Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs 2011/12 Annual Report & Auditor-General SA input

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

08 October 2012
Chairperson: Ms D Nlhengethwa (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Departments of Cooperative Governance (DCoG) and Traditional Affairs (DTA) separately presented their annual reports to the Committee, with neither of them being able to complete more than 50% of their planned projects during the review period.

DCoG reported that all critical posts had been filled and all officials who had been displaced, had been replaced. However, only 49% of projects had been completed, with 44% not completed and 7% partially achieved. Highlights of the year were facilitating the review of sections of the Municipal Systems Amendment Act aimed at professionalising the administration of municipalities; the reduction in the number of municipalities from 283 to 278; the success of the local government elections; interventions resulting in at least 92% of ward committees being established, ward councillors being trained and the number of wards increasing from 3 895 to 4 277; support for 223 of the 278 municipalities to establish municipal public accounts committees (MPACs); the creation of jobs through the Community Work Programme (CWP); work on legislation which included a revision of the Municipal Property Rates Act; and the expenditure on transfers and subsidies to municipalities of R45,5bn – 95,6% of the R47bn total budget.

Members expressed strong criticism of the Department’s failure to meet its targets, and queried several aspects of its operations, including a suggestion that the lack of service delivery could be linked to the “cadre deployment” policy. The Department responded that vetting was being more stringently applied to ensure that only properly qualified applicants were appointed.

The Department of Traditional Affairs reported that the approved structure had 127 posts, but only 79 had been funded and filled. This made it very difficult for the DTA to do its work and fulfil its mandate.

The DTA had established six strategic objectives, the first of which was to build organisational capacity, as it was a new department, in order to deliver on its mandate. Systems and structures had been put in place to achieve this. The second objective was to enhance alignment and standardisation in the regulatory, institutional and support framework for traditional affairs across provinces and municipalities. This had resulted in the National House of Traditional Leaders Act and the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act being consolidated into the National Traditional Affairs Bill. The third objective aimed to ensure that traditional communities were empowered through a national support programme for traditional communities and government structures, which involved developing and implementing a capacity-building strategy and coordinated training of members of the National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL) and members of the Eastern Cape Provincial House, on the indigenous law. The fourth objective was to promote and integrate the role and place of traditional affairs, and the institution of traditional leadership, in the South African governance system. The DTA had completed an assessment of the state of governance of traditional leadership structures, and had developed a partnership model which made provision for these structures to form partnerships with the three spheres of government, business and civil society. Objective Five focused on supporting DTA entities by ensuring they played a central role in development and service delivery, through the provision of financial and human resources. The final objective sought to enhance knowledge management within traditional affairs, resulting in an information management system being developed with data on traditional communities, traditional councils and members of the national and provincial houses, being captured on the system.

Members’ questions focused on the status of royal families, and the inconsistency in the levels of support which they received from government, and on issues such as the training of traditional leaders, the role of traditional leaders in elected structures, such as municipalities, and the filling of vacancies in the Department.

Earlier, the Office of the Auditor-General had reported that the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) and the Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Commission (CRL) had all received unqualified audits, with other findings. An analysis of internal controls indicated that there was still a lack of leadership in most of the entities, and work needed to be done on producing financial statements and day-to-day financial management. There had been a slight improvement in the portfolio overall, but the root causes of some issues were still not being addressed. Supply chain management problems were persisting, and internal controls needed attention, while financial reporting was still a cause of concern.

The root causes of the challenges facing the Department fell into three categories. The first involved people – there were too many vacancies which were not being filled timeously, and there was a lack of adequate review of annual financial statements by those charged with governance, including audit committees. The second was accountability, or lack thereof, among management responsible for supply chain management, and the need to bring transgressors to account. The third was sustainability – mainly the development of action plans to address the challenges and ensure compliance with the regulations.

Meeting report

Briefing by Office of Auditor-General
Mr Andries Sekgetho, Senior Manager, Office of the Auditor-General (AGSA), introduced his briefing of the Committee by outlining a new concept aimed at providing “combined assurance” on risk management in the public sector. The three elements of the concept were “management assurance,” involving the senior management, accounting officer and executive authority; “oversight assurance,” which included legal, risk and audit committees, as well as portfolio committees; and “independent assurance,” provided by internal and external audits and coordinating institutions. The combination of these elements would produce a good set of financial results.

