26 May 2005
Cabinet was yesterday (25 May) briefed on proposals for a new dispensation on the allocation of long-term fishing rights and the determination of related application fees. The meeting agreed that the new dispensation should be premised on creating a vibrant industry, equity, job-creation, sustainability and broadening the base of participants in taking advantage of this national resource. The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism will incorporate comments that were made in the discussion, and make announcements in this regard in due course.
The meeting was briefed on preparations for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee meeting, which is to be held in Durban in July this year. This 29th Committee meeting assumes even greater significance because it has created the opportunity for Africa to develop a continent-wide policy approach on the conservation of African heritage, including considerations of setting up an African World Heritage Fund. An Inter-Ministerial Committee has been set up to oversee preparations for the meeting.
Cabinet also noted preparations for the World Economic Forum (Southern Africa), which will take place in Cape Town next week. The Forum presents yet another opportunity for interaction among economic and other leaders on issues affecting the region and the continent, in pursuit of higher rates of investment as well as tourism, trade and other relations between Africa and the rest of the world.
The meeting approved a framework to guide preparations for the Cabinet lekgotla in July. This lekgotla will be the first such session in which provincial Premiers and Directors-General participate, as part of the efforts to strengthen integration in the work of government across the spheres.
On the occasion of Africa Day, government wishes to reiterate its commitment to work with Africans on the continent and the Diaspora to improve the conditions of life of especially the poor. We are proud that, as never before, great strides are being made to extend democracy and good governance across the continent, to speed up economic growth and development, to resolve conflicts where these remain and to build international solidarity in pursuit of a better Africa and a better world.
Cabinet approved the extension of South Africa 's participation in the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for a further two years until March 2007. The involvement of the South African National Devence Force (SANDF) Staff Officers, Specialised Elements, ordinary members and Military Police in MONUC is critical not only in assisting the process towards lasting peace and democracy in the DRC. It also provides an excellent opportunity for South Africa to gain experience in a complex peacekeeping environment.
The meeting also approved the extension of SANDF participation in the UN and Africa Union Missions in Ethiopia and Eritrea for an additional period of 24 months until March 2007.
Noting preparations for Youth Month (June), Cabinet welcomed the focus of activities in this period on access to economic opportunities on the part of the youth. The National Youth Service Programme in which over 11 000 unemployed young people have been registered, the Umsobomvu Fund, Expanded Public Works Programme, Community Development Workers initiative and learnerships are but some of the vistas for young people to take part in socio-economic development.
Cabinet also noted that a number of initiatives aimed at bringing more and more South Africans into economic activity have started to take root. These include the launch recently of the Apex Fund, progress in setting up structures of the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) and the processing of the Co-operatives Bill. Critical in the work of these institutions is the task of making as many citizens as possible aware of their operations and empowering people to access the opportunities.
The meeting was briefed on progress with regard to the implementation of the Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS), which was registered at the beginning of 2005. It was agreed that work should continue to implement the enrolment strategy and establish GEMS operations. This work will be done in consultation with the unions through the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council.
Cabinet was informed of preparations towards South Africa 's participation in the Global Forum IV (GF IV) on Fighting Corruption and Safeguarding Integrity, which will take place next month in Brazil . The meeting agreed that SA should respond positively if it is invited to host GF V in 2007.
The following appointments were approved:
- Mr KI Mampeule as CEO of the SA Post Office with effect from 1 June 2005;
- Mr Francis S Mngqibisa as CEO of the Cross-Border Road Transport Agency; and
- One Deputy Director-General each in the departments of Provincial and Local Government and of Minerals and Energy.
The meeting was briefed on progress in the development of the BEE Charter for the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Sector. It was agreed that the draft Charter should be published, by notice in the gazette, for a period of sixty days in accordance with the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act.
Cabinet formally reiterated the condolences of government on the passing away of Mrs Rose Dlamini, mother of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)