Statement on Cabinet meeting of 23 October 2002


23 October 2002

Cabinet today received a report on the work of the Border Control Operational co-ordinating Committee, made up of SARS (Customs), Departments of Home Affairs, Transport, Agriculture and Environmental Affairs and Tourism, as well as SAPS, SANDF and NIA. Cabinet welcomed the measures being taken by the relevant Departments and Services to improve the effectiveness of their work, as part of the task of improving foreign trade and other relations, and at the same time, deal with challenges of cross-border crime. It was agreed that resources would be availed to improve such areas as IT profiling systems and infrastructure at all ports of entry.

As part of its contribution, as an employer, to the challenge of job creation, Cabinet has noted the practice by various Departments to attach graduates on the Learnerships and Internships Programmes. The meeting resolved that this practice needs to be assessed across government, and its effectiveness improved.

In taking forward an earlier decision to improve the system of distributing social grants, Cabinet today approved in principle the establishment of a dedicated National Social Security System in the form of an institution to be known as the SA Social Security Agency. This will be a public entity which will make optimal use of public/private partnerships.

The meeting noted the progress made regarding the national appeal for humanitarian assistance to the people of Angola. Donations and contributions received thus far include about R700 000 in cash, medical equipment to the value of R80m, 6000kg of maize seeds, 50 tons of maize meal, 100 tons of clothing and R3m worth of food. Further, Eskom has made a commitment to contribute towards the rehabilitation of electricity infrastructure, erection of a medical facility and dedicated power and water supply around Luanda.

Government wishes to thank all individuals and institutions which have made these contributions, and urges others to join in this campaign of solidarity.

The meeting noted progress in the Department of Correctional Services to introduce measures that will strengthen rehabilitation of prisoners. It was agreed that these measures should include social responsibility projects through the involvement of prisoners in constructive labour for agricultural produce and other industrial products, some of which can be donated to needy communities. The Department will develop appropriate guidelines for the implementation of this decision.

The following Bills were approved for submission to Parliament:
 

  • Special Pensions Amendment Bill and Government Employees Pension Fund Increase (Members of Non-statutory Forces) Bill which provides for the recognition of previous service of former NSF members;
  • Local Government: Municipal Structures Second Amendment Bill which is intended to enable the Western Cape Government (at its request) to introduce the Executive Mayor type of system in its municipalities;
  • Compulsory HIV Testing of Alleged Sexual Offenders Bill which provides for a speedy and uncomplicated mechanism for victims of sexual offences to apply for the alleged perpetrator to be tested for HIV and the results disclosed to the victim.

Cabinet adopted for public comment a draft White Paper on Traditional Leadership and Governance. The Paper will inform national and provincial legislation on such issues as the place and role of traditional leadership in the current system of democratic governance, transformation of the institution in line with Constitutional imperatives, and restoration of the integrity and legitimacy of the institution in line with customary law and practices. The draft White Paper is a product of extensive research and consultations, which involved the traditional leaders themselves and included an audit of the institution.

The following appointments were approved:
 

  • Mr G Budlender to fill a vacancy in the Legal Aid Board;
  • Members of the Board of the National Botanical Institute;
  • Four Divisional Commissioners in SAPS;
  • A Deputy DG each in the Department of Labour and DPSA

Cabinet received a report on trends in expenditure across government, which included a study on under-spending and unauthorised expenditure. It noted that there had been a significant improvement in spending capacity, reflected in the fact that, starting from 1999/2000 under-spending was reduced by two-thirds in each of the following two years. While unspent funds amounted to R3,6bn in 99/00, this was reduced to R1,3bn in 00/01 and R402m in 01/02. Despite this improvement, Cabinet emphasised that such under-spending remained unacceptable, and that monitoring and capacity-building should be further improved.

Cabinet reiterated the correctness of the decision of the SANDF, which it approved, to acquire an intercontinental aircraft for the South Africa Air Force, which will be used by The Presidency and other senior government representatives. The requirement for such an aircraft escalated massively with the role that South Africa plays and is expected to play in the global arena. The aircraft is owned by the SANDF on behalf of the country, for utilisation by the government of the day.

Enquiries
Joel Netshitenzhe
Cell: 082 900 0083

Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)

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Year: 
2002
Media Statement date: 
Wednesday, October 23, 2002