An overview of audit outcomes over the past three years showed that the Department of Cooperative
Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) and the Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Commission (CRL) had all received unqualified audits, with other findings – with the exception of CoGTA in 2010-11m when it had received a qualified audit because of irregular expenditure issues. An analysis of internal controls indicated that there was still a lack of leadership in most of the entities, and work needed to be done on producing financial statements and day-to-day financial management. There had been a slight improvement in the portfolio overall, but the root causes of some issues were still not being addressed. Supply chain management problems were persisting, and internal controls needed attention, while financial reporting was still a cause of concern.

Findings on predetermined objectives were a contentious area, as these were related to the existence of a plan, how the plan was structured and linked to the Department’s objectives, its submission to Parliament timeously, and ultimately its usefulness. Measurability was also a criterion. Performance reports were then measured against the plan. The bulk of the findings related to usefulness and reliability of information for measurement purposes. An improvement had been noted at CRL. The bulk of compliance issues were related to supply chain management. While over R400m had been identified as irregular expenditure, this was attributable to non-compliance with regulations, and although this did not mean the funds had been misappropriated, the lack of controls enforced was somewhat alarming. Key findings in the area of human resource management drew attention to an increase in “acting” positions, and minor issues related to planning and organisation, performance management and the management of leave, overtime and suspensions.

Mr Sekgetho said the root causes of the challenges facing the Department fell into three categories. The first involved people – there were too many vacancies which were not being filled timeously, and there was a lack of adequate review of annual financial statements by those charged with governance, including audit committees. The second was accountability, or lack thereof, among management responsible for supply chain management, and the need to bring transgressors to account. The third was sustainability – mainly the development of action plans to address the challenges and ensure compliance with the regulations.

Discussion
The Chairperson said the presentation had highlighted the method by which the performance of the Department would be measured, and had pointed out challenges such as the vacancy levels and supply chain management issues. As politicians, the Committee needed to see that those who did not comply with regulations were prosecuted, as communities were gaining the impression that their money was being wasted. She was pleased that the Department had achieved a turnaround from a qualified, to unqualified, audit.

Mr T Bonhomme (ANC) asked what remedial action had been taken against transgressors in the Department.

Mr Sekgetho said AGSA could investigate and identify issues of financial misconduct, but then it was up to the Department to assess the situation and surrounding circumstances before deciding whether to hold an individual accountable. There was a process that needed to be followed, otherwise non-compliance would continue. Remedial action could be taken only by the Department.

Ms W Nelson (ANC) said that a lack of leadership had been identified as a challenge last year, and asked what AGSA’s overall view was now.

Mr Sekgetho said leadership was still a concern, but less so than previously, because AGSA tried to ensure that it met on a quarterly basis with the management of CoGTA. Difficulties had been experienced owing to the lack of continuity at top management level.

The Chairperson said that while compliance with the regulations was required, the Committee also wanted to know whether the Department was fulfilling its service delivery commitments.

Mr Sekgetho said that the way the Department was set up, it was difficult for AGSA to measure its service delivery performance. AGSA looked at the pre-determined objectives, but the indicators were not well enough defined for service delivery measurement purposes.

Minutes
DCoG Annual Report

Mr Vusi Madonsela, Director-General of the Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG), introduced the delegation from his department, but as he had been in office since only the beginning of the month, he would leave the presentation of the annual report in their hands.

Dr K Sebego, Chief Operating Officer, CoGTA, gave an overview of the Department’s mission and strategic goals, and reported that all critical posts had been filled and all officials who had been displaced, had been replaced. However, only 49% of projects had been completed, with 44% not completed and 7% partially achieved. Highlights of the year were facilitating the review of sections of the Municipal Systems Amendment Act aimed at professionalising the administration of municipalities; the reduction in the number of municipalities from 283 to 278; the success of the local government elections; interventions resulting in at least 92% of ward committees being established, ward councillors being trained and the number of wards increasing from 3 895 to 4 277; support for 223 of the 278 municipalities to establish municipal public accounts committees (MPACs); the creation of jobs through the Community Work Programme (CWP); work on legislation which included a revision of the Municipal Property Rates Act; and the expenditure on transfers and subsidies to municipalities of R45,5bn – 95,6% of the R47bn total budget.

The Department’s achievements across its range of programmes were listed, covering administration, policy research and knowledge management, governance and inter-governmental relations, the National Disaster Management Centre, provincial and municipal government support, and infrastructure and economic development (See Presentation).

