6 March 2002
Cabinet today was briefed on the recent visit by Deputy President Jacob Zuma to Zimbabwe; and it welcomed the assurances given by the government of Zimbabwe regarding efforts to ensure free political activity in the run-up to the elections. It also welcomed co-operation between various Zimbabwean role-players with election observers in general and the South African Observer Mission in particular. The meeting also appreciated the fact that matters pertaining to the post-election period were being addressed by all participants in the elections.
Government wishes to reiterate that the immediate strategic objective in the current period is to ensure free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. South Africa will base its assessment of the elections on the report of the SA Observer Mission; and it will make its contribution in international fora, such as the Commonwealth informed by this perspective. As far as the post-election situation is concerned, SA stands ready to do everything in its power to help put the Zimbabwean economy on a better operational footing, and to ensure political and social stability.
The meeting received a comprehensive report on the restructuring of state assets in the Defence, Energy, Telecommunications, Forestry and other sectors. With regard to forestry in particular, the meeting approved a recommendation on the final preferred bidder for the Komatiland package. It also approved measures to resolve the issue of pension fund liability between SAFCOL and its employees.
The following Bills were approved for submission to Parliament;
- the principle of a dedicated Appropriation Bill regarding unexpected expenditure for the Burundi deployment;
- the principle of a dedicated Appropriation Bill on payment of outstanding social grants
- a package of Bills dealing with defection of members from parties within which they were elected in the PR system – Local Government: Municipal Structures Amendment Bill, Constitution of the RSA Amendment Bill and an amendment addressing the consequential issue of the composition of the NCOP. The Bill now before parliament, applying to national and provincial legislatures would be amended in accordance with the principles agreed upon.
- Health Donations Fund Repeal Bill
- Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Amendment Bill, dealing with the operations of the Director of the Medical Bureau for Occupational Disease.
Cabinet ratified the conceptual framework for the Freedom Park Project, which includes, a Garden of Remembrance, a Memorial, a Museum, an administrative block and a commercial precinct. These facilities will be introduced in phases, starting 2002 and for the whole project to be completed in 2005.
The meeting approved a recommendation that SA hosts the Conference of the Africa Region of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.
Cabinet briefly reflected on current public discourse around the issue of HIV/AIDS and prevention of mother-to-child-transmission in particular. The meeting was informed that the Minister of Health would today make a statement in Parliament on lessons learnt from the various research sites, and their implication for the programme. It also noted the renewed campaign particularly in some international media around this issue, directed against government in general and the President in particular. While noting that continuing communication on these matters is critical, the meeting asserted that a detailed approach of government on these issues would emerge from a comprehensive Cabinet discussion which would take place in the coming weeks.
The following appointments were approved:
- DDG for Consumer and Corporate regulations in the Department of Trade and Industry
The meeting also approved improved remuneration packages for Commissioners of the Public Service Commission and ‘Special Advisers’.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)