22 January 2008
Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Pretoria this morning prior to the convening of the 2008 January Lekgotla.
The Chief Executive Officer of Eskom, Mr. Jacob Maroga, briefed Cabinet about the state of power supply, the challenges that the country was facing in meeting energy demand and the measures that Eskom was putting in place to address the challenge. The meeting noted the report and decided that the Lekgotla will discuss the matter, including the need for a better and coordinated communication strategy to ensure that the public is properly informed about load-shedding arrangements. Measures are already underway to consolidate the initiatives from the various players to ensure that a more comprehensive and coordinated national response is presented to the nation. The strategy for dealing with the electricity supply shortage will be discussed in detail by the Lekgotla and an announcement will be made after the meeting.
The impact of load-shedding on the economy, citizens and the country’s image is regretted and government gives the assurance that everything is being done at the highest level of government, Eskom and key stakeholders to find an inclusive solution to the energy problem in the short, medium and long term. Government is confident that a solution is already underway to address the problem.
The meeting noted the Auditor General’s report on the Annual Reports and audit outcomes of national and provincial departments. Further, the meeting noted that the departments of Correctional Services, Defence, Home Affairs, Labour, Water Trading Account and the Government Printing works persistently received poor audit outcomes. Cabinet resolved that the Executing Authorities and Accounting Officers of these departments should put corrective measures in place to address all the findings of the Auditor General without delay, and to report to National Treasury by 28 February 2008. Executive Authorities were called upon to put monitoring measures in place to prevent future adverse findings by the Auditor General.
Cabinet approved the 2009 stamp programme as proposed by the Stamp Advisory Committee and the South African Post Office Board.
The meeting approved the International Labour Conference Instruments that were adopted at the ILO conference which was held in June 2007 and agreed that the instruments be submitted to Parliament for ratification. The Instruments are:
- Convention concerning the Promotional framework for Occupational safety and Health (Convention 187);
- the Promotion Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Recommendation (Recommendation 197);
- the Employment Relationship Recommendation (No.198); and
- the Maritime Labour Conference, 2006.
The meeting noted a report on the representation of South Africans in Multilateral organisations. The meeting agreed that the Ministers of Public Service and Administration, and of Foreign Affairs, should consider ways of informing South Africans about career opportunities in these bodies, in the context of the Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA).
President Thabo Mbeki convened the January 2008 January Lekgotla, which takes place in the last year of the term of this government. The Lekgotla brings together all the Ministers, deputy Ministers, Premiers, Directors General and representatives of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA). In the first instance, the Lekgotla will review the progress made in implementing the government Programme of Action, whose primary goal was to fight poverty and create work in order to achieve a better life for all, in line with the 2004 election manifesto. Secondly, the meeting will focus on the priorities for 2008 as we get closer to the end of term of this government.
The following are some of the agenda items that will be considered by the Lekgotla:
- a strategy to deal with the electricity supply problem;
- the Medium-Term Strategic Framework;
- the 15 Year Review;
- a Comprehensive Anti-Poverty Strategy;
- capacity of the state;
- a Review of the Criminal Justice System;
- South Africa’s approach to deepening Regional Integration in the South African Development Community (SADC); and
- progress on the preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The outcome of the Lekgotla will be communicated to the nation when the President delivers the State of the Nation Address in Parliament on the 8th of February 2008.
The 2008 government Programme of Action will be published and will be available on the government website and other forms of media.
In his budget speech to Parliament on the 20th of February 2008, the Minister of Finance will table the resource allocation for the government Programme of Action to the nation.
Themba Maseko (Government Spokesperson)
Cell: 083 645 0810
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)