African National Congress (ANC) deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, appointed by President Thabo Mbeki to Cabinet last week, attended his first meeting of the executive on Tuesday.
Motlanthe was formally welcomed by Mbeki and warmly received by his Cabinet colleagues, government communications head Themba Maseko said in a statement.
Motlanthe will be a Minister in the Presidency and leader of government business.
The Cabinet also approved a treaty of friendship and partnership between South Africa and the Russian Federation. The treaty will now be submitted to Parliament for ratification.
The Cabinet further received a progress report on the establishment of a national health-insurance scheme, and approved the extension of the deployment of 1 137 members of the South African National Defence Force in Burundi — part of the African Union special task force in that country.
Other business included approving the proposed 2010 stamp programme, which will include stamps to mark South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the South African bird series, taxi hand signs, and the 150th anniversary of South African Railways.
The Communications Ministry will seek Fifa approval before issuing the 2010 Fifa World Cup stamps, Maseko said. — Sapa