The Guard

The Truth On Board

New palaces for royal communities

By Emily Setona

QWAQWA – The official opening of the Provincial House of Traditional and Khoisan Leaders saw Free State premier Mxolisi Dukwana make a bold statement that the Free State government is going to build the royal houses new fully furnished palaces.

Dukwana was addressing the audience at the Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality’s (TMDM) council chambers that was packed to capacity with delegates and guest from various royal houses from the Free State and other areas on March 1.
He said the royal houses will be built new palaces that will be magnificent and restore the majesty and dignity of the African kingship in the Free State.

“As government, we are committed to improving the living conditions of our Principal Traditional Leaders and other heads of communities, by building them royal palaces. A budget in the new financial year will be set aside, for building these palaces. This will be done incrementally starting with two palaces for Principal Traditional Leaders in the 2024 /2025 financial year. The rest will be done over the MTEF period.

“The exercise of allocating funds will be spearheaded by Provincial Treasury working with the Department of Cooperative Governance, Traditional Leaders, and Human Settlements, led by MEC Ketso Makume and Department of Public Works and Infrastructure led by MEC Dibolelo Mance, respectively,” Dukwana said.

The premier added that the refurbishing of the already existing palace in Kholokoe will be done and all these measures will be in continuous consultation with the respective heads of the traditional community.

Arriving at the official opening of house of Traditional Leaders FS premier Mxolisi Dukwana, House of Traditional Leaders chairperson Morena Neo Mopeli followed by FS legislature speaker Ntombizanele Sifuba and deputy chairperson House of Traditional Leadership Kgosihadi Gaongalelwe Moroka.

He said that government cannot make decisions for traditional leaders without their involvement from the onset. The Free State government will not only build the palaces for traditional leaders and leave them empty but will also ensure that there is proper furnishing of these abodes, as well as avail officials that will be responsible for the maintenance and day-to-day running of these palaces.

At the same occasion, MEC Makume said:
“We are bound by law to work with the municipality and traditional leaders to advance and promote the culture and legitimacy of our traditional leadership. We are committed to providing new and better office accommodation for the premises of the house of the Provincial House of Traditional leaders. We have fought to make sure that the occupation will happen within the first quarter of the new financial year by June 2024. There have been some delays in achieving other things, much more still needs to be done but we stand ready to do more.”