|Memo to His Excellency, President Kgalema Motlanthe regarding Traditional leaders' concerns from the UDM President (20 October 2008)|
The abovementioned matter has reference.
In the last two months or so, I have been visiting various traditional leadership institutions across the country, on their invitation.
High on the agenda of their concerns has been the government's neglect of Headmen's remunerations. They site Mr Moseneke Commission's tardiness; indeed they accuse him of only increasing the salaries of Chiefs, and Councillors year by year, without reviewing theirs. They further argue that Headmen play more important roles than the current councillors, who do not avail themselves to the communities when needed.
The other burning issue is the Property Rates tax legislation, which is due to be implemented in their areas of jurisdiction. They are questioning the rational of taxing their resident's properties, which have no financial value as far as the commercial banks are concerned.
Their argument is based on the fact that there has not been any consensus amongst South Africans, on what kind of land tenure system should be used the country, which would seek to address the current communal land system.
The traditional leaders further raised their objections on the Demarcation Board's style of operation. The Board's lack of consulting with the traditional leaders has been condemned.
LACK OF SERVICE DELIVERY
Their concerns were submitted to your office as early as 1 September 2008, but without even receipt of acknowledgement let alone addressing their concerns.
Over and above the mentioned concerns, they also added the following:
In my regular constituency work all across the country I have observed these exact same problems in all the rural areas that I visit. The Government's urban bias exacerbates the woes of the rural poor. It also fuels the urbanisation that is placing huge strain on the infrastructure and housing capacity of the metropolitan centres and swelling the numbers of those who are forced to live in shacks and slums from the neglected rural areas.
Finally, it would be appreciated if the concerns mentioned above can be attended to by your government as soon as possible.
Bantu Holomisa, MP