Dr Sebego then provided detailed explanations for the non-achievement of 44% of the targets which had been set for the year.

In the field of administration, the Department had intended to develop and implement a human capital management strategy, but could not implement it because of organisational changes. Five Southern African Development Community (SADC) treaties and three international Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) had had to be postponed to 2012-13 owing to a lack of capacity in its international relations unit. Plans to assess the state of Integrated Communications Technology (ICT) in municipalities did not get off the ground owing to a lack of human and financial resources, and would be replaced by the development of a master system plan in the current year.

Turning to governance and inter-governmental relations, she said a target had been to draft a Bill on a refined legislative framework for ward committees and community participation, but although proposals had been drafted, broader consultation with all relevant stakeholders was needed before the final drafting of the Bill in the next financial year. The Department had aimed to help 60% of municipalities to receive unqualified audits, but only 45% had achieved this, mainly because of poor record-keeping and problems in submitting financial statements on time. Municipalities would be supported in their efforts to monitor their Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) expenditure in 2012-13, although the Department had fallen short of its target during the review period. It had also tried to coordinate the handling of conditional grants to local government, but ongoing consultations with National Treasury (NT) had delayed finalisation of its report, so the project would continue in the 2013 financial year, focusing on improved administration of grants spending in municipalities, ensuring that MIG audit recommendations were implemented, and that conditional grants were administered, monitored and transferred in line with the Division of Revenue Act (DORA). The Municipal Property Rates Amendment Bill had been scheduled for introduction to Parliament, but public comments were still being considered and preparations were being made for proper Parliamentary processing. The report on the revisions to the local government equitable share formula had been delayed owing to the unavailability of relevant data from Statistics South Africa, and would be implemented only after the release of the 2011 census results. The Department managed to support only two municipalities in reducing incidences of unethical conduct – well below target – and the revised project would focus on the establishment of partnerships with relevant agencies and provinces to fight corruption and to train existing ethics committees on the promotion of ethics. Plans to finalise all reported and referred cases had not been achieved, as only 63% of coordinated Presidential Hotline cases had been finalised, and discussions were being held with provinces to ensure they provided the Department with regular updates on progress with referred cases.

Owing to a shortage of staff, the National Disaster Management Centre had been unable to develop a National Indicative Risk Profile (NIRP) for fires and floods. A draft profile for fires had been completed, and this would be finalised, together with the NIRP for floods, in the current year.

The categorisation of municipalities according to their varied capacities and context had been delayed, as the segmentation model depended on the completion of a differentiated approach to municipal financing, planning and support, and this had been finalised only in June of this year. The simplified integrated development plan (IDP) framework for 80 smaller municipalities could not be implemented because the revised framework had been finalised only during the year under review. Other projects, such as land ownership audits, housing accreditation and densification policy, were now the responsibility of the Housing Development Agency or Department of Human Settlements. Only a small dent had been made on the targeted 25% reduction in the debt owed to municipalities by government departments – a reduction of about R400m out of a total of R3.5bn – and this remained a concern.

The establishment of functional Advisory Councils, incorporating forums representing emerging enterprises, emerging farmers and cooperatives, with a view to strengthening local economic development, had been revised and were now in the plans for 2012-13. The Department had prioritised access to basic electricity service levels by all indigent households (currently 85% had access), access to basic water services (94,7%) and access to basic levels of sanitation (88%), although it had fallen short of its 2011/12 targets. Only two of the planned ten “Business-Adopt-a Municipality” MoUs had been signed owing to delays in discussions between the Department, municipalities and businesses had taken longer than expected, but more would be signed in the current year.

Discussion
Mr G Boinamo (DA) said the Department had a beautiful vision statement – “an integrated, responsive and highly effective governance system” – but if one looked at the failure to achieve its own goals, the statement was just “a decoration.” In terms of service delivery and implementation of legislation, CoGTA was dysfunctional. Who took responsibility for ensuring the intended results and desired outcomes were actually achieved? Were the failures due to a lack of specialists among the Department’s personnel? In the presentation, the Department had claimed it had finalised the analysis of identified legislation that impeded service delivery – what was it going to do with this analysis, and within what time frame? Referring to disaster management, he said there were communities which had been struck by disasters two to three years ago, and had not yet been assisted. He also questioned the Department’s support for 195 municipalities to fill critical posts, asking whether candidates had been thoroughly vetted, or was it still a case of “cadre deployment” which had plunged the country into a “serious disaster” in terms of service delivery?

