01 Jan
01Jan

INTRODUCTION

Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders: Ikosi S. Mahlangu – Ndzundza!;

President of the Republic of South Africa – Your Excellency: Cyril Ramaphosa and the Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers here present;

Your Majesties: Kings, Queens of our beloved country;


Chairman of Botswana Ntlo Ya Dikgosi; Your Royal Highness: Kgosi: Puso Gaborone and all international guests:

Madam Speaker and Chairwoman of the National Council of Provinces;

President of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa: Your Royal Highness; Kgoshi: Mokoena and your delegation;


Deputy Chairwoman of National House of Traditional Leaders – Nkosi: Nosandi Mhlawuli(Aah! ), Members of the Executive Committee and Honorable Members of this august house;

Chairperson of National Khoi-san Council, Honourable Cecil Le Fleur and your delegation;

Chairperson of the IEC, Commissioner Glen Mashinini;


Directors- General and HODs of various national and Provincial governments departments and Directors ofTraditional Affairs including our Nkosi Ntabozuko Gwebindlala.

Former Chairmen of National House, Dikgosi Suping and Maubane.

Former leaders of Provincial and Local Houses of Traditional Leaders;


Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons of the Provincial Houses

Fellow Traditional Leaders and Members of royal families here present;

Honourable Members of Parliament inclusive of chairpersons of Portfolio and Select Committees responsible for traditional leadership;

Honourable Members of Executive Councils from all the Provinces;

Distinguished guests;


Ladies and gentlemen

For the first and foremost I thank you chairman for giving me this opportunity on behalf of all the Chairpersons and Deputies from Eastern Cape, Free State, Kwa Zulu Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga , North ern Cape and North west Provinces to participate in this debate on their behalf.

We wish at the outset to thank you Mr. President for delivering the annual opening address of this our National House of Traditional leaders.


There is no doubt in our minds that, thus far you enjoy the support of all the people of South Africa and enjoy our unqualified support as tested leader who can be trusted.


CONTINUED EXISTANCE OF THE INSTITUTION OF TRADITIONAL LEADERSHIP IN SOUTH AFRICA.

We agree with you Mr. President that the institution of traditional leadership in South Africa “… stretches from antiquity, representing an unbreakable bond between our people’s past and their present.’ We can just add as we maintained from World Trade Centre talks you and our late Nkosi Rholihlahla Mandela(Aah! Dalibhunga!) led Mass Democratic Movement at the Constitutional Talks, the institution of traditional leadership is deeply entrenched in the hearts and minds of all Africans and has survived unwarranted violent attack by Colonial and Apartheid regimes by killing our Kings and Queens and all Heroes and Heroines many of whom are in marked and unmarked graves in South Africa. As you know doubt aware Mr. President, the land constituting South Africa is soiled with innocent blood of all South Africans in defending their independence and God given right to exploit natural resources to deliver a better life to all.

The institution of traditional leadership in South Africa is, contrary to a view of some who are indoctrinated by western norms and values that came with Colonialists, democratic and given powers and functions it will contribute to the bright future of this our beloved country.

The peoples iimbizo/diputso are people’s assemblies and Traditional Councils constitute an executive structure that must implement the decision of the people within its own area of jurisdiction. We regard Traditional Council as key to rural development and for this reason they all need to be properly resources with decent offices and necessary infra structure including personnel. These offices can be utilized by all government offices as community service centers. The unnecessary competition between Municipal Councils that are biased in favour of Ward Councilors is unfortunate. We regret to advise you Mr. President that there is dire need for infrastructure in our areas and in this regard we propose that the Municipal infra structure grant should also have a conditional grant to deliver infra structure for traditional authorities.

We also request the government to treat all Traditional Councils the same in South Africa. Mpumalanga and North West Provinces have demonstrated that traditional authorities can be provided with motor vehicles to equip them to service their areas. There is no reason why this wonderful gesture cannot be extended to all traditional Councils in South Africa.

Chairman and fellow traditional leaders, we need to do our utmost to make sure that traditional leaders understand the institution of traditional leadership. Transformation of the institution which has been tainted by Colonial and apartheid regimes cannot be over emphasized. In this regard we welcome your vision of establishing Council of Elders and look forward to make inputs in the discussion document. In this regard we need to draft and adopt a Training manual to be used as a source of reference by all traditional leaders in South Africa. This will go a long way towards restoring the pride and dignity of the institution of traditional leadership in South Africa.


HOUSES OF TRADITIONAL LEADERS

This National House was established in 1996. By now it should have a decent office of its own like some of the few Provincial Houses including one in the Eastern Cape that I am privileged to lead. We have been observing that Parliament has been providing us with Old Assembly Chamber as the venue for opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders. We are aware that it was in this very Chamber that Dr. Verwoed was assassinated. Furthermore we are aware that Parliament has other decent venues that can be provided to the National House. It is important for this House to be accommodated in close proximity to Parliament.

