New bill will recognise Khoi-San as traditional leaders

2015-10-27 14:41
(File, Dan Calderwood, News24)

(File, Dan Calderwood, News24)

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Parliament - Laws governing the complexities of South Africa's traditional leaders and royal houses are being updated, with changes that include recognition of the Khoi-San.

These changes are being debated in Parliament.

In August, Cabinet approved the introduction of the ''Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill" which followed 29 consultations with various departments and institutions on the role of traditional leaders. The Khoi-San had been left out of previous legislation.

Its aim is to give guidance on the role of the just under 8 000 traditional leaders and 13 paramountcies [supreme rulers] in South Africa.

The bill was certified in September, even though there were still some grievances outstanding, such as the distribution of land, the powers of traditional leaders and the right to collect fees.

The bill is intended to consolidate and repeal the National House of Traditional Leaders Act of 2009 and the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act of 2003.

Five chapters of the bill deal with how traditional leaders are recognised, codes of conduct and guidelines on opening bank accounts and managing money matters.

Defining traditional leadership positions, it states how a king or queen is recognised, what to do if a position becomes ''vacant'' and makes it an offence to falsely claim queenship or kingship.

For the Khoi-San, leadership positions are senior Khoi-San leader and branch head.

It makes provision for ''regents'' who are kings or queens who have not come of age yet and for the election of decision-making councils.

The bill determines resources to be made available to these structures to carry out their functions and that salaries, allowances and benefits are determined by the president.

Read more on:    cape town  |  parliament 2015

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