Media release

Statement on Cabinet meeting of 5 February 2003

05 February 2003

5 February 2003

Cabinet today confirmed decisions of its January lekgotla which set out the programme of government for the coming year and beyond. These decisions will be articulated in the President's State of the Nation Address, the briefings by various Ministers and the Budget Speech by the Minister of Finance during the course of this month.

The meeting was briefed on the recent Extraordinary Summit of the African Union, and it welcomed the renewed commitment towards the establishment of the Peace and Security Council and the African Parliament, as well as progress in dealing with such conflict areas as the Ivory Coast, Burundi, the DRC and the Sudan. In most of these instances, South Africa, as Chairman of the AU and in its own right, has been asked to lend a hand. The Minister of Foreign Affairs is currently in the Sudan to assist in facilitating resolution of conflicts and tensions in Sudan and the sub-region.

Cabinet noted the on-going preparations for the Cricket World Cup to be hosted by our country, Zimbabwe and Kenya. It called on all South Africans to ensure that we welcome our guests with open arms, assist them where necessary and ensure that, together with them, we enjoy the display of excellence by the finest cricketers from across the globe. Government also wishes the Proteas, amaqhawe esizwe, all the best in the tournament and we are confident that they will acquit themselves well.

Government also wishes to reiterate its position that the matches should go ahead in all the three host countries as scheduled. Having worked with relevant bodies of the International Cricket Council as well as our security counterparts in Kenya and Zimbabwe, our government is of the firm view that there is no need to review this schedule.

Cabinet was briefed on the plan of the Department of Correctional Services to introduce New Insignia and corporate wear within the Department. This will help align uniform, insignia and other identification means of both officials and prisoners; and it forms part of the overall strategy of the Department to provide rehabilitation within a secure and caring environment. Cabinet approved these plans, including the usage of the Coat of Arms on the epaulettes of senior personnel in the Department.

Cabinet reiterated South Africa's position on the issue of Iraq. This position is premised on the principle that we should seek to resolve international problems through peaceful means. We are also mindful that a war against Iraq would have disastrous consequences for Africa's development, and worsen international tensions.

South Africa supports the eradication of weapons of mass destruction; and it will continue to urge the Iraqi government to co-operate with the UN Inspectors in this regard. In the same vein, we urge all states to put trust in, and respect, structures of the United Nations. Unilateral action cannot bring lasting solutions. On the contrary, it will encourage global anarchy in inter-state relations.

Joel Netshitenzhe
Cell: 082 900 0083

Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)


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