This House like all the Houses should have its own staff dedicated to serve it and answerable to the leadership of the House. To put it clearly Houses in South Africa should not be an appendage of the department of traditional Affairs. These should have their own budget and programs to pursue their goals. To put it clearly the Houses should cease to be an appendage of any Department.


KINGS AND QUEEN’S COUNCILS

These Councils, like all structures of traditional leadership need decent office infra structure as well as personnel to assist the Kings and Queens in the execution of their duties. We wish to thank the ANC government for having built some during the time late Princess Stella Sigcau was Minister of Public Works. These need maintenance and we look forward to completion of the project.


LAND ADMINISTRATION

Mr. President, we appreciate that government appreciates our contribution on the issue of land particularly the concession by government that it will not expropriate any land from traditional communities. We appreciate the appointment of Presidential Panel and committed to engage our government in finding peaceful resolution on the issue. We wish to bring to your attention Mr. President that that the land we administer is no longer adequate to provide homes and household necessities and therefore we need restoration of land to our communities. We are aware of the criticism about our administration of land. In this regard we propose drafting and adopting a discussion document that will issue for public comments as we believe that administration of land by traditional institutions is the best vehicle to provide land and restore dignity to the African majority

We remain convinced that the establishment of Community Property Associations and any structure based on Colonial practices in traditional communities must be abolished.

We believe that the Spatial Planning and Management Act popularly known as Spluma is not consistent with the Constitution of the Republic and is liable to be struck down on this basis. However as you are acutely aware, we decided to engage government as we believe that the government is ours and we are obliged to assist it. We were encouraged by the agreement we had with the government that the implementation of its provisions would be withhold until we resolve our differences about some of its provisions. We request you Mr. President to advise all municipalities as well as Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform not to implement the offensive provisions of the Act in traditional communities as this conduct will have an adverse effect on the engagement we are having to find a lasting solution as we are all proud of being part of a developmental state and as such determined to play our part in promoting development in our areas to eradicate triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.


Acceleration of economic growth

We are concerned that our country has been downgraded to a junk status. Be that as it may we appreciate your strides to arrest the situation to turn the situation around. It is on this basis that we understand the Budget Speech by our Minister of Finance Hon. Mboweni. We hope that in the conservative budget, money will be provided for development programs for all Traditional Councils as well as all the Houses.

We are concerned about the ongoing protests which more often than not are violent and has a caused inconvenience and unnecessary deaths thereby adversely affecting a climate for needed investment and economic growth. The national road linking KZN and Eastern Cape is experiencing challenges. The mining development identified in Xolobeni in Mbizana has claimed casualties and both Alfred Nzo Local House and Eastern Cape would be willing to assist in finding the solution as I indicated to the Hon Minister Gwede Mantashe at the National Indaba his department hosted last year.

We want to assure you Mr. President that we are able and willing to be partners with your government to turn South Africa around to its new growth path towards prosperity.


Call for amendment of constitution

Mr. President, we welcome the establishment a Presidential Task Team to deal with the issue of powers and functions for traditional institutions and the need to amend the Constitution of the Republic to give effect to the agreement we reached with your office as far back as the year 2000 when President Mbeki was our President with your Predecessor President Zuma as his deputy.

The constitutional expert envisaged in your speech is not understood. During the year Mr. President a similar Task team was established and had a privilege to serve in it. The Task team backed by the expect you envisage found that Chapter 07 and 12 of the Constitution of the Republic must be amended to avoid an unintended mischief of obliterating powers and functions for the institution of Traditional Leadership in South Africa. In the light of this fact coupled with the need to save money for our economic recovery plan, we request you to dispense with the appointment of such constitutional law research specialist and to direct the relevant department to pilot a Bill before the Parliament rises to avoid the possibility of starting the process afresh after elections scheduled to be held on 08 May 2019.


Conclusion 

In conclusion we were inspired by your speech Mr. President and happy that you graced the official opening of our national house and inspired us by your vision for New and prosperous South Africa. We take this opportunity to wish you success in your campaign for renewal of your mandate to pursue values for freedom as set out in the National Democratic Revolution. Furthermore we noted that many of the political party leaders were absent when you opened this House and only noted you and one of our own Prince Buthelezi. We wish you all best of luck and will be holding our thumbs as we will all be awaiting for the results to be pronounced by IEC.


REA LEBOGA MDULE SETULO.NG YOTHOKOZA SIHLALO,IBAMBA, TOTSIENS,ZISINA ZIDEDELANA, NDISATSHAYA!

Thank you!!

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