Speech by Honourable Premier E.S. Magashule during the 2011 official opening of the Free State House of Traditional Leaders
6 Apr 2011
Chairperson of the House, Morena Advocate Mathealira Mopeli
Chairpersons and Members of the House
Morena e moholo wa Batlokoa, Morena Lekunutu Mota
Morena e moholo wa Bakoena, Morena Thokoana Mopeli
Morena Mathealira Seisoho tswa naheng ya Lesotho
All traditional leaders from provinces such as Limpopo, North West, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape
Moetapele wa Ma-Khoisan le moifo wa hae
Moetapele wa Bataung le moifo wa hae
Motlotlegi Justice Rampai
Commissioner motlotlegi Joel Mafereka
Members of Traditional Councils
It is with great pleasure and humility that I stand before you on this important occasion of the opening of this Fourth Session of the Third House of the Free State House of Traditional Leaders.
Honourable Chairperson, since its inception in 1912, the ANC respected Traditional Leaders, and worked under their leadership and guidance.
Amongst great African patriots who gathered in Mangaung in 1912 was Solomon ka Dinizulu of the Zulu, Montsioa of the Barolong, Lewanika of the Lozi, Letsie II of the Sotho, Lobatsibeni of the Swazi, Dalindyebo of the Thembu, Sekhukhuni of the Pedi, Khama of the Tswana and other traditional leaders participated on that historic day to help establish the African National Congress.
These patriots were inspired by the bravery and courage displayed by their forbears during the wars of resistance such as Shaka, Sekukhune, Cetshwayo, Hintsa, Moshoeshoe.
Throughout its history of existence the ANC walked side by side with traditional leaders and three of its former Presidents, Moraka, Luthuli and Mandela were traditional leaders.
We pay special tribute to one of the first honourary presidents of the ANC, that patriotic leader of our people, King Dinizulu ka Cetshwayo who, I his absence was given this accolade in recognition of his commitment to the struggle against white domination in general, and his role in the armed anti-poll tax revolt of 1906, in particular.
I am therefore saying without fear of any contradictions that the ANC and the ANC government will continue to value the inputs and contributions made by traditional leaders not only during the wars of resistance and the liberation struggles but also in the current reconstruction and development project aimed at building a new democratic, prosperous and non- racial society.
Accordingly, Chairperson next year your people will be celebrating 100 years since the formation of your preciously movement, the African National Congress. Generation after generations of our people and leaders jealously defended this movement even at the time when forces of evil wanted it to perish.
I therefore hope that this house and all traditional leaders will also use these centenary celebrations not only to celebrate the history of the ANC, but to once more celebrate the roles played by traditional leaders in our society while at the same time celebrating our country heritage, unity in diversity and its commitment to humanity.
Honourable Chairperson, President Jacob Zuma has declared this year, “the Yearof Jobs”, this therefore demands of all of us to focus our efforts in job creation for our people. It is clear that without jobs our people will continue to live in poverty and be unable to send their children to schools.
I therefore invite members of this august house to also join government and business in ensuring that sustainable jobs are created in the areas of your jurisdiction. This therefore, calls for closer interaction between our traditional leaders and various institutions of government.
Hore tsebedisano mmoho ena e atlehe, Barena barona le ntlo ena ehlompehang batla tswanela ho bitsa matona ana a kabinete ya Free State hore atlo ema pela ntlo ena ho hlalosa hore batla entsa eng dibakeng tsa mahaeng ho theha menyetla ya mesebetsi. Le bo major le makhanselara atla tswanela ho boisana le barena ka ditsela tseo rekadilatelang ho theha menyetla ya mesebetsi hore sechaba rona se sebetse.
Chairperson, I am aware that most of the things we said we will do during the official opening of the House in 2010 could not be implemented. This can partly be attributed to lack of capacity and proper implementation plan.
