25 October 2000
Cabinet today received a briefing on the detection of foot-and-mouth infections among stock within the 10-kilometer radius of the Camperdown area where incidence of the disease was originally established. The health authorities are doing their utmost to ensure that the disease is contained and eliminated. In this process they have secured the co-operation of the communities in the villages affected.
The meeting also considered recent media reports casting aspersions on the integrity and rigour of the Industrial Defence Procurement Package (IDP) agreed to by the government last year. Government wishes to clarify that the Package as a whole included comprehensive agreements with financial institutions pertaining to, among other things, appropriate hedge mechanisms to prevent escalation of prices in the instance of unforeseen inflation and Exchange Rate movements. Further discussions on the modalities, and in some cases, actual implementation of the Industrial Package, as agreed, are under way.
These facts should not be conflated with internal discussions on the budget of the Defence Department, nor the details of the sub-contracting process. On reviewing the Medium-term Budget Policy Framework, which the Minister of Finance will present to Parliament on 30 October, the meeting further noted that there were no budget risks arising from the IDP process. Cabinet agreed that the relevant Ministers would avail themselves to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) to clarify these broader strategic issues. Government will co-operate with any investigations that may be set up on this matter.
Cabinet approved that South Africa should join the Nordic-Southern African Development Community (NORSAD) Fund and Agency. This will enable our companies, particularly SME’s to benefit from the financing of joint ventures and other enterprises provided for in this initiative. It also approved the accession by South Africa to Conventions of the UN on Privileges and Immunities, including among others, immunities of specialised agencies.
The meeting received a report on the recent meeting of the China-Africa Co-operation Forum; and it welcomed the results of the meeting. The Minister of Foreign Affairs will continue consultations with her Chinese and African counter-parts to take the matters forward.
Cabinet noted the debate around the question of salaries of public office-bearers. It reiterated the correctness of the principle that this matter should be handled by an independent Commission, now chaired by Justice Richard Goldstone. While sensational reports have focussed on the upper end of the scale, the reality is that: the average increments amount to 7,5%; and these include the introduction of notches taking into account length of service, as well as housing allowances deriving from our two-capital system. If anything, these are the issues that the public should debate, and, where necessary, make submissions to the independent Commission.
Cabinet approved the Green Paper on Electronic Commerce as a policy consultative document.
The following appointments were approved
- Dr Diliza Mji as Chairperson and other members of the Board of Directors of the Industrial Development Corporation;
- Justice Richard Goldstone as Chairperson and other members of the Standing Advisory Committee on Company law;
- Deputy Directors-General in the Departments of Justice and Constitutional Development, Trade and Industry and Land Affairs;
- Mr Rafiq Bagus as CEO of Trade and Investment (formerly Investment SA);
- Mr Collin van Schalkwyk as CEO for the State Information Technology Agency (SITA);
- Dr Stephen Mncube as Chairperson and other Sentech Non-Executive Board Members.
Cabinet congratulated South Africa’s Paralympics Team, which has had an outstanding performance at the Games in Sydney.
The meeting noted on-going developments in the Ivory Coast, and it reiterated its concern at the flawed electoral process. Government will remain seized of this matter; and in consultation with other African countries, it will pursue the course of seeking a peaceful and democratic outcome to the conflict in that country.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)