Traditional leaders key in SA’s communities

Pretoria � Traditional leaders have a pivotal role to play in South Africa's constitutional democracy and in communities, particularly in relation to the rural development strategy, says Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen.

Since 1994 traditional leaders have worked with municipalities in ensuring that services are delivered to communities under their care in real time. Today these two institutions work together to transform municipal spaces for radical social and economic development, Minister van Rooyen said.

On Saturday, the Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs visited two principal traditional leaders in Phuthaditjaba and a Community Works Programme (CWP) in the Free State Province.

The Ministry's Imbizo was part of government's programme to listen and respond to the needs of communities.

Minister van Rooyen said government remains committed to strengthening the institution of traditional leadership.

Since 1994 we have passed numerous pieces of legislation, and have implemented various programmes to ensure traditional leadership makes an important contribution to the development of society, Minister van Rooyen said.

He said that the training offered to CWP participants should be accredited and recognised.

Minister van Rooyen called on municipalities to employ trained CWP participants in various fields so that the programme is able to employ more community members and thus assisting in fighting the triple challenges of unemployment, inequality and poverty.

He said the traditional leadership sector assisted to drive development at all levels of communities.

Home Affairs visit communities

Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize visited the community of Etwatwa, in Benoni, for an Imbizo on Saturday.

Her visit was aimed at addressing the community's concerns regarding enabling documents, such as birth certificates and IDs, as well as access to education and social security.

This gathering is significant because it's about identity, which is central to restoring dignity of people, regardless of gender, race or class.

Solving identity dynamics serves to open resources, social services and doors of learning for those previously marginalised, Minister Mkhize said.

She said registering children gives them an identity from birth and opens avenues to a whole range of critical services while dignifying their lives.

Minister Mkhize also has urged South Africans to apply for Smart ID Cards online, through eHomeAffairs.

Source: South African Government News Agency