Accordingly, during the current financial year we will amongst others focus on the area of capacity building within the directorate of Traditional Affairs in the Department of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs. The relevant MEC will be directed to work with the Chairperson and leadership of this house to develop a detailed strategic plan aimed at ensuring that our commitments and undertakings are fully funded and implemented.
Furthermore, Chairperson and honourable members, we have established the government wide monitoring and evaluation unit within the Premier’s Office lead by Professor Daniel Plaatjies. This unit will also be tasked to work closely with this house to ensure that all commitments made by various government departments are implemented.
It is against this background that during the State of the Province Address I recommitted the Free State provincial government to implement the following priority programme aimed at improving the lives of all our people:
- improving the quality of our Education System
- ensure that our people live a long and healthy life
- creation of decent jobs
- Agrarian and Rural Development and
- ensuring that our people are, and feel safe.
Chairperson, it is a known fact that most people in rural and areas under the jurisdiction of traditional leaders live in abject poverty hence we assign all government departments to work with traditional leaders to improve the lives of communities we lead.
We will ensure that department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Leaders and Human Settlements upscale its support to the institution of traditional leadership.
Bahlomphehi marena aka, government appreciates that access roads in areas of your jurisdiction are in a very poor state. Furthermore, we are aware that these access roads are in most cases neglected without any plans by the province or the municipality to attend to them.
Roads in rural areas should be developed as a means to assist those small rural businesses to flourish so as to create further jobs for the local communities.
I will therefore urge the departments of Police, Roads and Transport and Public Works during this financial year to investigate the possibilities of mobilising the communities in the affected areas and make funds available to improve some of these roads thus creating jobs at the same time.
Traditional leaders should not be left at the periphery of these events or be left to play ceremonial role but should be an integral part of the process.
One of the most important role of traditional leaders and the institution of traditional leadership is to uphold our traditions, culture and customs and further to ensure that the moral fibre of the society does not decay.
Sending our young boys to Initiation school is one of the respected institutions inherited from our forbearers. Modulasetulo le marena aka a hlomphehileng, ho utlwisa bohloko hobona bana barona ba hlokahala mabollong. Hona ho etsahala haholo dibakeng tseo hanang le batho ba nkang bana ka mahahapa, basa buwe le batswadi ba bona kapa barena. Sena ha se moetlo ebile hase molaong. Ke ka lebaka lena rele mmuso tshebedisanong mmoho le marena le sepolesa retlatisang matsholo arona aho fedisa dikolo tsena tse semolaong.
I therefore urge members of different communities to jealously guard against those unscrupulous persons who claim that they are experts of our cultures while killing and or corrupting the minds of the youth to become hooligans who are menacing the community thus end up in prison.
Our traditional leaders in collaboration with all stakeholders should take the lead to root-out all the illegal practices in the name of culture by developing a water-tied policy that will isolate fraudsters and criminals.
The Department of Health will provide medical services to the sick initiates while the police will swiftly act against any perpetrator.
The HIV and AIDS pandemic remains a serious challenge in our communities. We call upon all community members not to treat HIV and AIDS as a taboo but to test and know their status with regards to the disease. Traditional leaders must invite health and any other expects and convene izimbizo\dipitso in their villages where information will be disseminated to members of community.
Chairperson, the use of drugs, alcohol abuse, and family violence is one of the concerns faced by our communities. Most of the time, because of lack of any interesting activity or recreational facilities, youth in rural areas turns to drugs and alcohol for entertainment.
Traditional Leaders are urged to identify interesting activities that will keep youth occupied. I urge the honourable traditional leaders work together with department of Sports, Culture, Arts and Recreation to promote sports and cultural activities in rural areas.
Chairperson, as I mentioned earlier, traditional leaders should become an integral part of any activity that takes place in the area under their authority. These include the area of crime prevention where traditional leaders are urged to ensure that there are Community Police Forums in their areas of jurisdiction. They must also ensure that Station Commanders hold regular public meetings with the communities where issue of crime prevention are discussed .
