Zuma, ministers to sign agreements in September

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma and his ministers are set to sign delivery agreements by the end of September, Government Spokesperson Themba Maseko confirmed on Thursday.

The agreements, to be signed by all ministers, are expected to constitute the government's Programme of Action as announced by Zuma during his State of the Nation Address earlier this year. They will outline departments' delivery goals and expected outcomes for the next five years.

Speaking after a Cabinet meeting, Maseko said government has also noted the progress the country was making in the fight against alleged attacks on foreigners. He said the incidents of violence and looting of property reported thus far point to criminality more than xenophobia.

"Violence and destruction of property is a crime and government will ensure that anyone who advocates for or participates in violent activities against foreigners will be apprehended," Maseko said. A ministerial committee was set up to identify the so-called hot spots and deal with any possible outbreaks of xenophobic violence.

Cabinet has also called on South Africans to celebrate the achievement of women as the country gears-up to commemorate Women's Day on Monday.

It condemned what it described as a "cold blooded" murder of two toddlers and the "merciless" killing of their mother in Gauteng a week ago. "Cabinet expressed its condolences to the family and friends of the Mashao family for their tragic loss on the eve of Women's Month. Those responsible must be brought to book," Maseko said.

This year marks the 54th anniversary of the anti-pass march with President Jacob Zuma scheduled to address the main event in East London, Eastern Cape.

Cabinet also conveyed condolences to the families of 22 people who died in a fire that broke out at a retirement place in Nigel this week.

Meanwhile, Maseko said government has noted with concern reports claiming there was a crack down on the country's media.

"I wish to state it categorically that there is no intention or plan on the part of this government to muzzle the media in any shape or form," he said. Cabinet had discussed a need for a dialogue between government, media owners and editors to discuss developments in the media and the proposals that have been made by the ruling party.