5 April 2006
At its meeting today, Cabinet in principle approved a strategy for the disposal of non-core properties of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs). The strategy forms part of the programmes of AsgiSA, to ensure that government leverages as much of these properties as possible for purposes of promoting urban and light industrial development and other projects in various parts of the country.
It was agreed that there would be further interrogation of the concept of "core and non-core properties". Further, in disposing of such properties current occupants and local residents would get preferential treatment, and ways would be found to compensate SOEs for any loss of asset value.
Cabinet noted the sterling work done by the South African Revenue Service in surpassing targets for revenue collection in the financial year just ended. The leadership and staff of SARS are commended for their serious application to their work. Government also wishes to express its appreciation to the public whose co-operation has made this achievement possible. As government, across all the spheres, we do recognise our responsibility to ensure that these funds are indeed spent in developing our country and providing services to citizens.
Noting that May would be observed as Energy Month, government wishes to call on all South Africans to use energy in an efficient and socially-responsible way. While our country has sufficient capacity to manage very high peaks, and progress is being made to bring forward the construction of some of the major generation plants, the reality is that a higher rate of growth and broadening of access have placed a strain particularly on transmission to the Western Cape, and on distribution infrastructure in some metropolitan areas. All of us have to conduct ourselves recognising that SA is entering a phase of energy demand for economic growth and household consumption which requires us to be mindful of various ways of its conservation.
The following Bills were approved for submission to Parliament:
- Deeds Registries Amendment Bill; and
- Less Formal Township Establishment Amendment Bill which updates earlier legislation on 'informal settlements' in order to fast-track acquisition and development of land for such settlements.
Cabinet expressed its disappointment at recent statements by public officials in various capacities regarding the country's readiness to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Negative public communication, aimed at accessing resources or any other purpose, does not help the image of the country nor does it in any case reflect the true state of affairs. As we move towards the 2006 World Cup in Germany , after which international attention will turn to our country, we all need to ensure that our pronouncements are based on fact, help constructively to deal with any problems that may arise and assist in engendering confidence in our country and the continent.
The meeting noted the arrangements that have been made for the Imbizo Focus Week which runs from 6 to 13 April, providing an opportunity for intense interaction between leaders across all spheres of government and the public. It also noted preparations for marking the centenary of the Bhambata Rebellion, which took place in April 1906. This process will initiate celebrations in recognition of the bravery of African people in fighting colonialism and its various manifestations such as land dispossession and unjust tax laws. The anniversary also serves as an injunction for us to speed up comprehensive land reform, including the implementation of the resolutions of the Land Summit.
The following appointments were approved:
- Ms Odette R Ramsingh as DG: Office of the Public Service Commission (OPSC) for a period of 3 years - currently DDG in the OPSC;
- Mr G Davel as CEO of the National Credit Regulator for a term of two years;
- One DDG each in StatsSA, and Departments of Justice and Constitutional Development, and Land Affairs
Cabinet approved a contribution of US$1-million per year for the next twenty years to the International Financing Facility for Immunisation. It also agreed in principle that SA should commit to once-off payments to the World Bank's International Development Assistance (IDA) and African Development Bank's African Development Fund (AfDF) as SA's contribution to the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative.
The meeting expressed its sympathy and solidarity with communities which have experienced destruction of property and displacement as a consequence of heavy rainfall in the Northwest Province . National government is working with provincial and local administrations to provide support and mitigate the impact of these floods.
Cabinet wishes to convey its condolences to the family of Ministers Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Charles Nqakula for the loss of Ms Mapisa-Nqakula's mother. The meeting also conveyed its good wishes for a speedy recovery to Minister Zola Skweyiya who is undergoing an operation.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)