3 February 2005
Cabinet yesterday (2 February 2005) received a progress report on, including a broad outline of the findings of, the research by Statistics South Africa into trends in mortality between 1997 and 2001. The meeting noted the report, and it was informed that Statistics SA would release the detailed findings to the public in the coming weeks, once the project has been completed. Government will examine the implications of these data on policy when the detailed findings are made available.
The meeting was briefed on the implications of the recent court judgement on environmental impact assessment as it pertains to the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor. It was noted that the judgement requires the Department to allow another period for public submissions before the decision is finalised by the Minister. Government will abide by the court ruling. While we are convinced that this initiative will stand South Africa in good stead in terms of its energy needs, we are committed to due process and to ensuring that all factors are taken into account in determining whether or not, and when, to operationalise the project.
Government has noted the advances made in recent weeks to ensure that New Partnership for Africa 's Development (NEPAD) receives further international support. This has found expression in the Africa Commission initiated by the British government as part of its platform when it assumes leadership of the G8 and the European Union. It is also reflected in the deliberations at the recent World Economic Forum meetings in Davos where broad consensus was reached among global leaders in politics, business, the arts and academia that the time had come to translate expressions of solidarity with Africa into concrete actions.
The meeting noted that in addition to these advances, South Africa 's Minister of Finance, along with Finance Ministers from India , Brazil and China had been invited to the meeting of their G7 counterparts which will take place over the coming week-end. This interaction will provide yet another opportunity for developing countries to help determine the focus of global economic policies and programmes.
Cabinet noted the treatment of the COSATU delegation by Zimbabwean authorities. Government is of the view that COSATU, like any other organisation, has the right to decide to visit any country. In doing so, it is necessary to observe the laws of the countries concerned and international protocols. The judgement whether this kind of action has helped to advance the immediate challenge faced by Southern African Development Community (SADC) to assist the people of Zimbabwe in holding free and fair elections should be left to COSATU itself. On its part, government will continue working within the SADC collective to ensure that this objective is attained.
On the recent elections in Iraq , government is processing all relevant information so as to reach an informed view. In determining our position on this matter we will also be guided by the views of the United Nations and fraternal countries in the Middle East region.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)