More than a hundred delegates from community organisations in five provinces have come together at Stay City in Johannesburg for a two-day workshop to discuss the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Bill (TKLB).
The workshop set out to differentiate issues associated with customary rule from Khoisan leadership issues. This was in light of the fact that public hearings announced to date focus on hearings with Khoisan groupings around the country and not within the former homeland areas where the Bill will have enormous implications for rural citizens.
The workshop enabled delegates to clarify how the TKLB affects rural communities as a whole, not just Khoi-San. It enabled delegates to strategise and develop a clear mobilisation strategy to take forward provincial campaigns.
There was a high level of frustration that rural citizens had been excluded from the democratic project in South Africa and that they were still living under apartheid laws.
We have been sitting here for more than 22 years but there is no action we are tired of coming here to talk about the Bills…we want to see more action
How are we going to fill the streets of South Africa and go to say to the government now we want action, not amendment of bills and acts, we want things implemented and acted on
Our problem in rural areas is exclusion from the post-1994 democracy project. We are still governed by laws that existed pre-1994.
When our leaders see us they don’t see people who deserve to live in their own homes. CONTRALESA also fails to train their traditional leaders on leadership laws. Thus they don’t know what laws they should govern us under..
Researchers from the Land and Accountability Research Centre at UCT and lawyers from the Legal Resources Centre made inputs on the Bill. It was noted that:
- There was only one reference to democracy in TLGFA. In the TKLB there is not one reference to democracy.
- The Framework act requires keeping of accounts and annual report by TC to community. But this has never happened, but it is back in the TKLB. For 13 years this is what the law has said, but we have not been to one meeting.
- In 2004 the Minister said chiefs would not decide alone, but would represent wishes of the community.
- S24(3)c of TKLB states that any deal relating to land and resources must be in writing and show that TC supports deal but there is no requirement for the community to support the deal.