Ms Nelson said the non-achievement of objectives was very worrying. How was the Department’s implementation plan drawn up? She was also not satisfied that most of the non-achievements were due to outside forces, as the Department should be driving the process itself. The audit report would have been better if the Department had fulfilled its commitment to appoint a financial governance adviser. Six months ago, the Committee had indicated it wanted to see what impact the appointment of administrators to take over administration at municipalities had had, but it was still awaiting reports. It had requested quarterly financial reports, but none had been submitted. How could the Committee be expected to exercise oversight?

Mr J Matshoba (ANC) expressed misgivings about the ability of the Community Work Programme to create new jobs, as well as the capacity of municipalities to make effective use of their Municipal Infrastructure Grant funds. He also raised the issue of municipalities selling land to the private sector, and then having to buy it back to build houses for the community.

Mr Bonhomme said the issue of toilet facilities was being used as a “political football,” and although the current status did not seem too bad, he queried how it was possible “in this day and age” that such basic facilities still needed to be provided.

Ms C Mosimane (COPE) asked whether the Department conducted any monitoring to substantiate its CWP job creation targets.

Mr Matshoba wanted to know who had provided the figures regarding the provision of basic services. The figures looked good, but when one checked the actual situation in settlements around the country, such as Alexandra, the position was bad – the infrastructure was falling apart.

The Chairperson took the Department to task for under-spending the disaster relief fund by R727m due to the slow pace of the assessment process. Was it policies, procedures or legislation which was responsible for hampering the work of the Department? The failure of the municipalities to make use of MIG funding had been attributed in the past to their lack of familiarity with how to access conditional grants, and it had been agreed the Department would develop a plan to assist them, but funding had actually declined. Referring to municipal land audits, she said that the issue of land invasions needed to be addressed, perhaps through new legislation. She also criticised the fact that target dates for submitting legislation had not been met, as this would result in a rush at the end of the year.

Ms Shanaaz Majiet, Deputy Director-General, DCoG, dealt with the issue of the vetting of candidates for municipal posts. The Municipal Systems Amendment Act came into effect in July last year, and the Department had been struggling since then to get regulations in place. It was hoped that after a special meeting with MinMec on Friday, October 12, there would be consensus for the Minister to sign off the regulations for final comment. Meanwhile, in terms of the Municipal Amendment Act, it was expected that MEC’s exercise due diligence to ensure compliance with every vacancy, and more energy and effort was being seen in all the provinces had not yet been assisted. The regulations would close loopholes so that people whose qualifications did not match the criteria, would not be considered.

The complexity facing the Department was that it was not a “line” department, but in terms of its mandate was expected to connect with other line-function partners to ensure successful service delivery. In order to resolve issues like the provision of sanitation facilities, better coordinated planning was needed with key service departments, to ensure improved service delivery at municipal level. Blame had been laid at the Department’s door for not meeting targets, but some projects had been ill-conceived in the first place, and there was a need for the Department to reshape and redefine its role.

Dr Sebego said the Department had a plan to address the non-achievement of projects, as most of them had been carried through into the current year, some with revisions. A fundamental reason for non-achievement had been resource allocation, and management was now looking at projects and asking where the budget allocation for the project was.

Ms Nelson asked whether this meant plans had been put together without a budget.

Dr Sebego said the focus was now on resources, because they had been inadequate for targets to be achieved in the past. Management was now receiving monthly and quarterly performance reports, so that the progress of projects could be monitored.

The statistics regarding the provision of basic services were provided by the Department of Energy for electricity, and by the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs for water and sanitation.

Mr Muthotho Sigidi, Deputy Director-General, DCoG, following up on the question regarding statistics, said the 94,7% access to water figure did not necessarily mean water would be available from a tap 24-hours a day, but merely that one had access that that infrastructure. So the concerns of the Committee were valid.

The equitable share formula had not been finalised because the stakeholders involved – SALGA, CoGTA, Treasury and the Finance and Fiscal Commission – were awaiting the finalisation of the data. A proposal had been made that a special Budget Forum meeting should be held in January next year to consider the finalisation of the formula.

