24 October 2001
Cabinet today received a briefing on developments in Burundi and progress towards the implementation of agreements to bring about peace and stability in that country. Cabinet reiterated the commitment of South Africa to assist in the implementation of these agreements, including a contribution to a multi-national VIP Protection Force.
Concrete decisions with regard to the role of the SANDF in this process will be finalised once the UN Security Council has processed relevant resolutions, and details of the mandate have been negotiated. When these decisions are finalised, they will be duly communicated to all relevant institutions as required by our constitution and conventions.
Cabinet examined the discussions taking place between the Departments of Labour and Home Affairs with farmers in the Limpopo Valley of the Northern Province. It noted that the process entails the implementation of SA’s laws, which prohibit the employment of illegal immigrants.
The meeting was informed that the Minister of Labour was discussing this matter with his Zimbabwean counter-part; and it expressed confidence that a long-term solution would be found, in the interest of the people of SA and the region, law-based relations with our neighbours and the observance of labour legislation on SA’s farms.
Cabinet also reflected on the recent developments in Zandspruit in the Gauteng Province. It emphasised in the first instance that these developments should not be conflated with the discussions on farm-workers in the Limpopo Valley.
On the developments in Zandspruit, Cabinet emphasised that South Africans should not take the law into their hands, even when confronted with acts of crime by anyone. More critically, we cannot, as a people, allow a situation in which individuals and families are targeted for attack on the basis of their nationality, religion, colour or any other attribute. Government urges all South Africans to co-operate with law-enforcement agencies in dealing with acts of crime.
The meeting was briefed on the recent incidents pertaining to "anthrax agents". While urging all government Departments, companies, institutions and individuals dealing with mail to exercise maximum care, Cabinet noted that of the 88 cases reported in South Africa, all of them have turned out to be hoaxes. It emphasised that anyone responsible for these disruptive activities would be severely punished. Cabinet also expressed concern at the readiness with which South African media has given undue prominence to these hoaxes.
Cabinet was briefed on continuing progress in the restructuring of state assets, in the various sectors of the economy. With regard to Telkom, the meeting reiterated the need to effect the IPO in a timely manner, taking into account Telkom’s needs for capital and the country’s fiscal requirements.
The following Bills were approved:
- Financial Services Ombudschemes Bill which provides for statutory recognition of voluntary Ombudschemes provided they met with certain criteria, for submission to Parliament;
- National Health Bill, which provides for norms and standards and other measures in order to improve the health system in our country, for publication and public comment.
The meeting was briefed on progress on the N4 Platinum Toll Highway Project. The toll road, covering 390 km would incorporate the N1 from Proefplaas Interchange to Warmbaths and the N4 from the interchange with the N1 through Rustenburg up to Lobatse at the Botswana border. A contract has been entered into, with the Bakwena Platinum Toll Highway project, involving more than R3-billion of investment, R800m of which will be in foreign direct investment. Prominent Spanish firms and the European Investment Bank are involved, and an element of this will be the promotion of black economic empowerment and transfer of skills. It is estimated that the project would result in the creation of about 3 000 direct jobs.
Cabinet was briefed on the HIV/AIDS prevention and management programme in the SANDF, as part of the government’s multi-dimensional effort to deal with the pandemic. The programme, Masibambisane "Beyond Awareness" Campaign covers such issues as general health care, counselling, syndromic management of sexually transmitted infections and appropriate immunisations.
The following appointments were approved:
- Extension of the contract of the DG in The Presidency, Rev Frank Chikane for 3 years with effect from 1 November 2001;
- Mr Eric Molobi as Chairperson of the Telkom Board for a period of one year from 1 August 2001
- Mr Nicholas Buick to the position of Chief Financial Officer of the South African Post Office Ltd;
- Deputy Directors-General in the Departments of Public Works, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, and Public Enterprises.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)