By Libuseng Nyaka
QWAQWA –The MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs Ketso Makume says plans are afoot to empower traditional and Khoi-San leaders to ensure play meaningful role in their communities.
Makume also revealed that R5million has been allocated to kick start the reconstitution of traditional councils.
He was speaking at the opening of the sixth provincial house of traditional and Khoi-San leaders sitting at Thabo Mofutsanyana district municipality on June 2, 2022.
“The minister for cooperative governance and traditional affairs undertook consultation with principal traditional leaders on the formula for principal traditional councils. The premier was also consulted in this regard. Thus, the process of constituting the principal traditional councils will also ensue once the directive is given by the minister.
“We commit to ensure that we convene the forum of the principal traditional leaders, and the executive council by end June 2023, and from now henceforth this norm to engage with the principal traditional leaders in the province.”
Makume also revealed that in terms of section 81 of the Local Government Structures Act, 1998 (Act No. 117 of 1998), two other members elected by such local house may participate in the proceedings of the council or such local or metropolitan municipality.
“The names of all traditional leaders who will be participating in Phumelela, Maluti A Phofung and Thabo Mofutsanyana district municipal councils will be published in a government gazette within the next 14 days.
“A meeting has been scheduled with the leadership of the three concerned municipalities to discuss further the municipal councils’ role in reimbursing traditional leaders for their out of pocket expenses from their municipal budgets.”
According to the MEC, this participation of traditional leaders in the three municipalities will ensure there is effective participation of traditional leadership in the programmes of the Municipal Integrated Development Plans (IDP) and the District Development Model (DDM).
He further revealed that in the October 2022 annual financial support, an increase of R60 000 per traditional council and R120 000 for each principal traditional leader was made.
He said government remains committed to the policy directives of the framework for the provision of enabling resources to qualifying traditional leaders and members of houses of traditional and Khoi-San leaders and will utilize the available resources.
“We will replace the current vehicles of the principal traditional leaders, senior traditional leaders, provide the resources or enabling facilities required by traditional councils, like furniture and necessary IT equipment, so that they can serve their communities efficiently.”
He, however, raised concern at the mushrooming number of people purporting to be either traditional leaders and or Khoi-San leaders in the province.
“There is also a number of traditional leadership dispute relating to succession and/or alleged wrong recognition of senior traditional leaders, headmen, head women and traditional communities.
“Empowered by sections 7(2) and (4) of the Traditional Leadership and Khoi-San Leaders Act, 2019 (Act No. 3 of 2019) (TKLA), I have appointed an Investigative Committee to investigate all these traditional leadership disputes.”