16 August 2017

South Africa: Process Underway for Local Houses of Traditional Leaders

The Eastern Cape Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) says the process to establish Local Houses of Traditional Leaders (LHTL) in the province is firmly in place.

This following the end of term of the provincial House of Traditional Leaders. The department on Tuesday said its MEC Fikile Xasa has held meetings with key stakeholders affected by the process.

The Houses will be established in Alfred Nzo, Chris Hani, Amathole, Joe Gqabi, OR Tambo and Buffalo City Metro Municipalities.

The MEC has met with members of the former executive committee of the provincial House of Traditional Leaders, Speakers from District Municipalities, leadership of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (CONTRALESA) and Kings in Mthatha and East London recently.

The department said the purpose of the sessions was to share information with regard to regulations on the election of members of the Houses.

MEC Xasa said they are all determined to ensure that the entire process is technically sound and beyond reproach.

"We want to do things in line with provisions of the law and applicable regulations without fail. The Premier of the Province and myself will act as referees to achieve a free and fair election process."

He added that a steering committee made up of key and relevant stakeholders will be established soon to implement the process within the agreed time lines.

The membership of the local houses will consist of Kings and Queens or their representatives, about 60% of senior traditional leaders, and 40% of headmen or headwomen.

The department said chairpersons of the traditional councils will convene Imbizo meetings in their areas of jurisdiction to elect or select three people to serve on the Electoral College for the District and Metropolitan municipality concerned.

"All meetings must be held on the same day throughout the Province. All members of the traditional community must participate in the nomination, selection or election of candidates to serve in the Local Houses," said MEC Xasa.

Before assuming their functions in the local houses, members will be sworn in by taking an oath before a Magistrate. Once that is done, the process to select or elect members of the provincial House of Traditional Leaders will start and be completed on the same day in the affected area.

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