South Africa: Government's Adoption of Traditional Leadership Laws Is a Betrayal of Rural South Africans

opinion

The recent enactment of two pieces of traditional leadership legislation legitimises the suppression of free economic activity in communal areas, deprives people of access to resources and opens the way to violence against them.

The ruling ANC under the helm of President Cyril Ramaphosa has made a deliberate mistake by enacting the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Act 2 of 2019 (TLGFA) and the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act, 3 of 2019 (TKLA). In enacting the two laws, the president has jogged the memory of the public about the ANC government's unwavering support for traditional leaders and their autocratic powers.

This stance is seen when the state always puts traditional leaders at the centre of government projects in rural areas. Unfortunately, this often results in communities being deprived of access to resources, as well as to social exclusion and the abuse of power - as orchestrated by the state and the traditional leaders.

Rural communities and their associates reject the new "Bantustan bills". The TKLA, for example, seeks to trample on the rights of rural people by vesting powers in traditional councils to enter into agreements without getting the consent of the people - the opposite of the Interim...

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