We are here today to provide an update on the preparations for the traditional council elections which are taking place on Saturday, 29 February.
The Province of KwaZulu-Natal is a deeply rural province, which has large areas that are classified as traditional communities. The province has 303 traditional communities with traditional councils which are headed up by AmaKhosi. These councils have an important role to play in the country’s developmental agenda.
The quest to create a better life for all residents in the province can only be fulfilled through co-operation and partnerships with various institutions. The institution of Traditional Leadership is one of the most critical stakeholders.
TRADITIONAL COUNCIL ELECTIONS
Our Government, strongly believes that the institution of Traditional Leadership has an important role to play in creating social cohesion within our communities. In fact amaKhosi are well known for their role in instilling respect and discipline within the communities that they lead.
The law, through the KZN Traditional Leadership and Governance Act, 2005, together with national legislation provide for the election of traditional councils every five years. It provides for the democratic election of 40% of the members that make up a traditional council. The remaining 60% is appointed by the respective Inkosi or Ibamba. It further stipulates that at least 33% of the 60% appointed made by Inkosi has to be comprised of woman.
The law provides for a minimum of 18 and a maximum of 50 traditional council members, this, of course, depends on a formula which takes into consideration the size of the community and the number of izigodi.
These elections provide an opportunity for all South African citizens who belong to traditional communities to elect from among themselves people who will make up 40% of their respective traditional councils.
These Traditional Councils play a pivotal role in upholding the values and administering the affairs of Traditional Communities and assist Traditional Leaders to perform their functions effectively.
ROLE OF THE IEC
As Government we cannot over-emphasise the importance of these elections in entrenching the democratic culture within our society. It is for this reason that we have fought to have these elections under the guide and command of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) who are utilising their world-renowned expertise to ensure that these elections are credible, free and fair. We remain grateful for the cooperation of the IEC throughout the process.
Our teams have been hard at work with the IEC, in preparation for the Voter Registration Day which is taking place this Sunday, 19 January. We can confirm today that it is all systems go for the voter registration day.
We have 2854 voting stations which are spread right across the province in all our Traditional Communities. These stations will be open from 08:00 AM and will close at 17:00 PM.
We are urging residents who reside within these communities to visit their nearest voting stations on Sunday to register, re-register if they have moved residence after the May 2019 National and Provincial Election or to check and confirm their details. They can also visit the IEC website on www.elections.org.za to Click, Check and Confirm their registration details or check via SMS by sending an ID Number to 32810 (R1.00 per SMS).
The IEC is using the national common voters roll as it currently exists for these elections. This means that residents who are on the voters’ roll do not need to re-register, as they are the already registered. HOWEVER, It is important for voters to check if their current voting station is listed under their traditional authority for the purposes of these elections, if not, they will need to register in one of the voting stations that appears on their traditional authority list.
The list of voting stations was published on Isolezwe Newspaper yesterday (16 January 2020). If they have missed the publications they can visit our website www.kzncogta.gov.za/tcelections to download the list of voting stations
ELECTION OF IZIPHAKANYISWA
The elections also include the election of IziPhakanyiswa by the 9 communities who use the system of iziPhakanyiswa. This system is practiced by a few communities whereby they democratically elect for themselves someone to assume the role of a traditional leader. The term of these leaders is also five years as prescribed in the legislation governing the institution of traditional leadership in the Province.
Geographically the communities that will be having the elections of iziPhakanyiswa are in the King Cetshwayo District (2) and in the Harry Gwala District (7).
These iziPhakanyiswa elections will take place on Saturday, 1 February. An imbizo will be held in the respective communities and prospective candidates will be nominated and voted for.
It is important to sensitise our citizens that in Traditional Communities where the seat of ubuKhosi is vacant and there is no recognized Ibamba, the elections will not be held.
ACTIVATION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES
As a Department, we are working hand in hand with relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure that the voter registration day is a success.
Our plea to communities is for them to ensure that they participate in these important elections. The list of voting stations has been dispersed to all the relevant communities throughout all the Districts.
We also have a toll free number 0800 023 333 which community members can call in the case they have any queries.
IMPORTANT ELECTIONS DATES
The following are the important dates for these elections:
|Ukubhalisela ukuvota||19 January 2020||08H00 – 17H00
|Ukhethwa kwezi-Phakanyiswa||01 February 2020||09H00|
|Ukwethulwa kwamagama alabo abakhethwe yiNkosi ukuba bakhe isibalo esingu 60% samalungu omkhandlu.
Amalungu omphakathi azophakamisa amagama alabo abazovotelwa ukwenza isibalo esingu 40% kumkhandlu.
|09 February 2020||09H00|
|Usuku lokukhetha labo abazokwakha isibalo esingu 40% kwimikhandlu yamakhosi.||29 February 2020||07H00 – 19H00|
In conclusion, we would like to thank for the media for the continuing support and coverage of these important elections.
I thank you.