8 November 2000
At its meeting today, Cabinet considered details of budgetary matters with regard to the 2001/2003 Medium-term Expenditure Framework. In addition to the matters that were announced by the Minister of Finance in Parliament a week ago, Cabinet also decided on mechanisms to finalise both the conceptualisation of, and allocations for, the reparations process as prescribed in the TRC Act.
The meeting was briefed on the interaction between the President-led delegation of government and the group of economists and representatives of the IMF and World Bank as well as the Working Groups with local economic role-players. The meeting welcomed the support of the business community for the approach of government on the situation in Zimbabwe. In pursuit of the urgent national challenge of faster economic growth and job-creation, the Cabinet Committee on the Economic Sector will hold a special whole-day session in the coming fortnight. Recommendations emerging from all these consultations will inform decisions of the Cabinet lekgotla in January 2001.
Cabinet considered proposed amendments to the Local Government Municipal Structures Act, which provide for delegation of some functions to traditional authorities. The meeting was of the unanimous view that:
- government does not have any intention to diminish or obliterate the powers of traditional leaders;
- it is necessary in the medium-term to put in place permanent arrangements defining the functions of traditional authorities;
- this will be addressed through the White Paper process, which might require amendment to the Constitution;
- the proposed amendments to the Act submitted to Parliament last week seek to define interim arrangements, which would become operational after the local government elections in December;
- the draft Bill submitted to Parliament is a working draft, to which all interested parties should make comment; and
- on its part, Cabinet has set up a Task Team made up of the Minister of Provincial and Local Government, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology and Deputy-Minister of Safety and Security to improve on the draft Bill defining these interim arrangements.
Cabinet is of the conviction that this engagement should proceed without any complications; and that the process shall not affect the local government elections, which will be held on 5 December.
President Thabo Mbeki reported on his visit yesterday to the Eastern Cape to examine the situation with regard to the state of health facilities and services in some hospitals. While the Cabinet noted that there were some problems in a number of areas, it was established that this had been blown out of proportion. There is no crisis in health services in that province; and in some areas such as Middleburg, the situation has been deliberately distorted by some elements with their own agendas. In this regard, it is critical that the media ascertain the actual situation and not rely merely on statements from particular functionaries in these institutions.
Cabinet welcomed the progress made by the security agencies in apprehending individuals suspected of acts of terror in Cape Town. The meeting also expressed its outrage at the actions of individuals in the SAPS Dog Unit, whose racist and pathological behaviour exposed yesterday not only constitutes an affront to our country’s principles of human rights, but undermines the work of honest and dedicated police-men and women who are committed to serve our communities. We wish to call on all the people in our country to report these incidents, and assure them that these actions will be dealt with using the full might of the law.
Cabinet was informed of the progress in investigations surrounding the operations of the Central Energy Fund. The Minister for Minerals and Energy Affairs will brief the public tomorrow on the decisions taken in this regard. In dealing with this matter, government proceeds from the premise that it is our responsibility to protect public resources from mismanagement and corruption.
The following appointments of Divisional Commissioners in SAPS were approved:
- Crime Intelligence – Mr Rayman Lalla;
- Legal Services – Ms Lindiwe Mthimkhulu;
- Detective Services – Mr Johan de Beer.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)