Traditional leaders and their representatives, activists and experts told ActionSA today that it should consider restoring land ownership to rural communities, undoing apartheid-era legislation, and including traditional leaders in oversight as ways to include traditional leadership in the project to fix South Africa.
These were just some of the suggestions put forward at our final stakeholder engagement on Traditional Affairs held in Johannesburg, today. Traditional affairs play an important role in South Africa, and ActionSA is committed to finding policy alternatives to meaningfully include traditional affairs in fixing South Africa.
The engagement featured ActionSA President, Herman Mashaba, ActionSA National Spokesperson, Lerato Ngobeni, ActionSA KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Chairperson, Zwakele Mncwango, ActionSA North-West Provincial Chairperson, Kwena Mangope, Unisa Educational Leadership and Management Professor, Victor Justice Pitsoe, North West House of Traditional Leaders Chairperson, Kgosi Motsatsi, and National House of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders Chairperson, Kgosi Thabo Seatlholo.
The lively debate put forward tangible solutions to include traditional leadership in the project to restore prosperity to South Africa. Mncwango mentioned how land tenure in the form of land ownership is an important way to empower rural communities. Kgosi Motsatsi added that it is important to know that traditional leaders aren’t authoritarian leaders but lead through consultation with all members of the community when decisions are made. Kgosi Kwena mentioned how consultation with traditional leaders can help improve the rule of law in South Africa.
Meanwhile, Unisa Educational Leadership and Management Professor, Victor Justice Pitsoe, highlighted the key role traditional leaders play a key role in being role models for communities and the youth and thereby helping produce ethical leaders and instil discipline. National House of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders Chairperson, Kgosi Thabo Seatlholo, highlighted how apartheid legislation needs to be repealed as it currently gives the control of rural land – some 13% of South Africa’s total land area – to the Minister of Agriculture, instead of the communities themselves.
Today’s expert panel – the final in a series of 11 such panels – forms part of ActionSA’s broader policy engagement process ahead of our inaugural policy conference in September where we are also asking everyday experts, our members, activists and the people of South Africa for solutions to the most pressing issues in our society.
ActionSA believes that solutions on how to fix South Africa won’t come from politicians but will come from experts and ordinary citizens who are most affected. Together we will be able to provide a clear alternative for South Africans and usher in change in the 2024 elections.