SA kings want equal perks

2011-08-12 06:58

There is a need to ensure that traditional leaders are equally remunerated to restore their dignity, department of traditional affairs director-general, Muzamani Nwaila, has said.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of minister Nathi Mthethwa’s meeting with kings of South Africa at OR Tambo International Airport yesterday, Nwaila said there were seven kings and five deemed kings following the declaration by President Jacob Zuma after the Nhlapo Commission had concluded its work.

The commission adjudicated disputes over who should be recognised as kings.

The minister invited nine kings and deemed kings of which five attended the meeting. Others sent representatives.

Nwaila said kings earned around R900 000 per year but there was still work to be done in trying to level the earnings for those who are not being rewarded sufficiently.

He said that there were disparities in how provinces remunerated their traditional leaders because of the differing provincial budgets, a sentiment Mthethwa, the acting corporative governance and traditional affairs minister, shared.

Mthethwa said provincial budgets had vast disparities.

“Some provinces budget around 0.03 % of their budgets towards traditional leaders while others do 37%,” he said.

He said the department, in consultation with other role players, was looking at establishing a baseline to ensure equality for traditional leaders in all provinces.

King Makhosonke II Mabhena of AmaNdebele commended the department for the role it played in improving the relationship and synergy between traditional leaders and government.

King Makhosonke II added that there was a need for traditional leaders to be capacitated administratively to be able to serve their communities better.

He went on to say that kings should receive equal treatment from the government and that no one should be undermined.

Nwaila said there was now a national traditional affairs bill that would provide for the recognition of Khoisan communities and their institutions as well as be more accessible to traditional communities and promote accountability and good governance among traditional leaders.

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