DECLARATION IN PARLIAMENTS NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
TRADITIONAL LEADERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE FRAMEWORK AMENDMENT BILL [B8B – 2017] (s76(1))
Mr Xolani Ngwezi, MP
At the outset let me thank the Inkatha Freedom Party and my leader, His Excellency, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, MP, for the confidence placed in me through my election to this high office.
I pledge my loyalty, service and support to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, to my constituency, to the IFP, and to all the people of South Africa.
Honourable Speaker, the Bill before us is primarily administrative in nature and seeks to address some of the historical backlogs. Fundamentally though, it is another piecemeal approach in dealing with the issues of traditional leadership in this country which the IFP has persistently raised.
We still maintain as the IFP that the cabinet committee meeting of December 2000 which resolved that the issue of traditional leadership will be looked at in its entirety, and to bring to a logical conclusion the amendments of chapter 7 and 12 of the Constitution to align and define the powers and functions of traditional leaders and municipal councils, given the establishment of wall-to-wall municipalities in the year 2000 which in essence created a duplication of leadership in those areas –
The IFP maintains that for so long as those issues are not resolved, any other intervention into traditional leadership seeks to do nothing but undermine the fundamental principle of defining those powers and privileges.
Traditional Councils, Kings Councils and Queens Councils as envisaged in this current Bill now may be a necessary instrument of oversight accountability and functionality of those councils, but in the absence of clear cut and clearly defined powers and functions, we are setting up those councils for failure.
The inclusion of traditional leaders in terms of section 81 in municipal councils in itself seeks to undermine the independent role which traditional leaders should be playing in the in the developmental discourse of the country.
So we are confronted with a situation where so many piecemeal interventions are being brought to the fore but the fundamental issue is not being addressed, which is the issue of Chapters 7 and 12 of the Constitution and the recommendations of the cabinet committee of December 2000, which was in fact chaired by then Deputy President Zuma, who is the President now.
The ruling party appears to be once again reneging on its own commitments to deal once and for all with the issue of traditional leadership.
The IFP will be compelled at some point to take this matter to the Constitutional Court to bring it to a logical legal conclusion.
I thank you.
Hon. Xolani Ngwezi, MP
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