Row over amakhosi

2008-04-18 00:00

IFP and ANC members of the Legislature locked horns following an undertaking by the Local Government and Traditional Affairs Department to build residences for amakhosi.

Tabling the department’s budget for the 2008/09 financial year, MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu said the first phase of building 35 residences for amakhosi was recently launched at the kwaBiyela traditional community near Eshowe.

But he stressed that the residences, known as amahlalankosi, will not be for the individual inkosi to own. “[These] will be there to serve the incumbent inkosi at that time, hence the word amahlalankosi,” he told members of the Legislature.

The project, for which R4,8 million has been set aside, is part of the department’s strategy to restore dignity to traditional leaders in the province.

Over the past year, Mabuyakhulu added, the department has made significant strides.

He also announced that travel allowances for amakhosi, currently R1,20/km, will be revised during the year, in line with rising fuel costs.

Mabuyakhulu has also set aside R4,8 million for the payment of travel and subsistence allowances to members of traditional councils, and stipends to izinduna, who are part of traditional councils.

IFP MPL inkosi Nyanga Ngubane lambasted Mabuyakhulu, saying his budget speech was nothing but self congratulations. He said the department has done very little to improve the lives of amakhosi.

Ngubane said the idea of building residences for amakhosi was the one imposed upon traditional leaders. “We as amakhosi were never consulted on this. We cannot therefore be dictated [to].

The MEC is also deceiving the people when he says that a good relationship has been established between the government and traditional leaders,” he said.

ANC MPL Mbuso Kubheka criticised Ngubane, saying Mabuyakhulu has every right to state what targets have been met during the financial year.

Mabuyakhulu responded by saying that the IFP failed to look after the wellbeing of amakhosi.

bmbanjwa@witness.co.za

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