7 November 2001
Cabinet was briefed today on the Parliamentary programme for the coming period, including the provisional date for the State of the Nation Address on 8 February 2002. The State of the Nation Address will coincide with the period of the middle of the term of the current government.
Cabinet reiterated government’s commitment to assist the people of Burundi to attain peace. It noted the positive atmosphere that has greeted the arrival of the SANDF contingent, and the new opportunities created by the setting up of the transitional government.
Measures to ensure democracy and good governance are important both for the well-being of Africa’s people and for the creation of positive conditions for investment, economic growth and development. Government is convinced that finding lasting solutions to the causes of conflict – and participating in practical programmes to achieve this – is something that should seize the collective mind of Africans. While acknowledging the risks and costs involved, South Africa is prepared to play its role.
The meeting also reflected on the visit by President Thabo Mbeki to Mali. Among others, the government has decided to offer assistance to Mali in such areas as archiving valuable documents on Africa’s scientific and other endeavours in the pre-colonial period. South Africa is also considering a request by the government of Mali to assist them in hosting the soccer African Cup of Nations early next year. Ministers of Transport and Sport and Recreation are today conferring with their Malian counterparts on how such support can be mobilised.
Cabinet examined the matter of the continuing campaign against the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and in particular the meeting of the SA National AIDS Council (SANAC) planned for later this month. The meeting agreed that it is critical both for government and the public at large to ensure focus in public discourse towards the comprehensive programme run by all the SANAC partners.
In this regard, Cabinet agreed that the Deputy President and the core Ministers who are part of SANAC will meet soon, in preparation for the SANAC meeting, to examine among other issues, how to strengthen the partnership, raise the profile of SANAC and ensure that the variety of interventions by government and other partners are not only intensified, but also receive the public exposure they deserve.
The meeting was briefed on the content of the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism; and it approved the signing of the Convention on or before 31 December 2001. South African law relating to terrorism is being reviewed in order to meet the legislative requirements of international instruments on terrorism.
Cabinet welcomed progress in preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) both in SA and the rest of the continent. It agreed to declare 2002 as a Year of Sustainable Development in SA.
The meeting approved a Tourism Transformation Strategy as well as an implementation plan with a three-year timetable and targets for both government and the private sector. Among other issues, the Strategy aims to attain broad-based participation by all the country’s communities in the tourism sector, and it addresses such matters as Black Economic Empowerment and support to SMME’s.
Cabinet noted the results of the Audit conducted by the Public Service Commission (PSC) on the qualifications of senior managers in the public service. Among other findings, the audit established that:
- there was a 99% rate of qualification authenticity, and in the two cases of misrepresentation, action was taken;
- the average number of tertiary qualifications held by managers is 2, with an average of 4 in the Department of Education;
- almost half (47%) of senior managers hold qualifications in the Arts field of study, 29% in the Science field, 13% in the Commerce field and 11% in Law.
The audit also forms a basis for the development of customised courses, which is being undertaken by SA Management Development Institute (SAMDI).
The meeting noted the appointments to the Presidential National Commission on Information Society and Development.
Cabinet received a report from the South African Police Service that the substance received in the post at Tuynhuis on 31 October 2001, as well as in similar incidents in that period, had tested negative for anthrax.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)