Traditional, Khoi-San leaders want government to address land issue

The National House of Traditional and Khoi-San leaders says it is not happy with the progress that government has made in addressing socio-economic ills in the past 30 years. Traditional and Khoi-San leaders aired their concerns in a governmental dialogue addressed by Deputy President Paul Mashatile in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Some of the concerns raised by the National House of Traditional and Khoi-San leaders include the challenges encountered around land and an absence of policy. Traditional and Khoi-San leader Thabo Seatlholo has criticised government saying they lack political will.

“I think we need the necessary political will because you see it in small pockets. You’d see in one province where they are able to move on issues of rural people. I would speak on agricultural activities. The 13% that we are sitting on it has got potential but you see very little funding going towards the youth and women and everybody that is there to develop themselves. And also, the legislative issues are taking too long.”

Meanwhile, Deputy President Paul Mashatile says that government will look into establishing a policy for traditional and Khoisan leaders to ensure consistency for all.

“They want to have a very certain policy on the issue of Traditional and Khoi-San leaders because in the absence of policy there is no uniformity. You find that in another province people buy cars for traditional leaders and another province they don’t. Even the tools of trade are not provided in an equitable manner. That has been raised and we are going to look into it. Close to 50 traditional and Khoi-San leaders have been killed across the country in recent years, especially in KwaZulu-Natal. Mashatile who has condemned the murders says Ministers in the security cluster are looking into the matter.

“On the issue of killings, yes, traditional leaders have raised it particularly in KwaZulu-Natal. We are roping in the Minister of Police and the security cluster to work with those provinces to deal with those issues. So, we did report that is what we are going to do. The Minister of Police is already looking at ways of dealing with this.”

With elections expected to take place in less than seven weeks. Mashatile also urged traditional leaders to encourage all eligible voters to participate in the upcoming elections.

“In this context, traditional leaders should continue to encourage all eligible voters to participate in the elections. We urge traditional leaders to promote free and fair elections and ensure that all voters exercise their democratic right – a right that was hard fought for and must never be taken for granted.” Mashatile has since committed himself to engage with the traditional and Khoi-San leaders in future

Source: eNCA

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