30 April 2002
Cabinet today received a briefing on the Report of the Committee of Inquiry into a Comprehensive System of Social Security for South Africa, "Transforming the Present - Protecting the Future". The meeting expressed its gratitude to the Committee, chaired by Professor Viviene Taylor, for the comprehensive report and its recommendations.
Cabinet decided to release the Report for public comment. At the same time, relevant Ministers will examine the principles and system of social values underpinning the policy proposals in the Report. They will also investigate the implications of all recommendations from the Report - and from the public - for the budget, the tax regime and the capacity of the state. Government will take decisions on this matter once these processes have been completed.
Cabinet discussed proposals from the Department of Education processed from the Report of the National Working Group on "The Restructuring of the Higher Education System in South Africa". The meeting expressed its gratitude to the National Working Group chaired by Mr Saki Macozoma.
Cabinet was in broad agreement with the thrust of the proposals. It however decided that structural reconfiguration of these institutions should be examined in relation to the broader transformation agenda, including issues of equity and enhancement of teaching and research to promote the government's Human Resource Development Strategy. The matter will serve before Cabinet in the coming few weeks for finalisation.
The meeting was briefed on the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC), and noted the fact that deployment of the SANDF in the mission expires in April 2002. Cabinet approved the extension of South African participation in MONUC Phase II by availing presently approved and deployed personnel to the mission for a further two years.
Cabinet approved the construction of a water project on the Berg River, near Franschhoek in the Western Cape. The project will be financed and implemented by the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority as an agent of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, subject to conditions that will be discussed between the two entities.
The meeting approved a strategy for the rationalisation of energy regulators in SA, to ensure that the country has a modern Energy Regulatory system, which is efficient, both in investment and operation. The meeting received a report on the work of an Interdepartmental Task Team devising ways of mitigating the impact of oil prices on the economy. It also approved the need for further investigations into the long-term sustainability of the use of agricultural products in the manufacturing of bio-diesel.
Cabinet noted the positive response among various role-players to the government's Campaign of Hope on the issue of HIV/AIDS. A special meeting of the SA National AIDS Council (SANAC) will be held next week to examine the role that various partners can play in the campaign.
In this regard, government hopes that the Constitutional Court hearing starting on Thursday will be handled in a spirit of partnership and co-operation, and that it will be treated in its proper context as seeking clarification on the issue of division of powers rather than a debate on access to Nevirapine. Work is continuing to finalise a Universal Roll-out Plan to use Nevirapine in preventing mother-to-child transmission in preparation for the post-December 2002 period.
The following appointments were approved:
- General and Further Education and Training Quality Assurance Council, to be chaired by Dr C Lubisi;
- Board of the Land and Agricultural Bank chaired by Mr Jethro Mbau;
- Water Research Commission chaired by Dr HC Kasan;
- National Water Advisory Council chaired by Mr IW Modisha;
- Board of Rand Water chaired by Mr P Camay;
- Board of Lepelle Northern Water in the Northern Province (Limpopo), to be chaired by IW Modisha
The following Bills were approved:
- Development Bank of Southern Africa Amendment Bill (to be submitted to Parliament) increasing the number of Directors from 15 to 18;
- Community Re-investment (Housing) Bill (to be released for public comment) providing for targets and standards for lending at low and medium income levels.
Cell: 082 900 0083
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)