Media release

Statement on Cabinet meeting of 24 August 2006

24 August 2006

24 August 2006

At its meeting yesterday Cabinet approved, in principle, the Anti-crime Campaign as proposed by Business against Crime and agreed that relevant departments should participate actively in the campaign. The proposed Campaign seeks to mobilize all South Africans to join hands with SAPS in the fight against crime and to restore public confidence in the criminal justice system. The campaign will be discussed further at the meeting of the Presidential Big Business Working Group tomorrow in Cape Town.

The meeting discussed issues pertaining to state-owned forestry assets and agreed to retain ownership of the commercial forests that are managed by Komatiland Forests for the foreseeable future. A comprehensive review of SAFCOL's strategy will be undertaken by the Department of Public Enterprise.

Cabinet noted the recent Constitutional Court rulings and resolved to consider their implications for the policy making and legislative processes at a future Cabinet meeting.

The meeting discussed the disposal of Capital Radio which has not been operational for some time. It was agreed that the station should not be sold; that the equipment should be donated to the Walter Sisulu University and the record library be donated to community radio stations.

Cabinet noted the impact of false allegations that were made at the International AIDS Congress about South Africa's comprehensive HIV and AIDS programme. During the Congress, various parties insinuated that the government didn't have a comprehensive programme on HIV and AIDS. Nothing could be further from the truth. For instance, in his report to the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV and AIDS, the UN Secretary General commended South Africa for tripling its resource allocation for HIV and AIDS programmes since the adoption of the UN Declaration in 2001. Public sector expenditure on HIV and Aids has increased substantially over the years as it grew from R30 million in 1994 to over a R3 Billion in 2005/06. This increased expenditure is making it possible for us to make progress on all fronts, namely, prevention, treatment, care and support of those who are infected or affected by HIV and AIDS.

Cabinet decided that work should be done, locally and abroad, to enhance understanding of our comprehensive HIV and AIDS programme to address any doubts about government's commitment to the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Lastly, we condemn the conduct of all those who were involved in the destruction of the South African stand at the Congress. This behavior is totally unacceptable and does nothing to advance their cause. Ways must and will be found to strengthen the partnership in the fight against HIV and AIDS in this country and the continent.

The meeting noted the forthcoming Global Environment Facility Assembly which will be hosted by South Africa from 28 August to 1 September. The Assembly will be an opportunity to strengthen the link between the global environmental agenda and sustainable development, and to advance implementation of commitments from the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

Cabinet welcomed the release of the GDP figures which indicated that the economy had grown by 4.9 %, up from 4 % in the first quarter. This confirms once again that the country's growth and development path was on track.

The following bills were approved for submission to Parliament:

  • Accreditation for Conformity Assessment, Calibration and Good Laboratory Practice Bill;
  • Civil Unions Bill;
  • Film and Publications Bill;
  • Further Education and Training Colleges Bill;
  • Housing Consumer Protection Measures Amendment Bill;
  • Immigration Amendment Bill;
  • Measurement Units and Measurement Standards Bill;
  • Postal Services Amendment Bill;
  • Public Service Amendment Bill;
  • Safety in Sports and Recreation Events Bill.

With regard to the Film and Publications Bill, Cabinet noted the reservations that have been raised in the media about the deletion of the clause which exempted sections of the media from the ambit of the old Act. We would like to reiterate that the Government has no intention whatsoever to muzzle the media in any way, and that this position will not change. However, Cabinet took the view that the Bill must be published in its current form and that public discourse must be allowed before the Bill is promulgated. The relevant government departments were directed by Cabinet to engage with the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF), and other parties, to discuss their concerns about the Bill. We would like to give the assurance that all views will be considered before the Bill is passed.

Cabinet discussed the Civil Unions Bill which will be tabled in Parliament shortly. This Bill takes into account the Constitutional Court judgment which found that the common law definition of marriage in the Marriage Act of 1961 was unconstitutional, insofar as it failed to give the same status, benefits and responsibilities to same-sex unions that marriage accorded to heterosexual couples. The Bill also provides for the recognition of domestic partnerships between adults, whether same or different sex, who had not concluded a marriage or civil partnership. The legal consequences of such a partnership will be spelled out and recognized in law once the Bill is passed by Parliament. Cabinet noted that this Bill was likely to generate a lot of public debate but at the end of the day, the decision of the Constitutional Court must be respected by everyone.

The following appointments were approved:

  • Dr. Ayanda Ntsaluba as Director-General in the Department of Foreign Affairs for a further three years;
  • Dr. Mark Orkin as Director-General of the South African Management Development Institute (SAMDI);
  • Two DDGs in the South African Social Security Agency and one DDG in the Dept of Social Development;
  • Council of the South African Bureau of Standards: Dr. T Demana; Ms. B Masako; Ms. W Poulton; Mr. A Mabizela; Mr. B Sibisi and Mr. MJ Kuskus;
  • Board of the South African National Accreditation System: Dr. L Lotter; Mr. P Govender; Mr. S Sidney; Dr. E Meintjies; Mr. P Pereira; Mr. J Malatse; Mr. O Kaakunga; Mr. M Peet (Executive); Mr. S MacCurtain (Executive) and Dr. T Demana;
  • Board of Directors of the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority: Mr. M Gantsho (Chairperson); Ms. L Mthembu; Ms. L Sithole; Ms. E Malefane; Ms. A Makwetla; Ms. R Mbewana; Mr. L. Maasdorp; Mr. T Dumas; Mr. S Kondlo; Ms. P Mothibi; Mr. L Rotanyana and; Ms. M Janse van Rensburg;
  • Board of the Road Accident Fund (re appointed); Dr. D Baloyi (Chairperson); Mr. V Mahlangu; Mr. J Modise (Chief Executive Officer); Mr. T Moyo; Prof. C Greef; Dr. A Dasoo; Ms. K Moloto-Stofile; Ms. G Motau; Mr. S Msibi and Ms. K Mabuse-Manana.

Themba J Maseko - Government Spokesperson
Cell: 083 645 0810

Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)


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