‘Please resource our House’

2016-09-21 06:00
TRADITIONAL leaders during the opening of the Northern Cape House of Traditional Lea-ders on Thursday (15/09). Photos: Boipelo Mere

TRADITIONAL leaders during the opening of the Northern Cape House of Traditional Lea-ders on Thursday (15/09). Photos: Boipelo Mere

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TRADITIONAL leaders continue to face challenges year in and year out and accuse local government of failing to provide support to strengthen their house in order to deliver on its mandate.

Unlike in other provinces, the Northern Cape House of Traditional Leaders also fails to have programmes and projects intended to benefit traditional communities or rural areas.

The House of Traditional Leaders this year opened on Thursday (15/09) under the theme My tradition, my pride, and the members expressed their fear of facing yet another year without proper planning in an effort to ensure sufficient day to day running.

The opening saw speakers, which are Kgosis from the Northern Cape, pleading to government to properly resource their house, and they highlighted how their efforts have fallen on deaf ears of local government and the National House of Traditional Leaders in this regard.

The South African Local Government Association (Salga) on the other hand expressed its willingness to work hand in hand with traditional leaders in an effort to fast track service delivery in rural areas.

During the event, challenges through which communities fight the chiefs, opposing development, as well as issues of royal families fighting among each other, were put in the spotlight.

During his message of support at the event, Willie Johnson, chairperson of Salga, urged for the reinstatement of the Traditional Leaders Summit that was called off in 2015 without proper explanation.

Johnson wishes for the summit to be reinstated and be held before the upcoming Salga Conference, expected to be held in October.

He also pointed out that Salga would engage in different programmes to capacitate municipalities due to their important role and key custodians in certain areas, such as land issues.

“You are leaders by birth, and inherited this leadership. You also showed us your willingness to assist in development by participating in the training programme,” said Johnson.

“We are already enjoying your partnership and are looking foward to your involvement in the upcoming Salga Conference.”

During his keynote address, Norman Shushu, acting premier of the Northern Cape, explained that the annual opening of the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders allowed government a platform to assess the progress made in carrying out its constitutional mandate.

Elaborating on the role traditional leaders had to play before and after the apartheid era, Shushu pointed out the role they have to continue playing in shaping democracy.

“Those deployed in provincial legislatures and municipalities would know that a lot of continuous training and education is required in order to comprehend traditional leaders in capacity building programmes,” said Shushu.

He emphasised the call on government to assist traditional leaders more effectively in the allocation of budget, which is currently insufficient.

“This is the most authentic leadership in our country. By empowering them we bring stability to our communities by having programmes that focus on their capacity.

“We do not see them as antagonistic or opposing structures, but as structures that can work together in building sustainable local government that continues to provide guidance.”

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