Buthelezi backs NFP head over amakhosi

2011-12-13 00:00

INKATHA Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi yesterday complimented his political arch-rival, the leader of the National Freedom Party, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, for being the only mayor in the province to provide offices for traditional leaders in the Zululand District.

Buthelezi also endorsed statements by Magwaza-Msibi that traditional leaders should also be able to participate in the voting process in their local municipalities.

His remarks came on the first day of a two-day summit between traditional leaders and local government representative, which is being held in Umhlanga Coastlands Hotel. The summit ends today.

The main agenda of the summit is to improve relations between amakhosi and local government officials in order to provide effective service delivery for rural communities under the authority of traditional leaders.

“Traditional leaders have become ceremonial figures in local governance, barred from taking any decisions or even having a vote in the decision-making process,” said Buthelezi, who was speaking in his capacity as a traditional leader.

He gave Premier Zweli Mkhize, who was also in attendance, a copy of his speech and said, “Please take this Mangaung [where the ANC elective conference will be held] next year.”

Amakhosi made it clear that there are still tensions between them and government over their role in the municipalities.

The MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomsa Dube, said her department has set up about 40 traditional councils and has renovated some that were in a bad condition.

Her department has also provided traditional leaders with cars, cellphones and laptops for them to be effective in doing their work.

“In our budget speech in April 2011, I made specific mention that during 2011 there should be a summit … to try to improve working relations between amakhosi and our elected local leadership,” she said.

Mkhize told Buthelezi that there is still more that can be achieved if there is co-operation between local government and traditional leaders.

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