Media release

Statement on Cabinet meeting of 31 May 2006

31 May 2006

31 May 2006

Cabinet today received an update on progress in the implementation of the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme. The work being done in the current period includes the establishment soon of a Scrapping Agency, further capacitation of Operating Licensing Boards in the provinces to speed up conversion of permits to operating licences and examination of compliance with safety requirements and colour coding.

The meeting reaffirmed that today, 31 May, constitutes the cut-off date for submission of applications to convert the permits. In this regard, government wishes to congratulate the overwhelming majority of taxi operators (about 85%) who have complied with this requirement; and welcomes the fact that SANTACO has not requested postponement of this date nor is it opposed to the programme as such. This creates conditions for movement to new phases of the programme.

Cabinet agreed that, because some operators may have, for reasons not of their own doing, not been able to submit applications, these operators should be allowed to do so beyond today. This will be on condition that they are able to demonstrate in writing that they were constrained by circumstances beyond their control.

Further, the Ministers of Transport and Safety and Security will finalise gazetted directives on the policing of the minibus taxi industry, taking into account the need not to prejudice those who missed the deadline for reasons not of their own making.

Cabinet noted the Report on Apartheid Grand Corruption which has emanated from the National Anti-Corruption Forum. While the report was not commissioned by government and uses research methodology that may not have produced exhaustive data, the meeting was of the view that it did raise pertinent issues including matters relating to government assets. It was agreed that, in taking the matters further, government would do so taking into account normal legal requirements and post-TRC initiatives.

The meeting concurred with the following appointments:

  • Paul Baloyi as CEO of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA);
  • Phineas Phogole Tjie as CEO of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF);
  • L Manala as Chairperson of the SA Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and other members of the Board;
  • Ms KST Matthews as Non-Executive Director in the Telkom Board;
  • 2 DDGs in the Department of Social Development (one in the SA Social Security Agency); and
  • Extension of contract of the CEO of the Government Printing Works for a period of 3 years.

Cabinet received a detailed report on work done to assist communities who were affected by the recent flood disaster in the Bophirima District in the Northwest Province . The meeting agreed with the implementation plan dealing with short -term measures, and processes to develop medium- and long-term interventions. It urged relevant agencies to act with speed on all interventions required, given the current winter conditions. Government wishes to express its appreciation of the positive response and co-operation of the community, including traditional leaders, farmers and other business-people and the local media.

The meeting noted the final draft of SA's African Peer Review Mechanism Country Self-Assessment Report, and agreed that, where necessary, relevant departments would submit input for consideration by the National Governing Council. Government wishes to thank the mass of South Africans, NGO's, research institutions, government departments and other structures which have played a critical role in compiling the draft, which, after finalisation, will be submitted to the APRM Secretariat in mid-June.

Cabinet also noted that, contrary to the spirit of the open and consultative Peer Review Process, statements were made during the course of last week about the character of our democracy and the place and role of The Presidency in its evolution. The meeting rejected suggestions that our democracy was under threat from such hoary tendencies as 'marginalisation of Parliament', 'centralisation of power in The Presidency' and 'a slide towards dictatorship'.

False assertions of this kind are not only fulminations of the imagination; but also do not reflect the views of the majority of South Africans, as shown during the Peer Review Process, successive elections, iimbizo and other interactions with the public.

Cabinet noted the various activities, in the context of Child Protection Week, aimed at increasing awareness among South Africans to protect children and promote their well-being. Since 1994, government has introduced various programmes to improve the quality of life of SA's children. These include providing the Child Support Grant to over 7-million children and the Foster Care Grant to 300 000 children; improving access to quality education and the school feeding scheme; providing free health care for children under 6 years of age; and outlawing corporal punishment in educational institutions. The Child Protection Week is a call to action, for all South Africans to heed the message: Every child is my child, and child protection is everyone's business.

Joel Netshitenzhe
Cell: 082 900 0083

Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)


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