Cogta unsure about what happens to trust money

2015-10-21 09:46
Nomusa Dube. (File)

Nomusa Dube. (File)

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Pietermaritzburg - The Co-operative Governance and ­Traditional Affairs Department (Cogta) received an unqualified audit last year, but this may be jeopardised in future because of uncertainty over the collection and distribution of money by the Ingonyama Trust.

MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube told the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on Wednesday that she has no idea what happens to the money.

The trust, headed by King Goodwill Zwelithini, describes itself as an entity that is responsible for the administration of Ingonyama Trust land of about 2,8 million hectares in KwaZulu-Natal.

It was established in 1994 to hold the land in title “for the benefit, material welfare and social well-being of the members of the tribes and communities living on the land”.

Answering questions during yesterday’s Scopa sitting, Dube-Ncube said she had no idea what was done with money collected by Ingonyama.

“Angazi [I do not know],” she said, adding that there was no framework to monitor funds collected by the trust, usually for leases.

“It used to belong to Treasury. They then threw it at us. We have inherited something without a guiding policy.”

Dube-Ncube said the department also had no control over revenue collected by traditional councils.

“You cannot legislate over issues of tradition. They are not an ambit of government. The amakhosi are not public office bearers.

“We do not know who is authorised to collect money — is it the secretary or induna? There are millions sitting in the banks that are not helping communities,” she said.

Though the department is paying the stipends for the traditional council secretaries, Dube-Ncube said the department had no say in their appointments, which were made without an approved process being followed.

Dube-Ncube also raised concerns over different tariff policies that were applied in different areas, and called for discussion on chiefs doing business with the government.

“At some point we do need to discuss the issue of traditional leaders. Are they public office bearers?” she asked

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  cogta

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