Statement on Cabinet meeting of 20 February 2008


20 February 2008

Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Cape Town this morning, 20 February 2008.

The meeting was briefed on the 2008/9 budget. The details thereof are contained in the Minister of Finance’s speech as delivered in Parliament on 20 February 2008.

Cabinet noted that the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, has announced his decision to step down as President of the State Council of Cuba. Cabinet expressed its best wishes to the Cuban leader and wished him a long and restful retirement.

The meeting noted the developments in Delft in the Western Cape where protests were taking place regarding the allocation and illegal occupation of the newly built houses. Cabinet is satisfied that both the Ministry of Housing, the Western Cape Provincial Government and the City of Cape Town were doing everything possible to ensure that the waiting list and the house allocation processes were managed as diligently as possible. In this regard, Government would like to appeal to all communities to exercise patience and to respect due process as illegal occupations could lead to anarchy and unnecessary violence.

The meeting condemned the conduct of those local councilors whose behaviour amounts to incitement and promotion of race-based tensions among the different communities of the Western Cape. Government finds it very unfortunate and unacceptable that politicians would seek to exploit people’s concerns for narrow and irresponsible political objectives.

Cabinet also expressed concerns about the unfortunate and ill-conceived statements by members of the opposition parties that have the potential to undermine the integrity of our constitutional structures. In recent weeks, statements made by opposition leaders include comments that cast aspersions on The Presidency and the Public Protector. Whilst Government accepts that our Constitution permits open and frank debate, common sense enjoins all South Africans not to make short-sighted utterances that could have the effect of undermining our Constitution in the long term.

Cabinet noted that the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Jabu Moleketi, was leading a delegation consisting of officials from the departments of Minerals and Energy, Public Enterprises and Eskom management, on an official visit to the United Kingdom. The delegation will speak to mining industry investors on the electricity emergency and the steps being undertaken by government and industry to address the situation. This delegation will also speak to shareholders of Anglo American who will be in London for the release of the company’s results.

The Code of Administrative Conduct in terms of the Section 10 (5) (a) of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act of 2000 was approved. The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development will develop a programme for the implementation of the code. Details of the code can be obtained from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

The minutes of the extended January Cabinet Lekgotla were noted and approved.

The following appointments were approved:
 

  • The employment contract of Mr DB Hindle as Director-General in the Department of Education was extended for a further three years with effect from 12 May 2008
  • Dr SS Mkhize was appointed as Deputy Director-General in the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
  • The following were appointed as members of the National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI) for another year whilst the Council’s role was being reviewed: Dr S Lennon; Ms L Abrahams; Dr N Bhengu; Prof C De La Rey; Mr A Hirsch; Mr F Jaffer; Mr J Marriot; Dr T Marwala; Dr N Msomi; Dr F Peterson; Dr C Pistorius; Mr G Rothschild; Mr T Setiloane; Dr J Stewart and Prof J Thomson. They will be joined by the following new members: Prof L Mazwi-Tanga; Ms K Njobe; Dr A Paterson and Ms T Radebe.
  • The following were appointed as members of the National Council for Library and Information Services (NCLIS); Prof MDR Ralebipi-Simela; Ms NI Gxwati; Mr GH Haffajee; Mr F Hendrikz; Dr MM Makhura; Ms MMR Mathivha; Ms S Molawa; Prof MC Nassimbeni; Mr DH Schroeder; Mr P Sewdass; Ms M van Wyk and Ms L Webster.

Enquiries
Themba Maseko - Government Spokesperson
Cell: 083 645 0810

Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)

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Year: 
2008
Media Statement date: 
Wednesday, February 20, 2008