Media Statements

Traditional Leaders Committed to Engage on all Issues Relating to their Institution

Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Mr Obed Bapela welcomed the delegates present on the first day of a three days dialogue with traditional held in Gauteng from 15 November 2017 under the theme “Unity in Diversity – Together moving South Africa forward for an inclusive and prosperous future”.


This important dialogue follows the inaugural Traditional Leaders Indaba held earlier this year (2017) at Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Boksburg. The milestone Indaba discussed a number of key issues, whose resolutions and declaration form the core of discussions by delegates who will be attending the scheduled dialogue.


The dialogue engaged on resolutions and declaration as a source document to develop an Action Plan towards an approved Programme of Action (PoA) emanating from the Indaba held earlier this year, engage on Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) and emerge with an implementation plan on all the resolutions.


This dialogue came at an important time for the traditional leadership institution after the succesful reconstitution of all the provincial houses of traditional leaders and subsequently the national house of traditional leaders. The dialogue gave an opportunity to the new leadership across the country to follow-up on the resolutions and declaration of the initial Indaba which took place on 29 May – 2 June 2017.


The dialogue also included key stakeholders within the institution of traditional leadership who through robust engagements further assisted to shape the resolutions adopted at the indigenous traditional leaders indaba.


The discussions looked at issues that were geared to move the institution forward:

  1. Land Ownership, Tenure Rights and Radical Socio-economic Development,
  2. Institutional Capacity and Support
  3. Nation building and Social cohesion and
  4. Constitutional and Legislative mandate,


The Deputy Minister urged delegates to contribute to the important discussions meant to put together an implementation plan from the decisions of the National Indigenous Traditional Leaders Indaba held earlier.

The new chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders, Ikosi Mahlangu spoke to the implementation plan and the way forward. “Our business today is to finalise the implementation plan that will move us to a developmental country. The discussion and agreements today are done within the spirit of instilling a sense of ownership with clear targets and time frames”, said the Chairperson.


This implementation plan is devised in 3 categories – 1) those that can be done now, 2) those that require a legislation, 3) those that are more complex and requires more work. Issues related to the Radical Economic Transformation are also happening at local level, hence the need to ensure traditional leaders are involved. This should be linked to the area of Local Economic Development which also brings benefits for Traditional Leaders. The issue of LED can assist to develop communities where traditional leaders have jurisdiction.


The other issue that was raised, relates to the partnerships between elected representatives and traditional leaders. The meeting emphasised that the working relations between the two, can surely enhance service delivery. Many traditional authorities hold their cultural celebrations annually. This has become an important source of revenue as such events can attract tourists. This important events can be extended to other provinces, but requires more support to ensure the preservation and promotion of culture.


The meeting also appreciated the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF). This framework is important as urbanisation affects sectors and areas in our society. Areas that are under traditional leaders are also affected by the inflow or outflow of people as part of urbanisation.


The issues related to SPLUMA will be discussed as there is unease from Traditional Leaders as to how this assist them. The traditional leadership called for more continued government support for the institution.


Since the Indaba lots of work was done to begin the implementation of the resolutions of the indaba. Part of the work done will culminate into the launch of the Royal Leadership Foundation on Friday, 17 November 2017. This is part of efforts to ensure radical socio-economic transformation and the development of communities.


The meeting called on the continuing relations with and engagements with the Traditional leadership and called for partnerships to ensure that all gaps and issues of concern are addressed.



Legadima Leso

CoGTA Head of Communications

Cell: 083 378 9495