6 September 2000
Cabinet was today briefed on the process towards the finalisation of the 2001/02 budget and for the rest of the Medium-term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period. The discussion will inform the presentation by the Minister of Finance to parliament in its next session. Provincial Premiers and MEC’s of Finance attended part of the Cabinet discussion on these issues.
Among the issues noted is that, as a consequence of the prudent fiscal policies pursued by government in the past few years, we are now entering a period in which real growth in government expenditure, of over 3%, will become possible in a year or two. It was agreed in principle that two of the critical priority areas which should benefit from this will be Poverty Relief Programmes and Capital Expenditure by government. In this regard, departments were urged to start planning for the coming surge in expenditure, including improving capacity.
The Premiers and MEC’s also took part in the discussion on progress with regard to reconstruction in the flood-damaged areas. It was noted that 60% of the first tranche of R300m allocated for this purpose had already been spent in, or fully committed to, projects to repair bridges and roads, schools, clinics, as well as water and agricultural services.
The meeting examined some of the factors that need to be addressed further to elicit higher levels of private investment. The Investement Support Programmes agreed upon include: Small and Medium Enterprises Development Programme, Skill Support Programme and Critical Infrastructure Facilitation Programme. These will entail, among other things, cash grants, and they will apply to sectors beyond manufacturing. Government trusts that the private sector will respond positively to these new initiatives.
Cabinet also approved the gazetting of Regulations on Industrial Development Zones (IDZ), and immediate work in this regard will start in areas such as Coega, East London, Durban, Richard’s Bay and Johannesburg. The benefits offered by IDZ include duty-free production for export, a single window facility for services to investors and efficient administration.
The meeting noted briefings given on investigations into, and programmes aimed at tracking and eliminating, gangsterism in the Western Cape and other areas. It also noted briefings on the bomb incidents in Cape Town, and the holistic and integrated approach that has been introduced to contain and eliminate this problem. This includes the strengthening of government’s intelligence capacity and the witness protection programme.
Cabinet reviewed progress in speeding up the implementation of the Lubombo SDI initiative. This includes the incorporation of state-owned land into the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, and the relocation of the military base on the Ndlozi Peninsula.
The following appointments were made:
- Board of Control of the SA Rail Commuter Corporation
- Four new members of the Transnet Board.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)