Directors of the Programme,
Hosi Nwamitwa wa Mbiri, halala,
Esteemed Members of the Royal Council,
The Speaker of the National Assembly,
Acting Premier of Limpopo, MEC Azwindini Ndou, and all MECs present,
Deputy Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders, Inkosikazi Mhlauli, Chairperson of Limpopo Provincial House, Kgosi Dikgale, and all traditional leaders here present,
My colleagues Deputy Ministers Cassel Mathale, and Elizabeth Thabethe,
Members of Parliament and the Provincial Legislature,
Executive Mayor of Mopani District Municipality Cllr Rakgoale, Vhembe, and all councillors present,
Leaders of political parties, and in community, religion, business, and cultural organisations.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Comrades and friends,
I bring warm greetings from Minister Zweli Mkhize, Deputy Minister Obed Bapela and the entire COGTA family.
Nwamitwa Day is always a very special and joyous occasion and it is an honour to attend.
Last year Deputy Minister Bapela represented CoGTA and this year I have the privilege of doing so at the 10th Anniversary Celebration of Hosi Nwamitwa II.
This Tenth Anniversary, brings together two very important aspects of our national life. I comes at the end of Women’s Month and the beginning of Heritage Month.
It takes place just a day after your birthday. Allow me to say: “Happy birthday Hosi N’wamitwa, may the Almighty bless you abundantly, and give you good health and long life”.
It is a special pleasure because Hosi N’wamitwa and I have travelled a long road together.
We had the honour of being elected members of Parliament for the African National Congress in our first democratic elections on 27 April 1994.
We were sworn in on 9 May 1994 and elected Nelson Rolihlala Mandela as the first President of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic South Africa.
Significantly, it was Ma Albertina Sisulu, who nominated President Mandela during that historic occasion.
Earlier this year, during the Modjadji Queenship Celebration in March, Hosi N’wamitwa and I had the opportunity to reminisce about those early years in Parliament, about where we come from, how far we have travelled but also how far we still have to go.
You served the people of South Africa as Member of Parliament for fifteen years, from 1994 to 2009.
It was during this time that we wrote at adopted the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, that repealed the apartheid laws that brought poverty, inequality, unemployment and oppression to majority of South Africans.
We always cherished the outstanding leadership that you demonstrated in Parliament.
You served on the Portfolio Committees on Art and Culture, Public Works, and Provincial and Local Government, and wherever you served, you made a mark that was visible for everyone to see.
While you were serving in Parliament you continued to to play a leading role in community development and the affairs of the Valoyi community.
In an interview with Malibongwe, the journal of the ANC Women’s Caucus, in August 2008 you were asked:
“Your ascension to the position of the most senior member of the Valoyi Tribal Authority adds to many responsibilities you already have as a Member of the National Assembly and other various organisations. How do you plan to deal with all these roles?”
“It is a challenge but it is not impossible. I have been a teacher, a school inspector, women’s leader and I have even been involved in many rural development projects. I was able to do all that while I was a teacher and I believe that I will continue to manage. I am currently responsible for three offices including the one in Parliament.”
During the interview you also made the important point that: “…tradition is not rigid and therefore it should be allowed to develop.”
With patience, zeal and dedication you pursued this matter on the basis of principle, no matter the opposition, resistance, hostility and ridicule that was placed in your way.
You pursued this matter to the highest Court in the land, the Constitutional Court, which ruled that there should be no discrimination based on sex, race or creed.
It said that the two lower courts failed to apply their mind sufficiently as they ignored the wishes of the royal family.
According to the court, the royal family has a right to determine who should lead the community.
During the ten years of your leadership as Hosi, you have led transformation and development.
The Administrative Centre, the Cultural Village where we are now, the Guest Lodge and the range of other development projects, speak volumes of your commitment to people centered and people driven development.
Hosi i hosi hi vanu. Vanu vukosi. Vanu mavele.
You have demonstrated how partnership between traditional leadership and government at all levels– local, provincial and national – can bring the much needed services and development to our communities, in an effort to eradicate the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Hosi N’wamitwa, you are an exemplary traditional leader, well known for establishing effective partnerships with government, the private sector and other partners.
You represent what President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke about during the Traditional Leadership Indaba in June 2017, when he said:
“As government‚ we are deeply invested in supporting and strengthening the institution of traditional leadership. We are invested in restoring the pride and dignity of traditional authority‚ so that our leaders can better lead the reconstruction and development of our nation.”
“Our constitution recognises that without the institution of traditional leadership‚ our South African community is incomplete [and] without your active participation‚ our nation will not overcome the scourges of poverty‚ unemployment and inequality.”
“It is a vision that sees the institution of traditional leadership contributing significantly to employment creation‚ social cohesion and nation building. For generations‚ it has been the function of traditional leadership to facilitate economic development‚ protect communities and preserve the environment‚”
In fact, the reason you are walking on three legs is because you responded to the call by Minister Zweli Mkhize to join us in visiting dysfunctional and distressed municipalities in your capacity as Deputy Chairperson of the Provincial House. We thank you for your contribution and we wish you a speedy return to two legs.
We are committed to building the developmental capacity of municipalities through the Back to Basics programme and strengthening the linkages between urban and rural areas through the Integrated Urban Development Framework.
Through the Valoyi Traditional Authority Trust and the Valoyi Traditional Council you have in a relatively short space of time, brought a number of service delivery projects to the community.
These important projects include:
- Valoyi Administrative Centre
- The Cultural Village
- The Guest Lodge
- Fit for Life Fit for Work Youth Project
- Food Security and Aquaculture Project
- Hydroponics Tunnel Farming Project
- The Pre-school and After Care Children’s Project;
- Home-based Care Project
- Home-based Women Gardens Project
- Community Food Parcels Project
- Community Electronic Academic Library Project.
Most of the above projects focus on women and vulnerable children.
The humanity of any community stands to be judged not by the way it treats the strongest but the most vulnerable.
We hope that many others will be inspired to emulate the example you have set. Our country and the world will be a better place to live in.
As government we commit ourselves to continue working in partnership with you to make real the sayings, which you exemplify:
Hosi i hosi hi vanu.
Vanu vukosi. Vanu mavele.