3 December 2003
Cabinet was today briefed on the work of the Interim Management Team deployed to work with the Eastern Cape Provincial Government in improving service delivery and governance in the Provincial Departments of Education; Health; Roads and Public Works; Social Development and the Provincial Treasury.
The meeting noted that, while many challenges still remain, considerable progress had been made in implementing turn-around strategies, dealing with cross-cutting issues such as disciplinary cases and procurement reform, and setting up appropriate management structures. It was agreed that the work needed to continue for the coming few months. The interim report presented to Cabinet is still to be tabled before the Provincial Exco, and the detailed recommendations arising from this experience will be made public after these consultations.
A progress report was presented on the e-Government Gateway Project that is aimed at providing improved public service to citizens using the Internet, call-centres and intermediaries. The meeting agreed that Phase I of this project, dealing with one-stop services which do not require security measures such as authentification, would be implemented during the first half of 2004.
The following appointments were approved:
- Two Senior Executive Officers of the Film and Publication Board;
- Members of the Heraldry Council with Prof CT Msimang as Chairperson;
- Board of the National Development Agency;
- New members of the Board of the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of SA;
- An additional Non-Executive Director of the SENTECH Board;
- Extension, by one year, of the term of service of the Statistician-General;
- One Deputy Director-General each in the Departments of Public Works and Transport as well as Statistics SA; and
- Members of the National Lotteries Board, whose chairperson remains, Mr JA Foster.
Cabinet was briefed on and approved an implementation strategy on Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics Technology. The strategy builds on the government's Integrated Manufacturing Strategy and the National Research and Development Strategy and it aims to promote the understanding, development and use of technologies that will contribute to manufacturing competitiveness and employment creation.
The meeting was informed of processes to select the preferred bidder for Komatiland Forests, a subsidiary of the SA Forestry Corporation (SAFCOL), and it concurred with the appointment of Bonheur 50 General Trading (Pty) Limited whose shareholders are Global Forests Products and Imbokodvo Lemabalabala Forestry.
Cabinet approved a Strategy for the Development of Content Industries which include film, broadcast and multimedia content. According to the strategy, content is both cultural artefact - a tradable commodity - as well as a medium for television, cinema, animation, video and electronic games. The aim of the strategy is to expand capacity to promote these industries, institute requisite funding models and introduce incentive programmes.
The meeting considered a programme to develop new electricity generating capacity to meet the requirements of the country beyond 2007. This will include making maximum use of interruptible load and other demand side measures, returning to service some mothballed plants as and when the need arises and initiating competitive bidding for new generation. In addition, Cabinet resolved to implement measures aimed at eliminating poor management of some electricity distribution networks.
The following Bills and Reports were approved:
- Convergence Bill which seeks to regulate convergence of telecommunications, broadcasting and information technology industry which will be released for public comment;
- Energy Regulator Bill which amends the Electricity Act, Gas Act and Petroleum Pipelines Bill to provide for the setting up of single National Energy Regulator; and
- Initial SA Report to the UN regarding the realisation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
Cabinet reiterated the need for a heightened campaign on road safety during the holiday period. It agreed with the approach based on more positive messages, encouraging co-responsibility among all road users for safety and consideration for other road users including pedestrians. An element of the campaign this year and in the coming period will be to make law enforcement more visible and effective.
This being the last Cabinet meeting for the year, the President thanked members of Cabinet for their contribution to the implementation of government's programmes, and he wished Cabinet members as well as all South Africans a Merry Festive Season and a Happy New Year. Cabinet and Cabinet Committee meetings will resume in mid-January 2004, followed by the President's State of the Nation Address in Parliament on 6 February and the Budget Speech on 18 February.
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Issued by: Government Communication (GCIS)