5 March 2003
At its regular meeting today, Cabinet welcomed the new Minister of Housing Bridgette Mabandla, and it also noted with appreciation the presence of Minister Dullah Omar who is undergoing treatment.
Cabinet noted the positive response of the public to the government's programme for the year as contained in the President's State of the Nation Address, Parliamentary Briefings by Ministers and the Budget Speech. It was agreed that, in line with the President's call for an improvement in the system of implementation, the various clusters would regularly report to Cabinet on progress in each of the priority areas.
Cabinet received and considered the report of the Electoral Task Team, which was chaired by Dr F van Zyl Slabbert to formulate parameters for new electoral legislation. The meeting accepted the recommendations that the present composition of the 400 seats in Parliament should be retained and that the current electoral system will apply for the 2004 elections. It agreed that the newly-elected government after 2004 would review the Report in preparation for the 2009 elections.
In order to facilitate continuing public engagement on these matters, the Report will be released to the public by the Minister of Home Affairs during the course of next week. Further, relevant legislation will be processed urgently for the 2004 elections.
Cabinet examined the management of resources for infrastructure at local level, and it agreed that a new Municipal Infrastructure Grant would be established, consolidating, in a phased manner, grants in areas such as water, public works, electrification, local economic development as well as sports and recreation. The new approach will be combined with a better monitoring system to improve national oversight in the implementation of these programmes.
The following appointments were approved:
- Members of the Board of the National Library of SA;
- Prof GJ Gerwel as Chairperson of the Export Credit Insurance Corporation;
- Extension of the term of office of members of the Board on Tariffs and Trade pending the establishment of the new International Trade Administration Commission; and
- Members of the Electricity Distribution Industry (EDI) Board of Directors.
The following Bills were approved:
- Insolvency and Business Recovery Bill which takes into account new developments in this area, for submission to Parliament; and
- Electricity Distribution Industry Restructuring Bill which sets out the national framework for restructuring, to be released for public comment.
Cabinet reviewed the experience of the 16 Days of Activism: No Violence against Women and Children and welcomed the events and public awareness initiatives undertaken in this period. 90 interactive events were held, more than 580-thousand signatures collected and over R705 000 raised for allocation to deserving community organisations. It was agreed that government should take the lead in implementing commitments made during the campaign, including better resourcing for gender focal points in Departments and the setting up of an Inter-Ministerial Committee chaired by the Minister in the Presidency to co-ordinate the campaign.
The meeting noted the elimination of South Africa from the Cricket World Cup tournament, and expressed its appreciation of the efforts of players and management in representing the country to the best of their ability. While we should all feel disappointed at not qualifying for further stages of the tournament, the experience gained in these matches should stand the country in good stead in future. The World Cup competition continues, and government is confident that South Africans will continue playing their commendable role as hosts, and supporting the display of world cricketing talent during the rest of the tournament.
Cabinet noted the successful listing of Telkom on the JSE and NY Stock Exchange. In particular, it expressed its appreciation of the enthusiasm shown by millions of South Africans in showing an interest and taking part in this initiative. At the same time as laying the ground for more affordable services in the medium-term, the listing should also help improve the culture of saving among the public.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)