24 January 2003
The Cabinet lekgotla, which started on Wednesday, 22 January, ended today. It was attended by the President, Deputy President, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Directors-General as well as advisors and other staff from The Presidency.
The objective of the lekgotla was to review progress in the implementation of government's programmes, including the public commitments made by the President in the State of the Nation Address in February last year.
The meeting noted progress as well as challenges in the implementation of these programmes aimed at pushing back the frontiers of poverty and broadening access to a better life for all. On this basis it decided on concrete programmes for implementation in the coming year, in all areas of government work: the economic sector, provision of social services, matters pertaining to justice and security for citizens, issues of governance and administration as well as South Africa's place and role on our continent and globally.
Decisions taken at the lekgotla will inform the content of the President's State of the Nation Address, which will be delivered on 14 February 2003.
The lekgotla was preceded by an ordinary Cabinet meeting on the morning of Wednesday, 22 January.
At this meeting, Cabinet approved the following appointments:
- Dr Itumeleng Mosala as DG of the (new) Department of Arts and Culture;
- James Maseko as DG of the Department of Public Works;
- 3 new members of the Competition Tribunal;
- Members of the Board of the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park Authority.
Cabinet noted with regret the tragic incident that led to the death of Prince Mazwi Zulu, the son of Prince Gideon Zulu, MEC for Social Welfare in the KwaZulu-Natal administration. Cabinet resolved to send a message of condolences to the Zulu family.
The meeting reviewed the extent to which Ministers and Departments responded to Parliamentary Questions during the course of 2002. Virtually all the questions had been responded to, although Cabinet noted some of the responses had been submitted after the Parliamentary deadline. The meeting resolved further to improve the Executive's work in this regard, in accordance with its appreciation of the important role of such interaction in the system of accountability in our democracy.
The meeting also requested the Leader of Government Business, Deputy President Jacob Zuma, to interact with Presiding Officers in Parliament regarding issues such as records on responses from Departments and the broad principles governing these processes, in order to avoid, among other things, clogging of the system with repetitive and vexatious queries.
The following Bills/Conventions were approved for submission to Parliament:
- Banks Amendment Bill, which updates the earlier Act on issues such as gender;
- Mining Titles Registration Amendment Bill with provisions to facilitate the implementation of the new Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act; and
- SADC Protocol on Forestry.
The meeting also approved for public comment the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Bill which sets norms and standards on management of biodiversity, and the National Environmental Management Amendment Bill, which elaborates on compliance and enforcement of environmental management laws and regulations.
The meeting noted on-going developments in relation to Iraq, regarding the efforts of the world community to address the issue of weapons of mass destruction. Noting that the UN Inspectors would present a report to the UN Security Council next Monday, Cabinet reiterated South Africa's request that the Report should be considered in an open session in the presence of UN members who are not members of the Council.
SA supports the efforts of the international community to deal with this matter strictly in accordance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council. It also welcomes the growing Peace Movement, in particular its objective of ensuring that actions pursued in the Gulf Region are determined in multilateral fora and are in the interest of humanity as a whole.
The meeting noted and welcomed the work being done by the multi-disciplinary team preparing for the Cricket World Cup in South Africa, as well as the efforts to ensure that the matches scheduled for Zimbabwe and Kenya proceed without hitches.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)