The Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional (CoGTA), honourable Des van Rooyen, as the host Minister for the Indigenous and Traditional Leaders Indaba, spoke to delegates attending the Indaba. He emphasised the significance of the traditional leaders sector. The Minister made it clear that this institution will continue to exist and receive the support from government as it has an important place in our democratic society.
The thought provoking presentation by Minister van Rooyen assisted delegates to put into context their submissions as part of the debates, deliberations and in into various commissions at the Indaba.
CoGTA continues to lead the interaction and engagement with the traditional sector, hence the request of Traditional Leaders to have a dialogue with government and key stakeholders on matters of common interest was granted. To this effect, the first indaba in the democratic South Africa is held under the theme â€œUnity in Diversity â€“ Together moving South Africa Forward for an inclusive prosperous futureâ€.
The Minister also commended Ministers who came through to deliver presentation on key issues. The following Ministers delivered important presentations:
- Minister Tokozile Xasa â€“ Ministry of Tourism
- Minister Lindiwe Zulu â€“ Ministry of Small Business
- Minister Mosebenzi Zwane â€“ Ministry of Mineral Resources
- Minister Gugile Nkwinti â€“ Ministry of Rural Dev and Land Reform
The Minister said that all the speeches delivered at the Indaba were aimed at ensuring that this important gathering does not become a talks shop, but assist to guide the plan of action. The plan of action to be developed will guide this important sector as new incumbents will soon assume office to lead Provincial and National House of Traditional Leadership.
As the custodians of tradition and cultures of their people, traditional leaders are the rightful leaders of their own constituencies, which are communities in their areas of jurisdiction. The Minister indicated that the democratic state cannot be successful without working together with elected representatives in various spheres, especially local government.
Minister van Rooyen also welcomed the keynote address delivered by the President as he was officially opening the traditional leadersâ€™ Indaba. The President emphasised the work being done to help improve this age old institution of traditional leadership and further committed to working with this sector.
Traditional leaders were urged by all speakers to work in partnership with government to improve the lives of communities as economic stability and development in rural areas can bring about economic opportunities.
â€œIt is important that as we engage in the different commissions, we discuss and engage robustly on all issues that affect the institution of traditional leadership as this will assist our government in general to develop relevant policies for this sectorâ€, said Minister van Rooyen. The Indaba plenary was divided into four Commissions to adequately discuss all the issues listed on the programme. This Indaba is bringing together key stakeholders across various sectors in a dialogue that will surely assist to chart the way forward guided by the following key discussion areas:
Land Ownership, Tenure Rights and Radical Socio-economic Development.
- The focal point will be on land ownership with more focus on rural areas under traditional leadership. Land ownership should come with the capacity to manage land and its resources. The Indaba should come with resolutions that will guide land ownership, tenure rights and radical socio-economic development.
- Radical Socio-Economic Transformation will have to include mining, fisheries, agriculture and cultural heritage.
- The discussions at the Indaba will result into the review of policy legislation to ensure beneficiation by communities and traditional leaders in the respective areas.
Institutional Capacity (Support and Budget)
- The intention of the Indaba will be to come with mechanisms to effectively support the institution of Traditional leadership.
- The effective support will ensure that the structures of the Institution of traditional leadership function effectively.
Nation building and Social Cohesion in the context of Ubuntu
- The Indaba will look into the role played by the institution of traditional leaders in nation building and social cohesion through programmes like heritage and cultural functions and moral regeneration.
Constitutional and Legislative mandate
- Here, they will consider the mandate of the institution of traditional leadership as derived from the Constitution and other pieces of legislation. They will also further discuss the implication of chapter 7 and 12 of the Constitution in relation to the roles, powers and functions of the institution of traditional leadership in a democracy.
Judging by the ongoing discussions, the Indaba is indeed serving as a strategic platform that brought together like minded people who are assisting to chart the way forward for this important institution.
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