18 August 2004
At its meeting today, Cabinet considered elements of the Comprehensive Plan for the Development of Sustainable Human Settlements (housing strategy). This plan, which builds on the achievements of the past decade, seeks to break new ground in terms of flexibility on such issues as access to credit and choice of top structure, upgrading of informal settlements and innovative rental options.
Discussion on these matters will continue in the relevant Cabinet Committee for finalisation at the next Cabinet meeting. In the meantime, the meeting accepted in principle a proposal for the development of communities, land and facilities in the area bordering on the N2 between Cape Town International Airport and the city centre. The programme, which is a prototype of some of the projects that will be undertaken in other parts of the country, has been developed and will be implemented in a partnership between the City of Cape Town, Provincial Government and the national Department of Housing.
The meeting considered the final report of the Food Pricing Monitoring Committee and agreed that the food monitoring function should be expanded. It decided to strengthen the capacity of the Department of Agriculture to collect statistics and information; approved continued analysis of the performance of strategic food value chains to improve their performance, efficiency, competitiveness and the management of food supply risks; and agreed on the strengthening of partnerships in dealing with food relief programmes. The report will be released to the public in the coming few days.
The various Clusters of Departments today completed the first cycle of the two-monthly reports to Cabinet on the implementation of government's programme of action. After accommodating Cabinet comments on the reports, the Policy Unit in The Presidency (PCAS), working with Government Communications (GCIS), will update the programme on the government website (www.gov.za) during the course of next week. During the same period, Ministers representing the various Clusters will brief the media.
The meeting approved the following Bills for submission to Parliament:
- Defence Special Account Amendment Bill which brings the original Act in line with new financial management procedures including the PFMA;
- Judicial Matters Amendment Bill which seeks to address minor practical issues in laws administered by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development; and
- Regulation of Constitutional Amendments Amendment Bill which tidies up titles of the Constitution and relevant amendment acts.
In order to take forward some of the provisions of the Telecommunications Act, Cabinet agreed on the introduction of "e-rate determination", through which a 50% discount would be provided to public schools and other education and training institutions for: all telecommunication calls to an internet service provider; and any connection or similar fees levied by a service provider for accessing or utilising the internet. This determination will come into effect in January 2005.
The following appointments were approved:
- Board of the Development Bank of SA (DBSA), including new members representing government as shareholder and various other sectors of society;
- Board of the Cross-Border Road Transport Agency;
- The Construction Industry Development Board, to be chaired by Mr Pepi Silinga;
- Deputy DG responsible for Asset Management in the Department of Public Works; and
- Board of the SA Library for the Blind, with Dr WP Rowland as Chairperson.
The meeting noted the new phase of the launch, during the weekend of 21 August, of the Luthuli Legacy Project in KwaDukuza (Stanger) in KwaZulu-Natal. The Project is aimed at celebrating the life, work and philosophy of one of the most distinguished leaders in South Africa's history.
Cabinet also noted the beginning of the meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement and the conference thereafter of the Asian-African Sub-Regional Organisations being hosted by SA. These meetings have significance for development, peace and security in our region and the world. SA appreciates the privilege of hosting these events which will not only promote strategic links between Africa and Asia but also strengthen common action among all developing countries in pursuit of a better world.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)