Statement on Cabinet meeting of 18 September 2007


19 September 2007

At its meeting yesterday, Cabinet welcomed the recent breakthrough by the collective leadership of Zimbabwe on draft constitutional amendments. South Africa wishes to congratulate the Zimbabwean political leadership for this major step forward in addressing the challenges facing that country. Proceeding from the premise that the people of Zimbabwe are the ones best placed to find solutions to the challenges they face, we will continue to assist where we can, in line with the mandate of SADC, to ensure that these processes result in a lasting settlement.

The meeting noted with appreciation progress that has been made in determining models of compensation for nurses and teachers, taking into account the critical role that these professionals play in providing important services to the public.

Cabinet approved the deployment of members of the South African National Defence Force to the Central African Republic to assist with capacity building of that country’s defence force. This decision, to send a team of 85 members of SANDF, is informed by agreements contained in the Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries. The deployment process will be further clarified by the responsible department.

Cabinet noted the progress report on the turn-around programme within the Department of Home Affairs, to transform the department so that it serves citizens more effectively. We have confidence in the new road the Department has set out to meet the needs of the public.

The meeting was briefed on the work by Statistics South Africa to improve on the existing basket of products used to compile the Consumer Price Index (CPI). In the second half of 2008, Stats SA will engage in a process explaining the changes in the CPI to stakeholders and the public, in preparation for implementation in 2009.

Government agreed with the proposal to repeal the Castle Management Act of 1993, to enable the transfer of the Castle of Good Hope Monument in Cape Town, presently under the Department of Defence, to the Department of Arts and Culture. Following ratification by Parliament, the process will see the dissolution of the Castle Control Board.

The meeting was briefed on the court action taken to compel the community of the Joe Slovo informal settlement in Langa, to comply with relocation to Delft in order to assist in the continued roll-out of the N2 Gateway housing programme. In the endeavour to provide decent human settlements, 4 500 families were relocated in the past two years. The court action is aimed at ensuring that families in this area benefit from the housing programme, and we call on the community to co-operate with this process in their own long-term interest.

Cabinet noted corrections on recent reports about government’s attitude towards SASOL’s Broad–Based Black Economic Empowerment initiative. The meeting reaffirmed government’s appreciation of the involvement of the Sasol Foundation in providing critical scientific and technology skills, indicating a long-term perspective on empowerment. It also welcomed other elements of the initiative which are broadly in line with the Codes of Good Practice, and which will be assessed, going forward, in line with these Codes.

Cabinet noted that the 62nd United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council sessions, will include on their agenda progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Government wishes to emphasise that our country is on track to meet the MDGs. Further, our approach to these sessions will be premised on our commitment to advancing positions of Africa and other developing countries, as well as promoting multilateralism.

The meeting noted that the National Orders ceremony on Friday, 21 September, to honour men and women who have made contributions to freedom and democracy in our country, will take place during Heritage Month, which will see activities throughout the country to celebrate our diverse languages through poetry readings.

Cabinet approved:
 

  • the extension of the term of service of Director General of Communications, Ms Lyndall Shope-Mafole for three years; and
  • the appointment of Mr R Jock as DDG in the Department of Transport.

Further, Cabinet noted the retirement of the Coordinator of Intelligence, Mr Barry Gilder. His replacement will be announced in due course.

Enquiries
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)

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Year: 
2007
Media Statement date: 
Wednesday, September 19, 2007