N West increases funding for traditional leaders

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pretoria – North West Premier Thandi Modise says the provincial government has increased funding for traditional leaders from R9.9 million to R27 million for the 2014/15 financial year.

Premier Modise made the announcement at the official opening of the North West Provincial House of Traditional Leaders in Mahikeng.

“For us as government, it is essential to provide the necessary space and support for traditional leadership institutions, to contribute to strengthening the system of local government through systematic and structured participation in development and service delivery initiatives of government,” she said.

Premier Modise, who was accompanied by the MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Manketse Tlhape, said the establishment of the House of Traditional Leadership was an acknowledgement by government of the important role traditional leaders play in defending and strengthening democracy.

“We will continue to support the traditional leadership institutions to acquire the requisite capabilities to play a critical role in community development and local economic development,” she said.

Plans to build a finishing school of traditional leadership were already at an advanced stage, the premier said.

She reiterated the call by President Jacob Zuma for traditional leaders and their communities to exercise their democratic right to vote in the May 7 elections.

Premier Modise used the occasion to hand over 4X4 Ford Ranger Double Cab vehicles to 19 traditional leaders, a move she said was aimed at making the lives of traditional leaders easier.

Other benefits include the government subsidised motor vehicle scheme, cell phone allowance, medical aid and subsistence and travel allowance for all qualifying traditional leaders.

Premier Modise also announced that the salaries of headmen and headwomen will increase from R2 000 to R6 740 per month with immediate effect. She said the increment will be backdated from 1 April 2013.

In welcoming the announcements by the premier, chairperson of the North West House of Traditional Leaders, Kgosi Professor Madoda Zibi, said it was clear that government took traditional leaders seriously.

“This is an indication that government is serious about traditional leaders. Government is working together with us to improve the lives of our people. This will also go a long way in improving the dignity of Dikgosi, which was eroded by apartheid and colonialism,” said Zibi.

“The new vehicles we received today will enable us to go to meetings and service all our communities, including those in far flung areas,” said Kgosi Lepono Mathibe of the Bahwaduba Traditional Council in Moretele.

Kgosigadi Anthea Seatlholo and Kgosi Keobusitse Moiloa agreed, saying that the generosity of government was an indication it respects and recognises the role that traditional leaders play. – SAnews.gov.za


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