- THE LONG WAIT FOR THE BACK-PAY OF IZINDUNA SALARIES IS OVER
This week, we delivered the much-welcomed news concerning the back pay of salaries for Izinduna, which were due in 2013–2016, during a meeting that we had with the KZN Provincial House of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders (PHTKL) on Wednesday, March 23.
In the meeting, which included the Chairperson of the House, Inkosi R.S. Shinga, and the Deputy Chairperson, Inkosi N.S.W. Sithole, we highlighted the Provincial Government’s commitment and the steps that it took to ensure that salaries, which were not paid due to the unavailability of funds, were finally paid.
The issue of the backpay was an albatross around the neck of the provincial government, as it did not have the funds to settle the amount, which was derived from a mandate that came from the national government when the salaries of izinduna were gazetted.
Extensive engagements were conducted by the department together with the Office of the Premier with the National Departments of Cogta and Finance with the aim of securing the funding that is needed to pay for the backpay that is due to Izinduna.
These deliberations yielded positive results, with the national treasury issuing an allocation of R631 million for the 2023–24 financial year.
The allocation spells an end to the issue of back pay, which has been a constant frustration for the institution of traditional leadership in our province.
According to our plan, the payments will be made in two phases, with the first being the paying out of salaries to Izinduna who are still serving under Amakhosi and the second and last phase being the paying out of salaries to Izinduna who have retired, resigned, or passed on.
On the issue concerning the traditional council secretaries, discussions are at an advanced stage, which will pave the way for the department to make an announcement on the issue of their stipends.
As part of our consultations, we met with representatives of the traditional secretaries, where we engaged them on our plans and the steps we have taken to address the issue of their stipends, considering the important work that they do in our communities in the administration of traditional councils.
As a department, we are committed to uplifting the institution of traditional leadership within our province.
The discussion with the provincial house also touched on programmes aimed at amakhosi, such as the Imizi yeZizwe programme, through which the department builds residences used by amakhosi to conduct the affairs of their respective izizwe. Similarly, the department is committed to improving the Traditional Administration Centres (TACs) that belong to Amakhosi so as to ensure that communities use dignified facilities befitting Amakhosi’s stature.