At present there were 17 conditional grants available from government to municipalities. The sector was over-regulated, and the various conditions needed to be rationalised so that municipalities would be looking at a single framework, with all the different sectors involved being brought into line. He agreed that MIG spending was low, and the Department was trying to establish what the main causes of the reduction were, so that it could intervene and improve the situation. It had been anticipated that with 60% to 70% of councillors being new in their posts, they would be likely to under-spend.

The Chairperson interjected that municipal councillors could not come before the Committee to account for their under-expenditure, and it was up to the Department to ensure that the new councillors were fully trained and supported, and equipped to make use of MIG funds.

Mr Sigidi referred to delays in meeting due dates for legislation. Technical work on the Municipal Support Intervention Act had been completed, but issues involving the relationship between accounting officers and administrators were still being resolved. It should be presented to the Cabinet by November 15. After the Municipal Property Rate Amendment Bill had been published for comment, 7 000 inputs had been received from stakeholders. The main issues related to how it would affect public benefit organisations, as well as public service infrastructure, and these had been incorporated into the Bill.

Internal audit had been asked to verify the reports from Community Work Programmes, and had visited various programmes and would report back.

Mr Mawethu Mtyhuda, Chief Financial Officer, CoGTA, said the Department had inherited the Disaster Fund from National Treasury, where it had existed as a contingency fund. The initial assessment of disasters, however, remained the responsibility of the affected municipalities and their provinces, after which it came to the Department for validation, which provided assistance in finalising the assessment process.

Mr Matshoba insisted that delays still occurred, and appealed to the Department to visit Flagstaff to see what materials had been delivered to deal with the disaster there.

Mr Mtyhuda presented a summary of CoGTA’s financial performance for 2011/12. The total appropriation of R48.2bn had been under-spent by R2bn, or 4,1%. The operating budget was only R715m, and this was an issue that was always being raised with Treasury, as it was a problem managing such a large budget, particularly the responsibility for monitoring the expenditure. Matters of importance raised by AGSA had been accepted by the Department, and their specific recommendations had been implemented to ensure its financial performance would show an improvement.

Ms Nelson asked the Department to provide a report on the irregular expenditure of R751m, broken down by province, outlining the consequences for those who had been involved. She also asked whether the splitting of the Department was being tracked, and whether this would take place before the next financial year.

Minutes
Department of Traditional Affairs presentation

Prof Muzamani Nwaila, Director of the Department of Traditional Affairs (DTA), introduced the presentation with an overview of the vision, mission and organisational structure of the Department. The approved structure had 127 posts, but only 79 had been funded and filled. This made it very difficult for the DTA to do its work and fulfil its mandate.

Two issues had been raised previously by the Committee. Firstly, what was the DTA doing in respect of regulations to address the inconsistency in the levels of support for kings and queens, including burials? It was currently finalising a “tools of trade” handbook through a ministerial task team, which would address these inconsistencies within the institution of traditional leadership. The second issue related to support for the Cultural, Religious and Linguistic (CRL) Rights Commission, which was “grossly under-funded”, and which the DTA had supported in terms of planning and funding support to enable it to deliver on its mandate.

The DTA had established six strategic objectives, the first of which was to build organisational capacity, as it was a new department, in order to deliver on its mandate. Systems and structures had been put in place to achieve this. The second objective was to enhance alignment and standardisation in the regulatory, institutional and support framework for traditional affairs across provinces and municipalities. This had resulted in the National House of Traditional Leaders Act and the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act being consolidated into the National Traditional Affairs Bill (NTAB). The third objective aimed to ensure that traditional communities were empowered through a national support programme for traditional communities and government structures, which involved developing and implementing a capacity-building strategy and coordinated training of members of the National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL) and members of the Eastern Cape Provincial House, on the indigenous law. The fourth objective was to promote and integrate the role and place of traditional affairs, and the institution of traditional leadership, in the South African governance system. The DTA had completed an assessment of the state of governance of traditional leadership structures, and had developed a partnership model which made provision for these structures to form partnerships with the three spheres of government, business and civil society. Objective Five focused on supporting DTA entities by ensuring they played a central role in development and service delivery, through the provision of financial and human resources. The final objective sought to enhance knowledge management within traditional affairs, resulting in an information management system being developed with data on traditional communities, traditional councils and members of the national and provincial houses, being captured on the system.

