18 May 2017

South Africa: Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Convenes Special Minmec to Discuss Traditional Leaders Indaba

press release

CoGTA convened a special MinMec to discuss the Traditional Leaders Indaba

The Ministry for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, (CoGTA), held a special MinMec meeting in Cape Town on 18 May 2017 chaired by honourable Minister Des van Rooyen. The special meeting was held ahead of the tabling of the CoGTA Budget Vote which took place later on the same day.

The special MinMec considered one agenda item only - "the National Traditional Leaders Indaba", to be held from 28 May to 02 June 2017 at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg. The Indaba which will be held under the theme "Unity in Diversity - Together moving South Africa Forward for an inclusive prosperous future", will among others discuss land ownership and tenure rights, and radical socio-economic transformation.

The meeting agreed that the planned indaba is an important milestone in our democratic dispensation. "It is through this meeting that we should make clear the important role that traditional leaders plays within our democracy and how much they assist in the development of areas where they lead", said Minister van Rooyen. As the custodians of culture and the leaders of their own constituency, the democratic state cannot be successful without and working together with elected representatives in various spheres.

The meeting made important contributions to the concept and planned discussion areas. This contributions will surely go a long way in ensuring that the Indaba hit the correct and scratches where it itches. The discussions and some of the recommendations included looking at the issues in line within the context of the 16 years of the democratic local government. The meeting noted that this approach will assist to take stock of the nature of the relationship between traditional leaders and government, especially the third sphere which is closest to the people.

The meeting further resolved that ahead of the indaba, a comprehensive research be conducted which will better be able to inform the content and discussions. The research will further assist to ensure that the Indaba addresses pertinent issues requiring interventions.

Some of the key areas that are important for this sector like land, initiation, resource support for Traditional leaders, working together of sectors for the good of the country, etc.

Indaba comes just over few months after President Jacob Zuma addressed and officially opened the National House of Traditional Leaders in Cape Town. In that occasion the President emphasised the work being done to help improve this age old institution of traditional leadership. The President also used the gathering at the time to call for unity in action to achieve good governance and the development of our communities.

He further invited traditional leaders to work with government to make the Back-to-Basics programme in government a success. Importantly, he urged them to make use of government programmes to bring about economic stability and cultural development in rural areas.

Looking forward, the indaba will also plan for the next 20 years and looking at how this will develop working with other stakeholders to make the lives of the people better.

In conclusion, MINMEC agreed that indeed the Indaba will be a strategic platform that will bring together like minded people who will assist to chart the way forward for this institution.

Minister van Rooyen concluded the meeting by calling on all provinces to ensure that they are well represented at the indaba as everyone's contribution is important and paramount.

Issued by: Department of Cooperative Governance

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