22 January 2004
Cabinet yesterday (Wednesday) completed a three-day lekgotla, which was aimed at reviewing the implementation of government's programmes over the past year and during the First Decade of Freedom. The meeting also examined the broad challenges for the future, as South Africa approaches the 10th anniversary of our democracy.
The outcome of the lekgotla deliberations will inform the President's State of the Nation Address on 6 February when he addresses Parliament. This will be further elaborated upon in the Parliamentary briefings by Ministers.
Cabinet also convened in an ordinary session on Wednesday to examine urgent government business.
The meeting approved the following appointments:
- Mr EL Kganyago as Director-General: National Treasury;
- 3 Deputy Directors-General (DDGs) in the National Treasury and Mr VP Peterson as DDG in the Department of Correctional Services (Chief Deputy Commissioner: Regional Commissioner in KwaZulu-Natal);
- Mr EL Kganyago as South Africa's alternate Governor to the Board of Governors of the IMF; and
- Ms M Phetla-Lekhethe as candidate for appointment as Advisor in the World Bank Africa Group 1 Constituency Office.
The meeting approved the declaration of February 2004 as Environmental Health Month, which coincides with World Congress on Environmental Health to be held in our country from 23 to 27 February.
Cabinet examined the interventions that government has so far made to mitigate the impact of drought conditions in parts of the country. Already R250 million has been made available to affected sectors and communities for this purpose.
The meeting welcomed the fact that the Interdepartmental Disaster Management Committee had been monitoring the situation and consulting with relevant stakeholders on interventions required. These interventions have included: provision of fodder, emergency water supply, salvaging state timber, repairing water infrastructure and, in some areas, post-flood rehabilitation.
Having assessed the continuing impact of the drought in parts of the country, and taking into account the medium- to long-term implications, Cabinet decided immediately to allocate a further R250 million which will be used for:
- emergency relief to vulnerable rural communities (R60 million);
- provision of fodder for livestock to established and emerging farmers (R30 million);
- water provision for human consumption (R100 million), water provision for livestock (R20 million) and safeguarding of boreholes (R5 million); and
- prevention of communicable diseases in affected poor rural communities (R35 million).
The meeting also agreed that a further allocation of R500 million would be considered in the next financial year for long-term interventions, which include further improvement in the country's early warning capabilities and agricultural sector strategies to avoid long-term dependency on aid.
In order to ensure effectiveness of the interventions, Cabinet proposed the setting up of executive provincial and municipal co-ordinating committees, which would involve key social partners.
It was also agreed that the Food Price Monitoring Committee should, especially in this period, pay particular attention to the changes in food prices to prevent any unethical behaviour in the industry.
The Interdepartmental Disaster Management Committee will continue monitoring the situation on an on-going basis.
Cabinet noted the preparations towards the national and provincial elections, which will be held this year, and it called on all South Africans who have not yet registered to take advantage of the special registration opportunity this coming weekend. In this regard, government calls on media to assist in this civic campaign.
With regard to the election date, the President informed Cabinet that he was in consultation with the Independent Electoral Commission on the logistical, legal and other relevant details, and that he intends to announce the election date in Parliament on 11 February.
Cell: 082 900 0083
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)