26 October 2005
Cabinet today received and approved progress reports on the implementation of government's Programme of Action for 2005. This round of the two-monthly updates further confirms the progress being made in realising the objectives set out in the decisions of the January Cabinet lekgotla and the President's State of the Nation Address. Where applicable, Cabinet has identified steps to deal with challenges arising from the implementation process.
Cluster co-ordinating Ministers will brief the media on these issues during the course of next week; and summaries of the updated reports will, as is standard practice, be placed on the government website.
The meeting concurred with the following appointments:
- Six members of the Legal Aid Board;
- Ms Y Narsing, re-appointed as Chairperson of the Regulating Committee for Meteorological Services and four new members of the Committee; and
- Two DDG's in the Department of Public Enterprises and one DDG in the Department of Agriculture.
Cabinet noted the action of the Minister for Intelligence Services to suspend three senior members of the National Intelligence Agency on the basis of preliminary findings of an investigation by the Inspector-General. The meeting noted that these investigations were continuing; and that the matter was being dealt with strictly in terms of provisions of our Constitution and relevant legislation.
Government therefore rejects any insinuation that this action represents some "settling of scores" in relation to party political issues. It is critical that discourse around this issue, as with the decision by the President last June on the position of Deputy President, is informed first and foremost by the fundamental principle of rule of law, which is one of the sacred pillars of our democracy.
As one of the most important custodians of our Constitution, the Executive is duty-bound always to ensure that the conduct of public servants is in concordance with the letter and spirit of our statutes. Failure to observe this principle would constitute not only serious dereliction of duty, but also encouragement of lawlessness in our body politic. At the same time, it should be emphasised that employment in the public service, including security agencies, is not premised on party political affiliation or any such loyalties. Rather, whatever personal political preferences public servants may have, which is their right, what is expected of them is to observe the law and operate in accordance with government policy and regulations guiding professional conduct.
Cabinet approved the Final Acts of the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for submission to Parliament. The meeting also approved draft Asbestos Regulations which will be gazetted for public comment.
Having been briefed on the outcome of the Conference on Human Resources for Knowledge Production held last June, the meeting agreed on the need for stronger investment in new areas of science and technology. This will form part of the process of designing the next phase of implementing the Public R&D Strategy, with focus on new knowledge production and supply of high quality human resources. The Departments of Education and Science and Technology will work together in taking this matter forward.
The meeting also approved the SA Nanotechnology Strategy, which aims to further advance the country's work in this area, and ensure that we remain abreast of global developments.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)