2 March 2005
Cabinet today adopted the summary of the Programme of Action of government for 2005 as decided at the January Cabinet lekgotla and articulated in the President's State of the Nation Address. The programme will be formatted during the course of this week for placing on Government Online ( www.gov.za ). This will allow for monitoring and evaluation of implementation by the public, as part of the realisation of a people's contract in building a South Africa that belongs to all.
On its part, Cabinet will from April start the two-monthly reviews, on the basis of reports from relevant clusters of Directors-General. As before, after consideration by Cabinet, the updates of reports on implementation will be communicated to the public.
In line with earlier decisions continually to strengthen management capacity in government and the public sector as a whole, Cabinet approved the deployment of a number Directors-General in new areas of responsibility:
- Ms W Stander (currently DG: Transport) as CEO of the Air Traffic and Navigation Services Company with effect from 16 March 2005;
- Ms MZ Nxumalo (currently DG: Housing) as DG: Transport with effect from 16 March 2005;
- Mr BP Gilder (currently DG: Home Affairs) as Co-ordinator of Intelligence with effect from 16 March 2005;
- Mr MJ Maqetuka (currently Co-ordinator of Intelligence) as DG: Home Affairs with effect from 16 March 2005; and
- Dr WK de Wee (currently DG: Free State ) as Chief Operating Officer in the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development with effect from 1 April 2005.
Other appointments approved by Cabinet are as follows:
- in accordance with the new Public Investment Corporation Act, two Executive Directors of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), Mr B Molefe and Ms A Ngwezi as well as 6 Non-Executive Directors, with effect from 1 April 2005;
- confirmation of the appointment of Mr G Qhena as the MD of the IDC, as approved by the Joint Meeting of Cabinet Committees on 23 February;
- Mr TS Moyane as CEO of the Government Printing Works on a twelve months contract with the task of overseeing the transition of the Printing Works into a State-owned Enterprise; and
- a Deputy Director-General for Strategic Support in the Department of Housing.
The meeting approved percentage improvements in the inclusive flexible packages of members of the Public Service Commission and the Human Rights Commission as well as Special Advisers in line with the recent improvements granted to senior managers in the public service.
Cabinet noted the submission to the United Nations of South Africa's Second Report on measures implemented since the adoption of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action with regard to the emancipation of women. In this regard, South Africa can pride itself on the measures it has introduced to ensure that women form a critical part of the decision-making processes in our country and actually benefit from programmes of social transformation. It was further noted that much ground still needed to be covered especially in the private sector.
The meeting also agreed that the United Nations Additional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) should be submitted to Parliament for ratification. The Protocol deals with procedures to submit complaints, as well as mechanisms of enquiring into grave and systematic violations of rights under the Convention.
Cabinet approved the programme towards the alignment of the National Spatial Development Perspective (NSDP), Provincial Growth and Development Strategies (PGDS) and District/Metro IDPs. This programme, which will be carried out within the next three years will include an update of the NSDP, assessment of all PDGS and their alignment, development of District/Metro IDPs and introduction of a mutual assessment framework in the realisation of common developmental goals.
The meeting noted the 2004 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, by the United States State Department, with specific reference to the human rights situation in our country. The South African government wishes to emphasise that the best judge with regard to the realisation of human rights in our country are the South African people themselves. This they have done and continue to do through the electoral process, the country's legislatures, institutions set up to promote democracy and the judiciary.
Government therefore considers it presumptuous in the extreme for anyone to use a collation of news reports (some of them inaccurate); generalisations alleging rape and torture by the police; ill-informed cultural stereotypes including reference to "bride prices" (lobola); and other such episodes as a basis for conclusions about "serious problems" with regard to human rights in our country.
While we do acknowledge the many challenges that we face, we do have mechanisms for due process to deal with these issues. As South Africans, we do pride ourselves with the progress we are making in consolidating our democracy, including socio-economic rights, promotion of peace and security across the globe and ensuring free political expression and activity. And we shall continue to work with the United Nations and other multilateral institutions to ensure that these ideals are realised across the globe.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)