Cabinet holds first meeting

Wednesday, May 20, 2009
By: 
Bathandwa Mbola

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma met with his new cabinet for their first ordinary meeting in Cape Town on Wednesday.

During a briefing, following the meeting, Government Spokesperson Themba Maseko said the President welcomed all members of Cabinet and paid tribute to the previous Cabinet for the work done 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," said Mr Maseko.

He indicated that 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, he said, will deal with the adoption of the new Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) which will be informed by the new electoral mandate.

He said it also "provided the new administration with an opportunity to reflect on and plan for the implementation of the Government's Programme of Action for the period leading to the next Cabinet Lekgotla in January 2009."

The Lekgotla will also allow Cabinet to reflect on the modalities and structures for the National Strategic planning function and the structural changes in the executive and government, Mr Maseko said.

The July mid-year Cabinet Lekgotla brings together key decision makers in government, including Ministers, Premiers, Deputy Ministers, South African Local Government Association (Salga) representatives led by their Chairperson and Directors General of national departments and provinces.

Mr Maseko said the Cabinet noted the progress and the challenges in implementing the new structure of government.

Following his inauguration as President of the Republic, after the 22 April General Elections, President Zuma announced key structural changes in government.

The proposal on the setting up of Cabinet Committees and clusters was approved, said Mr Maseko.

Clusters, previously five, have been increased to seven.

The following clusters have been established and began their first working sessions today.

* Infrastructure development
* Economic sectors and employment
* Human development
* Social protection and community development
* International cooperation, trade and security
* Governance and administration
* Justice, crime prevention and security

Meanwhile, Cabinet also called on all South Africans to celebrate Africa Day which will be celebrated across the continent and in the Diaspora on Saturday, 23 May.

Africa Day aims to commemorate the establishment of the African Union (AU), and the former Organisation of African Unity. It was set up to acknowledge and celebrate Africa's history, heritage and culture.

Under the theme: "Africa and her children celebrate the Confederations Cup and the 2010 FIFA World Cup," Africa Day festivities will start with an event for children at the Union Buildings' southern lawns, in Pretoria.

Crowds can enjoy soccer matches, performances by Gang'be Brass Band from Benin and a kiddies' interactive corner where children will be face-painted with flags of nations participating in the Confederations Cup.

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