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Cogta racing to ensure legality of traditional councils

The Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department is racing against the clock to ensure the legality of the country’s traditional councils.

The Parliament of South Africa. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department is racing against the clock to ensure the legality of the country’s traditional councils.

It’s approached Parliament with an amendment bill to extend the time frames under an existing law for tribal authorities to be reconstituted as traditional councils.

The bill is also intended to resolve some disputes over the legality of kingships.

The proposed amendment is a stopgap measure while Parliament considers the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill tabled two years ago.

In terms of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act of 2003, tribal authorities had to be reconstituted as traditional councils within a year.

The time frame was extended in 2009 to seven years, but Parliament’s Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs committee heard on Tuesday this deadline has also not been met.

A formula to establish the size of traditional councils has also not been adhered to.

Acting deputy director general of traditional affairs Abraham Sithole said: “It was a complex environment and a complex situation that you must deal with in a very sensitive and mature manner.”

The current term of the National House of Traditional Houses leaders ends in August, by which time traditional councils have to be reconstituted.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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