7 December 2000
At its ordinary meeting on Wednesday 6 December, Cabinet was briefed on the successful containment of the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in KwaZulu-Natal, as well as the measures being taken to contain the new strain discovered in the Mpumalanga Province.
With regard to KwaZulu-Natal, Cabinet noted that the feared spread of the disease beyond the Camperdown area had in fact not materialised. This was after the re-testing of samples from the Valley of a Thousand Hills both in SA and the UK. What this in fact means is that the last case of FMD in the Province was in Camperdown more than 30 days ago. As such, it was agreed that the control measures should be reduced to a 10km control zone, and a further 20km surveillance area. In Mpumalanga, the containment measures that have been adopted seem to be making the required impact. Control measures in this area will remain in place.
For the medium-term, Cabinet approved measures to improve services rendered in support of animal disease control, including the recruitment of more veterinarians, reviving dipping services in the Provinces and determining levels of surveillance data on selected animal diseases in rural areas.
Cabinet was briefed on the Constitutional Court judgement regarding the status of the Special Investigation Unit as it pertains to the position of Judge Willem Heath. Cabinet agreed that the Minister of Justice should further process the matter, and pronounce on steps that would be taken to regularise the situation. The underlying principle in this regard is that government should intensify its efforts against corruption, by ensuring that all the mechanisms set up for this purpose are strengthened to fulfil their mandate.
The meeting reviewed progress on the discussions regarding the role and functions of traditional leaders. Cabinet reiterated its position that government will not obliterate nor undermine this institution. Interim measures to deal with this matter at local government level, will be pursued along the lines of the amendments that will be entertained by Parliament in the new year. At the same time, the White paper process will continue, to determine the permanent arrangements on the role of traditional leaders in the country’s whole system of governance.
In both instances, if and where the need arises for amendments to the Constitution, this will be pursued in a transparent manner through the Parliamentary process. The Task Team of Ministers set up to deal with this matter are continuing with their work, and they will report to Cabinet at a Special Meeting which will be held during the course of next week.
Cabinet adopted the principles contained in the Pension Funds Second Amendment Bill, as a basis for further consultation before its submission to Parliament. It also approved for submission to Parliament:
- Marketing of Agricultural Products Amendment Bill, which establishes regulatory measures including the setting up of a National Agricultural Marketing Council;
- Agricultural Research Amendment Bill, which defines the role of an Agricultural Research Council.
The meeting approved the Draft National Gender Policy Framework which sets out strategies and key performance indicators to ensure that gender equality becomes a lived reality in our country. It also approved the framework for the participation of government departments in the Skills Development Strategy as well as the Public Service Education and Training Authorities (PSETA).
The meeting endorsed the introduction of the new Coat of Arms in all circulation coins (from 1c to R5).
Cabinet welcomed Phase 5 of the Arrive Alive campaign on road safety. This will be a year-round phased campaign co-ordinated among different spheres and branches of government, in line with a strategy that will span a number of years.
The following appointments were noted/approved:
- Mandla Gantsho as CEO of the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA);
- Seven (7) Deputy Directors-General at the National Treasury and one each in the Departments of Housing and Trade and Industry;
- Andile Ngcaba (DG - Department of Communication) and Job Mokgoro (DG - SA Management Development Institute) both of whose contracts have been renewed for 3 years;
- Members of the SA Post Office Ltd Board of Directors, with Ms Badirileng Mokone as Chairperson, with effect from 1 January 2001
- Group Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officers of the SABC.
Cabinet approved the setting up of a specialised Export Credit Agency (ECA) to evaluate export credit and foreign investment insurance cover on behalf of government. It also noted a report on investment proposals and co-ordinated mechanisms for training and job creation in the Wild Coast Spatial Development Initiative. Further, Cabinet approved another Trans-frontier Conservation and Development Area in Maloti-Drakensberg involving authorities in SA and Lesotho.
The meeting also noted on-going discussions on the measures required to achieve faster economic growth and job creation. These discussions form part of preparations for the Cabinet lekgotla in January 2001, and they cover such areas as investment, the credibility of fiscal and monetary policies, labour market regulation, the role of the state, as well as matters of perceptions and expectations. In this regard, Cabinet noted that the recent corrective adjustments to GDP statistics demonstrate that the economy is in fact growing faster than initially envisaged. This constitutes a firm foundation for better performance in 2001 and beyond.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)