We will engage with the House to determine the functions and all benefits that are associated with full time status of all executive members of the Free State House of Traditional Leaders so that this matter is expedite before the end of this financial year.
Chairperson, frustrations associated with participation of traditional leaders in municipal councils in compliance with the provisions of section 81 of the Municipal Structures Act can never be over-emphasised. The challenge here is that the Act enjoins only senior traditional leaders to participate and in the Free State there are only 13 traditional leaders.
Due to the fact that the said are already committed as chairpersons of their respective traditional councils and most of them as members of the Provincial House we are of opinion that their participation in municipal council will not be effective.
This peculiar situation has prompted the provincial government to seek a relief from the provisions of the Act. Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Free State) will consult with the House to agree on how best this matter can be resolved.
We learn with appreciation that the Free State House of Traditional Leaders with the assistance of the Free State Rural Upliftment Trust has identified and allocated comprehensive bursaries of R60 000.00 to each of the five students who study towards the following rare skills degrees in various universities:
- Actuarial Science
- Metallurgical engineering
These students are doing very well and are in their second year of studies and we are indebted to this investment.
Government has always believed that education is a cornerstone of any development. We believe that investment in education is the very best hence we commit to annually, with the option of increment, to complement the Free State House of Traditional Leaders and the Free State Upliftment Trust by allocating comprehensive bursaries to 10 students that will be identified by traditional leaders from their areas.
Chairperson, it is pleasing to note that the Free State House of Traditional Leaders, with its limited budget through the assistance of the FS Upliftment Trust has procured 36 computers and printers for Rantsane and Boitelo schools in QwaQwa. This will go a long way to complement the plans of government of enhancing skills and promoting computer literacy in rural areas.
To sustain this good practice, the Free State provincial government will request the provincial department of Education to set annual incremental funds aside for allocation to the House for further allocation of computers and maintenance of the existing.
We are appreciative that this partnership is about to procure 4 computer with 1 printer each, connection to internet, install fax machines, procure 1 small photo copier for each of the 13 traditional councils. These facilities will be accessible to community members for use while paying minimal fees.
The internet café will create jobs for the local youths while at the same time members of community will not be required to travel long distance for such services as is currently the case.
We further wish to convey our gratitude to African Rainbow Minerals for establishing and funding this trust that brings this unparallel relief to the communities in rural areas.
Allocation of tools of trade to traditional leaders and their councils is still a challenge owing mainly to financial constraints but as I indicated earlier, those projects that require long term implementation plan should and will be done in phases.
Modula setulo, marena a ka, ke motlotlo hore tsebisa Ntlo ena hore mokgahlelong ( one of the phases) o mong kajeno Mmuso wa Free State o abela marena a mabedi a Maholo (Kings)dikoloi (Merc E500) tseo a tlang ho di sebedisa ho pheta mesebetsi ya ona ya letsatsi le letsatsi.
Disebediswa tsena ditla thusa Marena a Maholo ntshetsopeleng ya mesebetsi ya Makgotla a Marena a Maholo(Kings Councils) Jwalokaha molao(Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act as amended) o tlama hore ho be le lekgotla leo.
Mmuso o boela o a bela Modula Setulo le Motlatsa Modula Setulo dikoloi (Merc E320 & E350) hore ba phethe tsebetso ya bona.
Chairperson, we are aware that the Traditional Leadership Governance and Framework Act provides for all departments to allocate functions and resources to the institution of traditional leadership and that this has not yet happened. The Executive Council will therefore instruct all Heads of Department and the Director-General of the province to convene a summit where this matter will be dealt with and detailed plans will be agreed upon.
Honourable Chairperson, honourable members of the Free State House of Traditional Leaders, esteemed traditional leaders; I declare thisFourth Session of the Third House of the Free State House of Traditional Leaders opened.
Key a leboha.
Issued by: Free State Office of the Premier
6 Apr 2011