The Provincial Government of KwaZulu-Natal has welcomed the swearing-in and peaceful election of office bearers within the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders.
These elections saw the election of new incumbents with the new Provincial House Chairperson being Inkosi Rubert Sifiso Shinga from Umzumbe in the Ugu District while Inkosi Nqayizivele Wiseman SIthole from uThukela District was elected as the new Deputy Chairperson.
The swearing in ceremony was presided over by Deputy Judge President of the KwaZulu-Natal Division of the High Court, Justice Thoba Poyo-Dhlwathi.
Premier Sihle Zikalala who together with Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka officiated at the ceremony, congratulated the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders for the successful elections.
“These elections are testament to the fact that democracy is alive and well within the institution of traditional leadership in our Province” said Premier Zikalala.
“What we have just witnessed is the pinnacle of the process of re-establishment of the House of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders in our province in line with the law. This process is part of our journey to restore the legitimacy of the institution of traditional leaders enjoyed prior to the distortions introduced by colonial and apartheid regimes, said Premier Zikalala.
Congratulating the newly elected chairperson and deputy chairperson together with all the Amakhosi in the new structure, Premier Zikalala said our Constitution placed importance and dignity to traditional leaders which apartheid never did.
“Chapter 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa signed into law in 1996 spells out the role and importance of traditional leadership. Informed by the supreme law of the land, the National Framework Act on Traditional Leadership and Governance Act was promulgated in 2003,” Premier Zikalala reminded the gathering.
The Premier said this legislation was the bedrock on which the KwaZulu-Natal Traditional Leadership and Governance Act no 5 of 2005 is founded.
“With the establishment of this House, we expect our esteemed AmaKhosi to assume their legitimate roles as development champions of our communities. The Houses, both at local and provincial level, are expected to act as structures where AmaKhosi engage on issues that affect our people and recommend practical solutions,” said the Premier.
The Premier stressed the important role that traditional leaders play as the province transforms, tackles the social ills such as crime and disease, and address the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
“One cannot over emphasise the importance of this institution in social cohesion and nation building. We look up to it to provide leadership in uniting the people of KwaZulu-Natal, deepening peace, fighting social ills, and defeating the shameful scourge of gender-based violence and Femicide. We must also work together to address the rife killing of Traditional Leaders, Amakhosi and Izinduna. We will continue working with the newly constituted House to ensure that all planned interventions are continued until perpetrators are arrested” Zikalala added.
COGTA MEC Sipho Hlomuka committed his department to working closely with the newly elected amakhosi in order to strengthen supportive measures aimed at uplifting rural communities.
The newly elected Chairperson Inkosi Shinga thanked amakhosi for bestowing confidence and faith in him and his new leadership collective. He called upon amakhosi to unite in the common pursuit of interests that are at the heart of the communities they lead. “This election is very humbling, as amakhosi you have entrusted us with serving amakhosi and the interest of our communities,” said Shinga.