Traditional heritage must benefit its owners: Deputy President

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Deputy President David Mabuza has assured traditional leaders that government will work towards giving people the necessary tools to use their heritage not just as means of preserving their history and humanity, but as means of livelihood.

“It is our rich heritage that gives meaning to tourism potential and all economic value chains linked to this sector.

“In doing so, we must think of protecting such heritage so that it is not exploited by others without benefitting its rightful owners,” said the Deputy President.

He was speaking at the 39th King Silamba Annual Commemoration ceremony, where he was invited by His Majesty King Makhosonke II of AmaNdebele. The event was held at KoMjekejeke Heritage Site in Walmansthal, Tshwane, on Saturday.

KoMjekejeke is a recognised heritage site where Ndebele traditional communities from all provinces come to celebrate their heritage and customs.

“This is a special heritage site that expresses everything about who we are as Africans. It is a repository of our pride and heritage, as well as the symbol of our titanic resistance against colonialism and cultural imperialism,” said the Deputy President.

Reflecting on the role of traditional leadership, Mabuza said African kinship has always been central in the journey of decolonisation and destruction of the system of apartheid.

The Deputy President further affirmed the importance of traditional leadership.

“Today, we have in each of the spheres of our government, a House of Traditional Leaders that is empowered by legislation to channel the contributions of our leaders in the advancement of our nation and its civilisation,” he said.

While great strides have been made in developing rural areas that were neglected under apartheid, Mabuza said more still needs to be done.

In light of this, the Deputy President said the return of the land to its rightful owners will open greater opportunities for agricultural development, for decent human settlements, and for industrial development.

“The resolution of the land question, through a well-managed land reform process, will lead to an equitable society that has greater opportunities for the creation of jobs and wealth for our people,” he said. –