Bill tabled at public hearing

2018-06-22 06:00

THE Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, 2015, was tabled to the community of the Harry Gwala District at a public hearing, held in Bhongweni Youth Centre in Kokstad, on Wednesday.

People made verbal and written submissions to Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Portfolio Committee members from the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature.

The bill is meant to provide recognition of traditional and Khoi-San communities leadership positions. It also intends to provide recognition, establishment, functions, roles and administration of kingship or queenship councils, principal traditional councils, traditional councils, Khoi-San councils, and traditional sub-councils.

Further, it will provide the establishment of provincial houses of traditional and Khoi-San leaders.

“These public hearings have been conducted throughout the province for people to make submissions. On June 26, we will submit our mandate before the National Council of Provinces (NCOP),” said Nonzwakazi Swartbooi, the chairperson of Cogta Portfolio Committee in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature.

She said people were concerned about being recognised by government as they were not included in the traditional act.

“We have identified four areas in KZN to conduct these hearings and we will be looking at the submissions, discussing and will then make a report to NCOP,” she added.

Griqua Traditional Council chairperson Gabriel Marais expressed appreciation to the government for hosting the hearings. “We support the bill and we hope that the NCOP can approve it as soon as possible. Once we are recognised, we will seek land because we cannot have a traditional leadership without land,” said Marais.

Cyril Gangerdine, a Kokstad resident, complained that many people who were supposed to attend the hearings did not come because of the short notice. He appealed to government to give people another opportunity to air their views about the bill as they were left out.

People were told to continue making written submissions with the new close-off being June 21.

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