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1999

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE


UDM RESPONSE TO AN ARTICLE IN THE STAR OF 9 NOVEMBER 1999 COMPLAINING ABOUT  BENEFITS PAID TO TRADITIONAL LEADERS

MEDIA STATEMENT ISSUED BY CHIEF MTIRARA, MP - 
UDM SPOKESPERSON: PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

“Traditional leaders want more money by the Minister of Provincial and Local government”

In terms of African indigenous law and the South African constitution traditional leaders of this country are public office bearers in the same manner as are members of parliament, members of Provincial Legislatures and Local Councillors. As public office bearers, traditional leaders provide a huge range of leadership services to more than (15) million South African citizens, most of who are residents in the rural areas. Traditional leaders are playing a very important role in the matters relating to law and order, justice, land use and administration, commerce, welfare and pensions, education, environmental affairs and tourism, customs, traditions, arts and culture, service delivery in rural areas in order to capacitate and to build the nation of the country and all that requires the involvement and participation of traditional leaders and without the involvement of the institution of traditional leadership we are going to be a failing nation and not a winning nation. Other African states have tried to imarginalise the institution of traditional leaders but they have failed dismally.

The lack of meaningful progress in service delivery in the rural areas is in the past due to the absence of an integrated rural development plan, and also to the initial reluctance on the part of government to give the full recognition to the role of traditional leaders as distinct to the TLC / TRC in matters of governance. The government is now beginning to give this recognition by among other things paying equal salaries to traditional leaders of the same rank.

Public office bearers of the political type are entitled to remuneration packages, which include salaries, pensions and medical aid benefits, subsidised accommodation, travelling and car allowances.

There is absolutely no jurisdiction whatsoever for the exclusion of traditional leaders from enjoying these benefits and allowances as are received by politicians.
The institution of traditional leadership is an indigenous form of government, which differs markedly from imported systems of the West. UDM is calling upon the minister of provincial and local government to respect and treat the leadership of traditional leaders the way they deserved because tomorrow it is the shoulder to cry on. Traditional leaders are neither impressed nor concerned about the hatred and negative attitudes because traditional leadership’s existence is an integral part of the African heritage. UDM is calling the government of this country to speed up plans to equip courts of traditional leaders with the necessary resources, to encourage the Houses of traditional leaders to express and unicate their views in parliament on legislation and policy matters relating to the areas of operation to their traditional authorities that is all they deserve in our new South Africa.

ENQUIRIES:
CHIEF NZ MTIRARA, MP

Cape Town
10 November 1999

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