24 October 2007
Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Cape Town yesterday morning.
The latter part of the meeting was an extended Cabinet meeting which was joined by Premiers and Members of the Executive Committees (MEC’s) responsible for Finance. The purpose of the extended meeting was to receive a presentation on the results of the Community Survey and to discuss the macro-economic outlook, the Medium Term Strategic and Expenditure Framework, and the Division of Revenue Framework for the 2008/9 financial year.
All Members of Cabinet, including President Mbeki and the Deputy President, attended the meeting wearing either a Springbok supporter’s jersey, jacket, scarf or cap, and Springbok flags were displayed at the main entrance and in different parts of the Cabinet room. A DVD of photos of the Rugby World Cup final was playing in the background during the meeting. In this way, Cabinet was expressing its support for the Bokke for winning the Rugby World Cup.
Cabinet joins the millions of South Africans in congratulating the Springboks for winning the IRB Rugby World Cup and bringing the Web Ellis trophy home. This victory has helped to establish our country as a sporting nation that is capable of competing with and winning against the best in the world. Our congratulations go to the staff and management of the team and most of all, to all the players for showing resilience, commitment, dedication and passion throughout the tournament and particularly during the final on Saturday evening. With the titles of Coach of the Year, Team of the Year, and Player of the Year all coming home with the Bokke, we can truly say that South Africa is indeed the home of champions.
The Springbok’s victory is, and will be for many years to come, an inspiration to millions of young, talented, sport-loving South Africans, and it will also serve to inspire our soccer fraternity to double their efforts to give South Africans another reason to celebrate in the 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP. In the same vein, we congratulate the Bafana Bafana for winning the COSAFA Cup last night.
The meeting also conveyed a special THANK YOU to all South Africans for supporting and standing behind the team throughout the tournament. Cabinet calls on South Africans to show their full support to the Springboks by turning out in their millions during the planned processions in the various cities around the country. This support must also translate into active support to all our national sports' teams as we move closer to achieving the goal of building non-racial sports.
This victory demonstrates the role that sports can play in uniting all South Africans and getting everyone to focus on the positive things that make our nation great. There is no reason why South Africans cannot channel this positive energy and unity towards tackling all the challenges that face our young democracy.
The President announced at the meeting that he will receive the Springboks at 09h30 on Friday, at the Union Buildings, to mark the beginning of their national tour to take the Web Ellis trophy to the various cities around the country.
Cabinet resolved to suspend wild abalone (also known as perlemoen) fishing, with effect from the 1st November 2007, and approved a social plan to address the job losses that would result from this decision. This suspension was based on the fact that the abalone stock is in crisis and is threatened with commercial extinction. The main causes of the decline in abalone stocks are poaching and the migration into abalone areas, of West Coast Rock Lobsters which consume Sea Urchins that provide shelter to juvenile abalone. Later this morning, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism will release a statement giving further details in this regard. Some of the measures incorporated in the Social Plan will include the development of a sustainable aqua-culture industry, and the issuing of additional permits for whale watching and shark cage diving. Government will work with all key stakeholders to manage the transition.
The 2007/11 South Africa - World Bank Country Partnership Strategy was noted, before its submission to the Executive Board of the World Bank for consideration. This strategy will serve as a guide for the World Bank’s activities in this country, and proposes South African ownership of all interventions with the overall objective of eradicating poverty and reducing inequality in the country and the region.
The extended Cabinet meeting (including Premiers and MEC’s) was briefed on results of the Community Survey by the Statistician-General. The survey results were noted and welcomed by the meeting. This part of the meeting was also briefed on and discussed the macro-economic outlook and the 2008/11 Medium Term Expenditure Framework. The Minister of Finance will give more details on these issues when he delivers the Medium Term Budget Policy statement in Parliament on 30th October 2007.
Cabinet considered and accepted the progress reports from all its committees on the implementation of the government Programme of Action (POA). These reports will form the basis of the Ministerial POA media briefings that are scheduled for the week of 29th October 2007.
Cabinet noted and approved the agreement for the establishment of the Africa Development Fund, which will be the concessional lending arm of the African Development Bank, and the establishment of the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI), with its headquarters in South Africa. The CABRI is a network of government officials in the ministries of Finance, which will promote efficient and effective management of public finances. The establishment of both the fund and CABRI will be tabled in Parliament for ratification.
The meeting approved that the Department of Communications hosts the International Telecommunications Unions (ITU) World Telecommunication Standardisation Assembly (WTSA-08) in Durban, South Africa from 21 to 30 October 2008. A Global Symposium on Standardisation will be held on the day preceding the assembly.
The following appointments were approved:
- Mr JB Masilela’s employment contract as Secretary of Defence, was extended for a period of two years;
- Mr. M. Mosala's employment contract as CEO of SA Tourism, was extended for a further three years;
- Ms TE Radebe was appointed to the post of Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Public Service Innovation;
- Mr NM Mabaso was appointed Deputy Director-General in the Department of Home Affairs;
- The following were appointed to the Board of the South African Library for the Blind, from 1 October 2007 to 30 September 2010:
- Justice ZM Yacoob (Chairperson);
- Ms M Maharaj;
- Professor GH Fredericks;
- Mr AC Keyser;
- Dr MO Maguvhe;
- Ms MR Mphahlele;
- Mr MK Ntshani;
- Ms CA Popplestone; and
- Ms J Wagner.
Themba Maseko - Government Spokesperson
Cell: 083 645 0810
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)