Honourable House Chairperson
Honourable Minister of Cogta Pravin Gordhan
Honourable Deputy Minister Cogta Andries Nel
Honourable Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee Richard Mdakane
Honourable Members of the Portfolio Committee
MECs for Cogta and Cosghtsa
Executive Mayors and Councillors
Leadership of Houses of Traditional Leaders
CLR Commission Leadership
Religious Leaders and Traditional Healers
Senior Managers of Cogta
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen
Fellow South Africans
We present our second Budget Vote Speech on the 5th Administration at the time when we will be celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Freedom Charter as adopted on 26 June 1955.
It is important to highlight that in 2003, the democratic government brought in measures specifically meant to give effect to the provisions of Chapter 12 of the Constitution through the passing of the Traditional Leadership Governance and Framework (TLGF) Act, to give effect to what the Freedom Charter says the “people shall govern”.
The legislation outlined the roles and functions of Traditional Leaders in a democratic dispensation and on how government would interact with Traditional Leaders in building a united South Africa.
As noted from the Minister’s speech, we are committed to the finalisation of Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Governance Framework Bill, to give effect to an important milestone in the history of our democracy which the recognition and affirmation of Khoi-San leadership, structures and communities.
You spoke we listened and without doubt we proud ourselves that we will pass this legislation, which will give hope to the Khoi and San. Also the Bill once enacted will close gaps in the current legislation and strengthen the developmental role that the institution plays in traditional communities.
We are making progress towards addressing issues of fatalities resulting from initiation cultural practice. Last year, in this house we indicated that we will be finalising the policy on initiation and I am pleased to indicate that Cabinet has approved, that the Ministry can release the Policy for public comments.
Furthermore, the Ministry’s Initiation Intervention Programme that is driven by the National House of Traditional Leaders and Department of Traditional Affairs has been effective. As you may be aware, many deaths were experienced in the Eastern Cape than any other province, and through this programme we saw a reduction in initiation deaths.
In this financial year, we will embark on a similar programme, to monitor initiation schools to achieve zero deaths and fatalities. We call upon traditional leadership across South Africa to work with us in this regard. We can learn from Limpopo, with regard to best practice, by introducing Medical Male Circumcision (MMC) as one of the safest, hygienic and as one of the most promising interventions for the prevention of deaths and fatalities. Communities, parents are also called to assist in identifying
We further commend and recognise the good work that traditional leaders are doing to advance socio-economic development in their communities. There are those traditional leaders who use land for advancing economic development within their communities. There are various best practices across the country; and I will highlight few examples:
1. Bafokeng nation owns 2000 square kilometres of land that is under-laden with the second largest known platinum deposit in the world. Royal Bafokeng had developed 2020 vision with the aim of enabling it to be a self-sufficient community, and to produce 15000 entrepreneurs, amongst others. Royal Bafokeng traditional council give Bafokeng children bursaries for tertiary education studies.
2. Empangisweni Traditional Council, under the leadership of a progressive traditional leader, Inkosi Zondo is highly engaged in agricultural produce and stock farming projects,
which has created employment for local communities, with a vegetable project employing 80 members of the traditional community, the majority of which is women and youth earning R2000 a month. The Citrus fruit project with 22 small-scale farmers employing women and youth.
3. I also commend the work of the Dzumeri Traditional Council, under Hosi Dzumeri in Limpopo, which has awarded 50 wheelchairs to needy men, women and children and committed to increase them to 100 in the next year.
4. Morena Paulus Moloi of Makholokoe community in the Free State for the building of a Computer centre, Bakery and agricultural projects.
5. I also give praises to Kgosi Pilane and the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela Traditional Council’s for the big development projects that they are running within their communities. These projects have created employment for youth, women and other members of these communities, I applaud them for their commitment to serve and bring change to these communities, by also buy also developing bulk service such sewer, electrification using mining proceeds to develop and improve service delivery.
We call upon other traditional leaders, to join hands with government in addressing the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequalities within their communities.
Traditional leaders as custodians of land in most of our rural areas, can address these challenges by:
Making land available for utilization by the community as per the applicable legislation;
Ensuring that the said land is utilized effectively and support is obtained from the relevant government institutions;
Together with government, developing cultural tourism within their areas: in this regard, all heritage sites within communities.
Also applaud, business and others for partnering with traditional leaders and their communities to bring a better life, though it is not yet realized in areas such as Vhembe, Liphalele and Sekhukhune Platinum belts.
The Programme of Action emanating from the President’s debate with National House of Traditional Leaders will go a long way in addressing poverty and joblessness in traditional communities.
President Jacob Zuma has called on traditional leaders to organize themselves and work together to claim land that was taken from their forefathers, the President said land was a very important aspect to economic growth and that the people of South Africa are nothing without it, the importance of utilizing land after claiming it.
Social Cohesion and Moral Regeneration:
We recognise the role that the institution of traditional leadership and interfaith play in building social cohesion in the country.
We applaud all our traditional leaders for providing leadership in the past months when there were attacks on foreign nationals and ensuring that,
we recognize that through your leadership there were no incidences within traditional communities. Your commitment to work with government on this issue is commended.
Disputes and Claims:
We made major strides in restoring the dignity of our traditional leaders and ensuring that there is stability within traditional communities. To this end, 844 of 1244 traditional leadership disputes and claims from Nhlapo Commission which are handled by the current Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims have been finalized. In this financial year, we will finalise the outstanding 400 disputes and claims, and Royal families are urged to resolve the succession disputes amicably within the family without taking each other to courts.
Back to Basics:
There are 829 Traditional Councils, with 11 Kings and National House with 7 Provincial Houses of Traditional Leaders and about 8000 headman and women.
Traditional leadership has a crucial role to play in the extension of democracy and accountability to our traditional communities, it is of critical importance for municipalities to make appropriate space for traditional leaders in matters of governance that affect them.
The Back to Basics campaign further calls for municipalities and traditional leaders to work in partnerships to address issues of development related to land use management, release of land for development and overall development of rural traditional communities.
Cultural, Traditions and Customs:
Quote “Person without the knowledge of their tradition, culture and origin is like a tree without roots” Close Quote Marcus Garvey…
I urge traditional leaders as custodians of culture to promote Ubuntu and lead the moral regeneration movement. I therefore call on traditional leaders as custodians of culture to consider the following:
The cultural functions that are held should be promoted and ensure that the young people who still identify with culture are not lost instead are taught of its importance.
Protect, Promote, of our languages to retain our national identity.
Support the Indoni as well as the South African Traditional Music Awards, as part of promotions of culture, traditions and customs and also participate in the indigenous games as organised by the Department of Sports and Recreation annually.
We must work together with government; traditional leadership and the interfaith sector will confront issues such as satanism, ritual killings, deaths in initiations schools, and lead campaigns.
COGTA Ministry is committed to strengthen its engagement with the institution; and in this regard, a forum constituted of the Ministry and Chairpersons of national and provincial houses of traditional of traditional leaders has been established.
In addition, two Task Teams constituted of traditional leadership in the NHTL and across provinces, headed by the two Deputy Ministers of COGTA have been established, with one focusing on the National Support and Socio-Economic Programmes and the other on the Transformation of the institution of traditional leadership in relation to Local Government. The two Task Teams will present their report with recommendation to the Minister in the near future.
Finally we salute King Mphendulo Sigcau… Azwelokhe…
In conclusion, COGTA Ministry is committed to restoring the dignity and integrity of the institution of traditional leadership. I would like to thank my family, my staff in the office, the COGTA family for continued support of the Political Principals.
Ngiyabonga … I thank you.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS