Assessing the state of governance in traditional affairs for a better life for all
19 Jul 2011
The tendency of repeatedly removing Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons of the National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL) before they complete their term of office in the past five years indicates something seriously wrong and disturbing with the management of the institution at particularly the leadership level.
Acting Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nathi Mthethwa, said this when he addressed traditional leaders at the opening of a workshop hosted by the national Department of Traditional Affairs (DTA) to assess the state of governance in traditional affairs in KwaZulu-Natal this morning.
“The current term of the House has seen three different Chairpersons and three different Deputy Chairpersons assuming positions at different times. When this current term comes to an end in May 2012, there would have been no Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson of the House who would have served a full five-year term of office,” Minister Mthethwa said.
He added that traditional leaders, like all public representatives tasked with the responsibility of serving the public in South Africa, must also be guided by principles of good governance.
The assessment of the state of governance within the institutions of traditional leadership seeks to determine the status quo on issues including the budget allocated to traditional leadership, resources allocated to traditional houses, the relationship between traditional leadership structures and local government.
The process will help identify areas where there might be discrepancies in dealing with traditional leadership in the provinces, with a view to devising an all-encompassing strategy to deal with the identified challenges.
With the assessments already completed in six other provinces and only the North west province due to be assessed in August, Minister Mthethwa, said a report on all the provincial assessments would be compiled to give government a clear picture of the state of traditional affairs in the country.
“That in turn will inform policy and strategic interventions required to ensure that traditional leadership and Affairs in the provinces and across the country are strengthened. It is key and non-negotiable that governance in traditional leadership structures is strengthened so that challenges facing traditional leaders and communities are adequately addressed,” Minister Mthethwa said.
Issues of good governance that the Minister highlighted included the promotion of service delivery; fostering unity and partnerships among traditional leaders with all spheres of government; accountability to government, structures of traditional leaders and rural communities; clarification of roles between traditional leadership and government structures; and transparency in terms of leadership and the utilisation of financial and other resources.
The workshop had brought together traditional leaders, members of the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders, Minister Mthethwa, Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Dr Zweli Mkhize, Provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) MEC, Ms Nomusa Dube and senior government officials to frankly deliberate on the province’s state of governance in traditional affairs.
Issued by: Department of Cooperative Governance
19 Jul 2011
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