Statement on the Cabinet Meeting held on 29 April 2009
Cabinet held its final meeting in Pretoria this morning, 29 April 2009 to finalise a few issues.
Cabinet condemned the attempted coup in Lesotho.
Cabinet was pleased to note that the general elections that were held on 22 April 2009 went off very well with no major incidents reported. Cabinet was pleased to note that South Africans of all ages had turned out in their numbers to cast their votes peacefully. Cabinet congratulated the Independent Elections Commission (IEC) for delivering yet another successful general election in the most efficient and effective manner. Thank you South Africa for making our democracy stronger through the ballot box!
Cabinet expressed confidence in the country’s ability to handle any cases of swine flu. Although no cases of the flu have been reported in South Africa, South Africans should neither panic nor become complacent. Our health authorities and all our officials at all ports of entry are ready to handle any cases of the deadly flu. The Health Minister was asked to develop a campaign to educate South Africans about the swine flu and the precautionary measures that need to be taken should the flu reach our shores. The key message from Cabinet is that there is no need for anyone to panic.
South Africans will once again be celebrating Workers Day on 1 May 2009. This year’s May Day celebrations will take place against the backdrop of the global economic meltdown. Cabinet noted that the recent release of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (AsgiSA) annual report has made some interventions which will go some way towards reducing the impact of the global economic meltdown. Some of the interventions include the R787 billion AsgiSA infrastructure development programme; the Expanded Public Works Programme which created more than a million work opportunities ahead of its deadline and a further R4.2 billion has been set aside for phase 2 of the project; over 37 000 unemployed and unskilled young people have participated in the National Youth Service Programme; 190 civil engineers were deployed into municipalities as part of the Development Bank of Southern Africa’s Siyenza Manje project; and over 18 000 artisans were trained in various fields.
The meeting approved that the intervention in the Eastern Cape Housing Department by the national Housing Department in terms of section 100 of the Constitution of the Republic be extended for another year. This decision follows the report on the progress made since this intervention was approved by Cabinet in April 2008. The measures instituted and implemented by the Department of Housing have resulted in extensive improvement in the delivery of houses in the province, including the drastic improvement in expenditure, from R182 million in January 2007/08 to R779 million by the end of the financial year. Cabinet believes that the intervention was still necessary to continue and sustain the progress that has been achieved.
The meeting noted that the President of the Republic of Mali, HE Amadou Toumani Toure conferred orders on the Minister in the Presidency and the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture. Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang received the Officer of the National Order of Mali and Deputy Minister Ntombazana Botha was awarded the Knight of the National Order of Mali.
The meeting was pleased to note that the doctors' strike which had affected a number of hospitals has been suspended and that the parties are now involved in the negotiations to find an amicable solution.
The meeting ended on a very positive note with the President conveying his appreciation to members of Cabinet and the Cabinet secretariat for their support during his tenure as Head of State of the Republic. Cabinet also thanked the President and the Deputy President for the outstanding leadership they have given to the country, government in general and Cabinet in particular.
Mr. NVE Ngidi was appointed to the post of Regional Manager in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial office of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA). His name was erroneously omitted from the list that was published in the Cabinet statement of 16 April 2009.
Mr Jeff Radebe, the Minister of Transport, will join me shortly to make an announcement about the acquisition of busses to improve our public transport system.
Dr Manto Tshabalala Msimang, the Minister in the Presidency, will also provide you with the progress report regarding the Inauguration of the President on the 9 May 2009.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)
29 April 2009