3 May 2000
Cabinet today reviewed the launch of the National Coat of Arms and expressed appreciation at the efforts of all those involved. The meeting noted that the majority of South Africans had received the Coat of Arms warmly, and that the next task was to ensure its widest possible promotion, and phased introduction in various departments and other institutions of state.
Detailed announcements in this regard will be made in due course.
Cabinet examined various proposals on wages and conditions of employment in the public service, which will be discussed with the public sector unions.
Further, Cabinet decided to terminate the current Voluntary Severance Package with immediate effect. A new Exit Management Framework will be tabled for negotiation at the Bargaining Chamber.
Cabinet received a briefing on current economic developments, including the state of the country's currency. The meeting noted that, while the Rand's exchange rate against the US Dollar had declined by some 10% in the past few weeks, other currencies such as the Australian Dollar and the Euro had depreciated by more than this percentage against the US Dollar. These developments therefore are not a reflection on South Africa's fundamentals, nor are they a response to developments in the sub-region, as some analysts would have society believe.
Cabinet was briefed on progress made in the convening of the Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel whose first meeting will take place on 6 and 7 May. The Panel [see attached list] is made up of local and international scientists of great repute; and 36 of the 40 invited have agreed to take part in the panel. 32 will be available over the weekend. A meeting of such eminent scientists, holding a variety of views on the issue of HIV/AIDS, is a first for South Africa, and it will be of major significance far beyond our borders.
The terms of reference for the Panel include: the causes of immune deficiency resulting in death from AIDS; the most efficacious response to the cause(s); the difference in prevalence and transmission between developed and developing countries; the role of therapeutic interventions in developing countries and so on.
After two days of face-to-face discussions, these and other scientists will, over a period of about six weeks, exchange views over a "closed Internet"; and meet again in South Africa to finalise and present their findings and recommendations.
Cabinet also emphasised that the multifaceted campaign against HIV/AIDS remains in place and will be intensified. Government will weigh the findings and proposals of the scientists carefully - all in the interest of saving lives.
Cabinet was briefed on the discussions with the United Nations about the possible role that South Africa can play in peacekeeping operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was also informed of the Statement to the Nation that President Thabo Mbeki will make tomorrow, on the situation in Southern Africa.
The meeting also approved the decision of the Inter-Ministerial co-ordinating Committee (on restructuring of public enterprises) to sell a 3% stake in Telkom to an empowerment company, Ucingo Holdings, in line with broad principles adopted earlier.
The following Bills were approved for submission to Parliament:
- Termination of Integration Intake Bill, which brings to an end, at a given deadline, to the process of absorbing individuals in certified personnel registers into the SANDF;
- Transnet Pension Fund Bill which splits the fund into three categories for easier management.
- Two Deputy Directors-General were appointed, one in Foreign Affairs (Corporate Services), and another in the Department of Communications (Telecommunications Policy).
Cell: 082 900 0083
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)
- Prof Salim Abdool-Karim, Head of the HIV/AIDS Research Unit, Medical Research Council, RSA.
- Prof Bialy, Harvey.
- Dr Stephen Chindawari, Director of the Blair Institute of Research, Zimbabwe (Facilitator).
- Dr Bertozzi, Stefano.
- Prof de Harven, Etienne, Professor Emeritus of Pathology, University of Toronto, former Electronmicroscopist at the Sloan Kettering Institute, New York.
- Dr Duerr, Ann, Centres for Disease Control, Atlanta, USA.
- Prof Duesberg, Peter
- Dr Fiala, Christian, Specialist Physician with experience in the African AIDS situation, Vienna, Austria
- Dr Gayle, Helene, Director, National Centre for HIV/AIDS and TB Prevention, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA
- Dr Giraldo, Roberto, MD, Specialist in Infectious and Tropical Disease, New York, USA.
- Dr Koehnlein, Klaus, Swiss AIDS Practitioner, critical analyst with very practical experiences in treating AIDS patients in Africa
- Dr Kothari, D. India.
- Dr Lane, Clifford Director: National Institutes for Health, Washington DC, USA.
- Prof Makgoba, Malegapuru, President, Medical Research Council, RSA
- Prof Fred Mhalu, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Muhimbili, University College of Health Sciences, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
- Prof Mhlongo, Sam, Chief Specialist and Head, Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of Southern Africa, RSA.
- Prof Ephraim Mokgokong, Chancellor of the Medical University of Southern Africa, RSA. (Facilitator)
- Prof Montagnier, Luc (France)
- Dr Owen, Stephen, Professor of Law and Public Policy, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. (Facilitator-in-Chief)
- Prof Padadopulos-Eleopulos, Eleni, Bio-physicist, Royal Perth Hospital, Australia.
- Dr Paranjape, Ramesh S, Officer in Charge and Acting Director, National AIDS Research Institute, Pune, Mahareshtra, India.
- Dr Perez, George, AIDS Expert from Havana, Cuba.
- Prof Prozesky, Wally, Chief of the South African Vaccine Initiative, RSA.
- Prof Rasnick, David
- Mr Scondras, Dave, MA, MS, United States of America
- Dr Sonnabend, Joseph
- Dr Stein, Zena, Director: Division of Epidemiology, Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, USA.
- Prof Stewart, Gordon, Professor Emeritus of Public Health, University of Manchester, England. Former WHO Advisor on Aids.
- Dr Turner, Val, Physician, published articles of the AIDS-dogma.
- Dr Vella, Stefano, Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome, Italy.
- Dr Carolyn Williamson, RSA
- Dr Zuniga, Jose M.
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)