Traditional leadership vital for rural development

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mafikeng - Traditional leaders have a critical role to play in ensuring that the North West reaches its development goals, especially in rural areas, says MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Gordon Kegakilwe.

Speaking at a two-day summit on traditional leadership, Kegakilwe said the provincial government had begun clarifying and enhancing the leaders' roles in the development of their communities.

"Let me emphasise that traditional leaders have a key role to play as partners with government to build a better life for all our people," he said.

Kegakilwe said traditional leaders would be given an opportunity to participate in all debates, especially those surrounding legislation relating to minerals and communal land use.

"Our interest as government is to see to it that the affairs and welfare of the traditional communities are well and properly attended to," he said.

He said traditional communities expected traditional leaders to represent their voice in government and to ensure that the benefits of liberation are deepened and expanded.

"You are leaders because of the people and you are at the centre of driving development in your communities," he said.

He said the department had provided tribal authorities with vehicles to enable them to perform their duties. He added that they were also going to assist them with resources and leadership skills.

He also advised the leaders to continue ensuring their authorities participated in both the planning and development of integrated development plans in municipalities affecting their areas of jurisdiction.