21 July 2004
At its meeting today, Cabinet noted that the placing of the detail of government’s programme of action on the government website (www.gov.za ) marked a new era in ensuring accountability and public involvement in monitoring and evaluation of government activities. While some comments have been received from the public, government wishes to encourage further such engagements. On its part, government will ensure that the programme is updated in line with the Clusters’ two-monthly reporting cycle to Cabinet.
Related to this, government will in the coming month launch Batho Pele e-Gateway, which will provide one-stop, twenty-four-hour access to information about government services. This initiative complements other programmes to improve services to citizens, such as the employment of Community Development Workers and launch of more Multi-purpose Community Centres.
The following appointments were approved:
- Extension of term of office of Director-General (DG) of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (Dr Crispian Olver) by one year; and that of the DG of Correctional Services (Linda Mti) by 3 years;
- Ms Nomazizi Mtshotshisa, re-appointed for one year as the Chairperson of the Telkom Board;
- Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Sentech;
- Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the SA Post Office;
- Three persons to the Board of ARMSCOR;
- Filling of vacancies in the Boards of the Central Energy Fund and PetroSA;
- Two members to the Board of the Road Accident Fund; and
- Members of the SA Council for Natural Scientific Professions.
Following on the report of the Interim Management Team which was deployed to assist some Departments in the Eastern Cape Province, Cabinet had earlier noted that further work needed to be done in the area of education. Today, the meeting decided on a one-year intervention programme to assist the Eastern Cape Department of Education, which will include the deployment of a team of officials from national government and other Provinces and strengthening of management and monitoring mechanisms. These measures will be formalised in an agreement between the Minister and the MEC.
The meeting noted the detailed plan of action on the establishment of the National Social Security Agency, which will be operationalised by April 2005.
Cabinet also noted with appreciation the unanimous decision of the African Union to approve SA as the host country for the Pan African Parliament. Government will do all it can to provide a conducive atmosphere for African political representatives to meet their obligations to the people of the continent.
The meeting noted the adoption by the UN Security Council of Resolution 1540 (2004) which imposes binding legal obligation on member-states to adopt and enforce laws prohibiting the manufacture, acquisition, transport or use of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery by non-state actors. SA will observe this resolution, which includes references to nuclear, chemical and biological weapons as well as matters pertaining to terrorism. Cabinet also approved policy and procedures on access of foreign military and other such vessels to territorial and internal waters and ports of SA.
The following statutes were approved for submission to Parliament:
- SADC Mutual Defence Pact; and
- UN Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child which deals with Children in Armed Conflict.
Cabinet approved the extension of SANDF participation in the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) and the UN/AU Mission in Ethiopia/Eritrea (UNMEE/AUMEE) by a period of twelve months ending April 2005.
The meeting approved activities for Women’s Month (August), which combine the celebration of ten years of freedom with the task of building a people’s contract to intensify programmes for women’s emancipation. Activities include iimbizo, multi-media exhibition, interaction with SETAs as well as other activities aimed at highlighting services available to women.
Cabinet noted the pronouncement by the Medicines Control Council on problems of resistance in the usage of nevirapine as a monotherapy in preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The Department of Health is reviewing the information in order to make a recommendation to Cabinet on the future course of action, taking into account information demonstrating that combined antiretroviral therapy is more effective and less risky. In the meantime, nevirapine monotherapy will be provided in public hospitals as is currently the practice, ensuring that mothers are given all the necessary facts so they can make an informed choice.
The meeting was informed of on-going work towards the launch of a public discussion on the matter of foreign land ownership in SA. The process will include research on a variety of issues, including a comprehensive audit of land ownership in our country. A panel of experts from within and outside of government will be appointed, and the public will be invited to submit their views on the matter.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)