Of the 35 planned targets for the 2011/12 period, only 16 (46%) had been achieved, 12 (34%) had been partially achieved, and 7 (20%) had not been achieved. An overview of progress was provided in the areas of administration, research, policy and legislation, and institutional support and coordination. (See Presentation)

Dr Wilson Makgalancheche, Chief Executive Officer of the NHTL, gave an overview of the performance of the NHTL, and advised the Committee that 44 traditional leaders had been trained during the 2011/12 financial year through the Capacity Building Unit of the DTA. In addition, a skills audit for traditional leaders had been conducted by the Justice College. The House had engaged with a number of departments and structures to improve service delivery and development in communities. A communication and marketing strategy had been developed, but required further review for approval and implementation. Members of the NHTL had participated in cultural events hosted by various traditional councils, provincial houses, national government departures and structures.

Discussion
Ms Mosimane referred to that draft profiles had been developed for KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga, and asked whether the same draft profiles would be developed for the other provinces.

Ms Nelson said structures had been set up in three provinces, and asked what progress had been made in the other provinces.

Mr N Mandela (ANC) asked why the 48 vacant posts had not yet been filled, and when they would be filled. He gave examples of different levels of support from the Department for burials of traditional leaders in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, and said these inconsistencies gave rise to conflict among traditional leaders. In building organisational capacity for the DTA, what was being done to create structures linking the NHTL to provincial, regional and local houses of traditional leaders. The DTA had created a web site to link traditional councils, but what methodology had been used to establish who the leaders of the traditional councils were?
Only 46% of planned targets had been achieved, which raised the question that if performance and delivery agreements were in place, what were the repercussions for the delivery failures? What sort of training had the 44 traditional leaders received? How were they selected? Had they received a certificate in recognition of their training? He also asked how long it took to settle disputes in traditional councils, quoting a case that had dragged on since 2009.

Mr Matshoba asked what the relationship was between the NHTL and the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa).

Mr Matshoba and Mr Mandela then entered into a lengthy discussion regarding the status of rightful kings, deemed kings, nullified kings, paramount chiefs, and principal chiefs, and the need for the Tolo Commission, dealing with claims and disputes, to speed up the process.

Prof Nwaila said that in developing draft profiles, the focus had been on the provinces identified. The DTA would now focus on the remaining provinces.

The DTA had gone into the field to connect with traditional leaders in their own areas. The data base had been created over a long period.

He reiterated that the vacant posts had not been filled because funding was not available, and the DTA was engaging with the Treasury to put an end to this difficult situation.

Responding to allegations that the DTA’s support for royal households was inconsistent, he said the salaries of kings came from the provinces, although norms were set at national level.

The fact that the DTA was under-achieving was related to the challenge of being a department without being a full department – for example, sharing a chief financial officer. However, although it did not have sufficient staff, it was making the current arrangement work as well as it could.

Prof Nwaila said he believed the Tolo Commission could deal with the 1 244 outstanding claims before its term of office ended in December 2015. This was because there were now five full-time commissioners, and provincial committees had been established and were being chaired by the commissioners. This had provided additional capacity.

The Advisory Committee on Khoisan issues had not yet been able to submit a Bill to Parliament. However, the costing had been done, and the Bill’s constitutionality had been approved by the state law advisers. The documentation was now with Cabinet.

Dr Makgalancheche said an assessment of the impact of training traditional leaders had not yet been completed.

Interaction with Statistics South Africa (SSA)over census figures had become a constructive engagement, as SSA realised they had been overlooking an important asset – the fact that traditional leaders already had detailed information and statistics about households in their areas. SSA now worked closely with traditional leaders in rural areas.

Active participation of traditional leaders in municipal councils varied from province to province. If a national summit was organised, as suggested by the President, to bring traditional leaders and elected municipal councillors together, recommendations could be drawn up to clarify the type and extent of participation by traditional leaders in elected structures.

Mr Kgosi Maubane, Chairperson of the NHTL, said that Contralesa and the NHTL were two different entities serving traditional leaders. While the NHTL was a statutory body, Contralesa was a non-governmental organisation – like a union of traditional leaders.

He also referred to the participation of traditional leaders in municipalities, and said the NHTL was looking for uniformity throughout the country. This aspect should become clarified through the Traditional Affairs Bill.

He informed the Committee that the NHTL would be officially opened by President Zuma on November 1.

The Chairperson thanked the delegations for their involvement in the day’s proceedings, and closed the meeting.

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