others, the MDC leadership, in President Mbeki’s appointment as a facilitator.
Cabinet wishes to congratulate the national cricket team on their superb performance in the Cricket World Cup on Tuesday when they defeated the English cricket team and qualified for the semi-finals. We are confident that our boys will display the same excellence and courage in the next stage of the tournament. We call upon all South Africans to continue to give the Proteas enthusiastic support as they face the next hurdle on their way to winning the Cricket World. We, on behalf of all South Africans, would like to wish the Proteas the best of luck in their next match against Australia.
The following appointments were approved:
- One DDG in the Department of Housing (Mr JM Leshabane)
- Two DDG’s in the Department of Labour ( (Ms SP Zondeki and Mr S Morotoba)
- Mr TB Seruwe as Commissioner: Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), Department of Labour
- The following were appointed to the Board of Directors of the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) for a period of three years: Dr F Sonn (Chairperson); Ms S Zilwa (Deputy Chairperson); Ms N Hlahla (CEO); Mr B Mparutsa (Chief Financial Officer); Ms A Ngwezi; Mr W van der Vent; Ms N Galeni; Ms T Siwendu; Mr R Persad; and Mr M Ramagaga.
- The following were appointed as new members of the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) for a three year period: M. S Faku; Ms MM Mogodi-Dikgetsi; Ms W Machanik; Mr H Jawitz; Ms T Mmaseepi Dube; Ms SE Moolman; Ms L Noval; Mr N Mafongosi; Adv M Mdlundlu; Adv A Mayet; Mr N Gopal; Mr D Hlathwayo; Mr RN Theunissen; Mr K Naidoo and Mr FK Sibanda.
- The following were appointed as non-Executive Directors of the Board of Electronic Communications Security (Pty) Ltd (COMSEC): Mr ME Manzini; Mr J Kotane; Mr M Jhatham; Ms R Sekese and Mr FS Nomvalo.
Cell: 083 645 0810
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)