Traditional leaders key to development
TRADITIONAL leaders and communities remain an integral part of the economy of South Africa.
This was underlined at the Indigenous and Traditional Leaders Indaba in Boksburg which was opened by President Jacob Zuma this week.
Indigenous leaders, senior traditional leaders, kings, Contralesa leadership, chapter 9 institutions, government leaders and academics from across the country attended the event.
Zuma touched on issues of land and its importance for communities, emphasising its value, warning that communities couldn’t continue to be poor while their land was rich with minerals that did not benefit them.
Zuma encouraged traditional leaders to lodge land claims, but only where they had proof and not for the whole of South Africa. In claiming land, legal experts should be roped in to assist communities, otherwise land claims may not be adequately supported.
The Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa, appealed for partnerships between the government and the communities led by traditional leaders.
“Tourism is indeed an important sector in our country and the role of traditional leaders is key as many of the areas of attraction and tourist destinations are under the direct control of the amakhosi,” Xasa said.
Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu also emphasised the need to work together with traditional leaders to ensure the flourishing of small businesses in various localities.
She said traditional institutions should work with the sector to support local small business and ensure that they thrive and assist in providing much needed jobs, while also assisting to reduce poverty.
The Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane, said in terms of the Mining Charter, communities would have a bigger stake in the mines operating in their areas.