September 25, 2017

News:

Chiefs want council inclusion speeded

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Respecting traditional leadership . . . From left; Cogta deputy minister Obed Bapela, Minister Des Van Rooyen , Bakoena King Thokoana Mopeli and MEC for Cogta Sisi Ntombela  during a visit to Bakoena Royal House at Namahadi in QwaQwa

Respecting traditional leadership . . . From left; Cogta deputy minister Obed Bapela, Minister Des Van Rooyen , Bakoena King Thokoana Mopeli and MEC for Cogta Sisi Ntombela  during a visit to Bakoena Royal House at Namahadi in QwaQwa

Respecting traditional leadership . . . From left; Cogta deputy minister Obed Bapela, Minister Des Van Rooyen , Bakoena King Thokoana Mopeli and MEC for Cogta Sisi Ntombela  during a visit to Bakoena Royal House at Namahadi in QwaQwa

Traditional leaders in Maluti-A-Phofung local council say while they appreciate support given by provincial government, they are concerned by the delay in including them in the running of the municipality.

Executive mayor Vusi Tshabalala announced at a summit in Phuthaditjhaba last month that traditional leaders would be co-opted into the council.

The leaders told the minister of cooperatives governance, human settlement and traditional affairs, Des Van Rooyen, who was paying a courtesy call on two senior traditional leaders; Borenahabofanoe Sekonyela of Batlokwa clan and Mofumahadi Mathokoana Mopeli of Bakoena clan, that they were still waiting on the council to deliver on its pledge.

Van Rooyen was accompanied by his deputy, Obed Bapela, MEC for Cogta Sisi Ntomebelaa and executive mayor of Thabo Mofutsanyana district municipality Malefu Vilakazi.

In an interview with The Weekly, Morena Setshehetsho Molefe representing the bakoena clan said he was happy that the minister had visited them before he could meet with community members .
“We are very humbled by the gesture of the minister who under his tight schedule has made time to engage with us ahead of tabulating his budget on May 18.

“We appreciate all the assistance that the government has offered to our leaders such as the providing 4 by 4 vehicles. But we wish the government can extend its hand by building us proper offices equipped with modern tools so that we can be able to serve our people smoothly,” Molefe pointed out.

He added they were also concerned about the delay in the 20 percent inclusion of traditional leaders in the running of the council following last month’s summit where stakeholders sought ways to iron out differences and map the way forward.

The chairperson of Free State house of traditional leaders, Morena Ledika Moloi, also thanked the minister for awarding them a platform to voice their concerns.

“I am very happy that minister has heard our grievances from the horse’s mouth. The traditional leaders have clearly tabulated their concerns that I always pass on to authorities on their behalf. They have motivated and given me strengthen to follow up on what they have already highlighted here to ensure that their grievances are responded to,” Moloi said.

In an interview with The Weekly during his visit to Mofumahadi Mathokoana Mopeli’s royal house at Namahadi in QwaQwa this week, Van Rooyen said traditional leadership is a vital component under his department of traditional affairs and municipality.

“We are here to inform them about the budget provisions which are available in our province as well national department. We are also here to inform them about the programmes that we are busy working on to improve the people, including those living in areas under traditional leaders. We found it necessary to engage with them before meeting with the community ahead of our budget speech which is on Thursday,” the minister noted.

Responding to some of the concerns raised by the traditional leaders, Van Rooyen said parliament was busy working on a law on their inclusion in the running of councils.

“We are currently drafting a law which will guide us on the working relationships between councils and chiefs. This is not a discretional matter; it is binding for all of us. Already some municipalities have good working relationships with traditional leaders while others still have some challenges and this law will address such challenges,” he added.

“Another issue that was raised during our engagement with the chiefs is the request for proper offices equipped with facilities.”

Van Rooyen also noted that the Free State government has this financial year budgeted for building offices and palaces for chiefs where they can work and receive their guests.

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