Calls for SADC House of Traditional Leaders

Monday, May 29, 2017

Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma has called on the National House of Traditional Leaders to pick up where they left off with the establishment of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) House of Traditional Leaders and the Continental House of Traditional Leaders.

According to President Zuma, this could be the fulfilment of the continents’ forefathers.

Addressing the Traditional Leaders Indaba in Boksburg on Monday, President Zuma said the cooperation of traditional leaders with their counterparts is critical to building a cohesive SADC region and ultimately the continent.

Support for traditional leaders

Furthermore, the President said government is aware that the institution of traditional leadership will not be able to successfully implement all the programmes it has planned to achieve without proper support.

He said the National House of Traditional Leaders has done commendable work with less resources, partly because of the global economic situation.

President Zuma said the incoming Traditional Councils and Houses of Traditional leaders must take from the resolutions of this indaba to develop their plan for the next five years.

“The National House and the Department of Traditional Affairs must oversee the implementation of the resolutions of this indaba. Traditional leaders must be supported based on the plan submitted.

“We have to find alternative ways of resourcing the institution. One mechanism may be for municipalities to budget and support the institution because traditional councils operate in the local sphere,” the President said.

President Zuma said the Department of Traditional Affairs must take the lead in ensuring that provinces and municipalities adequately support the institution.

“There must be a baseline for support that will indicate what must be there in order for the traditional council and a house of traditional leaders must have in order to operate. The baseline must be supported and accordingly funded in order for the structure to perform.

“We cannot have structures of the community that are not performing due to lack of support,” President Zuma said.

President Zuma told traditional leaders that he hopes that they will reflect strongly on the question of whether or not traditional leaders should get directly involved in the development programmes of councils as part of their responsibilities.

Service delivery issues

President Zuma said any service delivery matters must be handled and receive the cooperation of both elected and traditional leaders.

“We have to ensure that the working relationship between the two structures is sound and is one that shows communities that leadership is about cooperation.

“I urge the indaba to debate further on the participation of traditional leaders or their representatives in municipalities,” he said, adding that the indaba must decide on the best model of cooperation between elected and hereditary leadership. –

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