29 May 2002
Cabinet today approved a comprehensive policy approach on the transformation of higher education. Such transformation is underpinned by the need to ensure that this level our educational system meets the knowledge, human resource, social and economic needs of the country.
An element of transformation, based on the National Plan for Higher Education, and which will affect all higher education institutions, is the creation of a new institutional landscape. In this regard, the Minister of Education will publish details on the new landscape, as adopted by Cabinet, for public comment.
Cabinet adopted a new Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Agreement which includes the establishment of new democratic institutions and a new revenue-sharing arrangement that ensures equitability and sustainability. The agreement will be tabled to Parliament for ratification. The meeting also approved the International Trade Administration Bill which, among other things, establishes a Commission for International Trade Administration (CITA) which replaces the Board for Tariffs and Trade (BTT).
Other statutes adopted for submission to Parliament include:
- Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Relating to the Pan-African Parliament, to be ratified by Parliament;
- Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines Bill which defines the mechanisms through which SA will meet its obligations to the International Convention in this regard;
- UN and OAU Conventions on the suppression, combating and prevention of terrorism, which will soon be followed by our own legislation on this matter
- Protocol on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials in the SADC Region;
- Export Credit and Foreign Investment Insurance Amendment Bill, which refines technical aspects of the Act;
- Corporate Laws Amendment Bill which refines formulations in the original Act to ensure optimum effectiveness of the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO);
- Insurance Amendment Bill, which introduces amendments to the Short-Term Insurance and Long-Term Insurance Acts;
The meeting received a report regarding the consultative process on the National Biotechnology Strategy for SA, which was released for public comment last August. The original document has been refined in the light of these comments, and the Strategy will now be implemented.
Cabinet received a comprehensive report on the implementation of the "Road to Safety Strategy, 2001 - 2005" with such areas as enforcement of law compliance, vehicle and driver fitness and public education identified as key focus areas of action. Emphasis was also placed on the need for a Pedestrian Campaign aimed particularly at reducing the number of child pedestrians who die in road accidents.
The meeting approved the establishment of a South African Council for the Housing Profession, which will facilitate high quality training and education to support and sustain the construction of housing, and ensure ethical standards among housing practitioners.
The following appointments were approved:
- Members of the Board of ARMSCOR, to be chaired by Mr F Titi;
- Chairperson of the Board of South African Tourism, Mr RP Menell; and
- Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority chaired by Mr L Maasdorp.
Cabinet briefly reflected on the recent violent protests by students in Johannesburg and Polokwane. It was emphasised that the rule of law should be affirmed by all concerned, and that any individuals responsible for destruction of property, vandalism and other acts of illegality should face the legal consequences. Government calls on student and youth organisations to ensure that their members observe the law and that their actions do not disrupt the country's education.
Government welcomes the conduct of the elections in the Kingdom of Lesotho, which have been certified as free and fair by all the Observer Missions which participated in the process. These elections have helped advance democracy and human rights in Southern Africa, and confirm the correctness of SADC's efforts in the past few years to assist in normalising the situation in that country.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)