20 September 2006
Cabinet received reports from Cabinet Committees on implementation of the Programme of Action, and noted the progress made over the past two months. Ministers will brief the media on implementation from 26-28 September and the government website will be updated accordingly. The cluster briefings will be followed by a briefing on HIV and AIDS by the Minister of Health at a date to be announced.
The meeting noted preparations for the eighth investiture of National Orders on Wednesday 27 September at the Union Buildings. Through the National Orders we convey our aspirations for a society in which the divisions of the past are healed and which is based on democratic values, social justice and human rights. On this day, the President of the Republic recognises the role of men and women who have contributed to making a better life for current and future generations.
Cabinet was briefed on preparations for the commemoration on 1-2 October of the centenary of the launch of Satyagraha, led by Mahatma Gandhi. The various anniversaries being marked during this year celebrate the part played by many sectors of our society in the achievement of freedom and by various forms of struggle, including non-violent or passive resistance as exemplified by Satyagraha.
The participation of the Indian Prime Minister in the celebrations reflects the bonds between our two peoples and countries which were forged in struggle and which are now being further strengthened in cooperation for development and peace. This follows a visit by our Deputy President to Gandhi's grave during her recent visit to India.
The Deputy President briefed Cabinet on progress the IMC was making in resuscitating SANAC and managing government interaction with the various stakeholders as part of strengthening the partnership against HIV/AIDS. The need to raise the level of participants in SANAC to include decision makers was endorsed. Government will ensure that it is represented by Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Directors General. An appeal will be made to all stakeholders to ensure that they nominate decision-makers to participate in SANAC meetings. This will ensure that all stakeholders become actively involved in the fight against the pandemic. Cabinet endorsed interaction with stakeholders such as NAPWA and the TAC.
The meeting welcomed the decision by NAPWA to call off their hunger strike. This will further create an environment that is conducive to constructive engagement in the fight against the pandemic.
Cabinet confirmed that the Ministry of Health, led by Minister Tshabalala-Msimang, will continue to lead implementation of the government's comprehensive plan on HIV and AIDS. The IMC will coordinate government action to ensure, among other things, better inter-departmental interaction and timeous attention to obstacles and challenges. Any perception that the IMC will take over implementation of the programme would be misleading as the IMC is not a department and it will not take over the implementing function from the Department and the Minister of Health.
Cabinet noted the public discourse on the Civil Unions bill. Whilst every individual or group has the right to express their views openly on the matter of same-sex marriages, Cabinet emphasised the need for everyone to be reminded that there is a Constitutional Court ruling that the current definition of marriage in the Marriage Act was unconstitutional. Participants in the debate should not conduct themselves in a manner that suggests that they want to defy the decision of the Constitutional Court on this or any other matter.
Cabinet approved the following appointments:
- New members of the Boards of SAFCOL and Denel - the Minister of Public Enterprises will announce details at a later stage;
- Directors to the Boards of Railway Safety Regulator (RSR), SA Rail Commuter Corporation (SARCC) and the Cross-Border Road Transport Agency (CBRTA), and the CEO of the Railway Safety Regulator - the Minister of Transport will announce the relevant details in due course;
- Members of the board of the National Credit Regulator (NCR) and the members of the National Consumer Tribunal (NCT) - the Minister of Trade and Industry will announce the relevant details at a later stage;
- A Deputy Director General in the Department of Communication and one in the Public Service Commission.
Themba J Maseko - Government Spokesperson
Cell: 083 645 0810
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)