President Cyril Ramaphosa officially opened the National House of Traditional Leaders on 27 February 2018 in Cape Town. The Annual Official Opening of the House is conducted in terms of Section 8 (1) (b) of the National House of Traditional Leaders Act, 2009 (Act No 22 of 2009) (the Act). In terms of the Act, proceedings are presided over by the President of the Republic of South Africa or any person designated by the President for this purpose.
â€œAs we celebrate the centenary of the birth of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the opening of the House was dedicated to him especially because he was a traditional leader and the first President of South Africa who led the process towards the recognition of this important institution.
Quoting former President Nelson Mandela during the inauguration of the National Council of Traditional Leaders on 18 April 1997, he said: â€œAnd so we meet, as descendants of these valiant fighters, in a different setting, in a different era, to plan for peace and not war; to promote unity and not division; to forge a common nationhood and not exclusive privilege.â€
These words exemplify not only the abiding spirit that Mandela sought to promote, but also the challenges that still confront us, as a nation, as leaders and as citizens of this great country we call South Africa.
Inspired by this words of Madiba, traditional leaders were urged to come together, whilst reaffirming shared commitment to serve the people. â€œLet us reaffirm our shared determination to improve the lives of the poor and the marginalised and to build a united South African nationâ€, emphasised the President.