The new Cabinet held its first ordinary meeting in Cape Town today, 20 May 2009.
The President welcomed all members of Cabinet and paid tribute to the previous Cabinet for the work during its term of office. This work had laid a firm foundation for development and growth and had made it possible for the new Cabinet to hit the ground running in executing the new mandate. He also took the opportunity to welcome all the new members of Cabinet. He urged members to take their responsibility seriously by working hard and to conduct themselves in a manner befitting their office.
Cabinet welcomed the success by National Treasury to raise $1,5 billion in the international markets through the sale of bonds. This amount is $500 million more than what National Treasury intended to raise due to the high demand for the bonds at a favourable rate. The bonds were sold in the USA, Europe and Asia. This represents a resounding vote of confidence in our country and our economic policies.
The primary purpose of the meeting was to prepare for the Cabinet Lekgotla which is scheduled to take place on 26 to 28 May 2009. The Lekgotla will deal with three key issues namely, the adoption of the new Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) which will be informed by the new electoral mandate, to provide the new administration with an opportunity to reflect on and plan for the implementation of the government Programme of Action for the period leading to the next Cabinet Lekgotla in January 2010; and lastly, to reflect on the modalities and structures for the National Strategic planning function and the structural changes in the executive and government.
Cabinet noted and the progress and the challenges in implementing the new structure of government. The proposal on the setting up Cabinet Committees and clusters was approved. The following clusters have been established:
Infrastructure Development (Transport, Public Enterprises, Communications, Energy, The Presidency: National Planning Commission, Water and Environmental Affairs, National Treasury, Human Settlements, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Public Works and Economic Development)
Economic Sectors and Employment (Trade and Industry, Mineral Resources, Economic Development, Tourism, Rural Development and Land Reform, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Science and Technology, Finance, Communications, Public Enterprises, Higher Education and Training)
Human Development (Basic Education, Higher Education and Training, Health, Labour, Arts and Culture, Sport and Recreation, Science and Technology)
Social Protection and Community Development (Human Settlements, Social Development, Women, Youth, Children and People with Disability, Public Works, Rural Development and Land Affairs, Water and Environmental Affairs, Transport, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs)
International Co-operation, Trade and Security (International Relations and Co-operation, Defence and Military Veterans, State Security, Trade and Industry, Tourism, National Treasury, Water and Environmental Affairs)
Governance and Administration (Public Service and Administration, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, The Presidency: Performance Monmitoring and Evaluation and Administration in The Presidency including GCIS, Justice and Constitutional Development, Home Affairs and National Treasury)
Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (Police, Justice and Constitutional Development, Correctional Services, State Security, Home Affairs and Defence)
The clusters began their first working sessions today.
The meeting noted that the World Economic Forum's Africa forum is scheduled to take place in Cape Town on from 10 to 12 June 2009. The Forum will be attended by a number of dignitaries including Heads of State and leaders from the rest of the continent.
Africa Day will be celebrated across the continent and in the Diaspora. We call on South Africans to celebrate this important day.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS) 20 May 2009