Tra­di­tional lead­ers key to devel­op­ment

The New Age (Free State) - - NEWS - ADE­LAIDE MOHALE prov­inces@the­newage.co.za

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.

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