House of Traditional Leaders Petition & Ga-Sekhaolelo Community Petition: Committee Reports

NCOP Petitions and Executive Undertakings

26 October 2016
Chairperson: Mr S Thobejane (Limpopo, ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings considered the House of Traditional Leaders Petition Report (Petition requesting the intervention of the NCOP on the alleged failure by the National and Provincial Governments to recognise the House of Traditional Leaders in the Western Cape Province); and the Ga-Sekhaolelo community petition hearing report on a page by page basis.

A few corrections were made to the report. Comments were made and recommendations proposed after a consideration of the reports. The reports were then adopted.

Minutes of meetings held on 07 September 2016 and 12 October 2016 were also adopted.

Meeting report

The Chairperson noted that the purpose of the meeting was to consider and adopt the House of Traditional Leaders Petition Report (Petition requesting the intervention of the NCOP on the alleged failure by the National and Provincial Governments to recognise the House of Traditional Leaders in the Western Cape Province). The report was dated 26 October 2016, and was considered on a page-by-page basis.

An overview of what each page focused on was highlighted.
Page 1 of the report provided a background content of the 2014 petition. Page 2 dealt with the continuation of the 2014 petition and the content of the 2016 petition, which continued on page 3. Page 3 also spoke to the high court rulings and discussions overflowed to page 4. Page 5 dealt with the Supreme Court of appeal, the purpose of the hearing, Committee Members, and officials, while page 6 listed the stakeholders that were in attendance. Page 7 focused on the submission by the Petitioner, and this continued till page 9. Page 15 dealt with the submission by the Premier of the Western Cape Province and page 17 contained submissions by the Provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. Page 18 contained submissions by Parliament’s legal unit.

The observations and findings of the Committee on the report included the following:
- The Traditional Leaders Government Framework (TLGF) Act did not provide for the recognition of the Koi San Traditional Leaders. It was for this reason that the department reached a decision to introduce the Koi San Bill in Parliament. 10.2 states that the Khoi San Bill will accord Khoi San Traditional Leadership and communities the necessary legal recognition required in terms of chapter 12 of the constitution. 10.3, the Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims established during its investigation that there are no recognised traditional leaders in the Western Cape in so far that these traditional leaders have not met the recognition criteria set out in Traditional Leadership Governance Framework Act. 10.4, only recognised Traditional Leaders can be members of the House of Traditional Leaders, and given that there are no recognised Traditional Leaders in the Western Cape Provinces and therefore there cannot be a justification for the establishment of the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders in the Western Cape Province. 10.5, the Western Cape Provincial Government acknowledged that there are cultural communities in the province but does not recognise cultural communities as custodian of their respective culture. 10.6, the Western Cape Provincial Government has not established a Department of Traditional Affairs and as such all traditional matters or issues are dealt with by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport.

Ms B Engelbrecht (Gauteng, DA) asked if the point made under bullet point 10.5 was captured correctly. This was because her understanding of the letter from the Premier was that provincial governments recognised cultural communities as custodians of their respective cultures.

The Chairperson agreed with point raised by Ms Engelbrecht, noting that the Western Cape Provincial Department recognised cultural communities as custodians of their cultures.

Ms Engelbrecht noted that even though provincial government departments recognised cultural communities as the custodians of cultures, it did not mean that they acted as traditional leaders.

With regard to recommendations, Ms Engelbrecht said that the Committee exert pressure on the department to introduce the Koi San Bill. It was important for all cultures in the country to be recognised, and the Koi San had been neglected for several years.

The Chairperson said that the Cooperative Governance and Traditiona Affairs Committee was responsible for that Bill would guide the Committee on how to approach issues relating to the Bill.

Mr M Mohapi (Free State; ANC) said the programme of public hearing on the Khoi San Bill would amount to a concurrent responsibility for the Committee. This was because public hearings would commence in November and it had been envisaged that a joint public hearing would be held with the Portfolio Committee on CoGTA since it served in the same constituency as the select Committee. However, there was a likelihood that the Committee might not be in a position to preside over the same public hearings due to the budget process in Parliament. The Portfolio Committee on CoGTA had a programme in the National Assembly already scheduled for November; after which it would embark on its own public participation in compliance with Section 72 on public hearings.

The Chairperson said recommended that the process for the Bill should be fast-tracked to accommodate the Koi and the San communities.

Ms Engelbrecht expressed the Committee’s full support for the petitioners’ request to be acknowledged as representatives of their culture. She also agreed with the Chairperson’s proposal for the Bill to be fast-tracked.

The Chairperson said that the proposal was in line with cooperative governance, as stipulated in chapter 3 of the constitution, which was aimed at encouraging cooperation between government and communities in the interest of nation building.

Ms Engelbrecht moved for the adoption of the report, and was seconded by Mr M Mhlanga (Mpumalanga; ANC).

The report was adopted by the Committee.

The Ga-Sekhaolelo Community Petition Hearing Report
The Chairperson took MPs through the report page by page. Page 1 of the report dealt with the background of the report. Page 2 noted that the petition sought the intervention of the NCOP on issues emanating from the relocation agreement, which included the lease agreement in respect of the farm Overseyl; the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) shareholding of the Community in the lease agreement; the service level agreement between Anglo Platinum and the Municipality; and the structural defects in the houses.

Ms Engelbrecht said that MPs were not present at the hearing of the petition, and could therefore not comment on the content of the petition. Nevertheless, MPs would rely on the submission of the Chairperson who was present at the hearing with the support staff.

The Chairperson noted that point 1.5 of page 3 focused on the exhumation of graves remaining on farm Overseyl; Anglo Platinum’s response to the efforts by the Community to engage it on the issues raised in the petition; enrichment of the tribal authority; and inspection in loco and hearing. The Committee conducted the inspection in loco to establish the veracity of one of the issues raised in the petition, which was about the complaints made on the structural defects of the houses built by RPM for the community.

A number of submissions were made by various stakeholders including the petitioner; Ga-Sekhaolelo community headman; Department of Mineral Resources (DMR); Mogalekwena Local Municipality; Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR); and Anglo Platinum Limited.

Ms Engelbrecht asked in terms of the submission by Ga-Sekhaolelo Community why the section 21 company represented the community in the beginning but failed to represent the community subsequently.

The Chairperson affirmed that the section 21 company first represented the community indeed but the directors of the company realised that the community did not understand the sophistications of operating the mine, which led them to begin deviating and serving themselves. The community felt that it did not need the services of the company any longer because it was not serving the purpose it was needed for.

The Chairperson noted that the Committee made the following observations and findings on the basis of the hearing of the petition:

Rustenburg Platinum Mines Limited (RPM), a subsidiary of Anglo American Platinum Limited, was the holder of the only mining rights to the Mogalakwena Mine including the mining area located on farm Overysel 815LR, while the surface rights to the mine belonged to the Mapela Tribal Authority but was held in trust by the state.

In order to give effect to the relocation the Mine, a memorandum of agreement was concluded in or around 6 October 1993, with the self-governing territory of Lebowakgomo. The lease provided for the mine to occupy portions of various farms owned by the Mapela Tribal Authority (including the farm Overysel) for purposes of mining and other mining related activities.

The Chairperson recommended that the Mine should comply with all the rules including the BBBEE Company. This was because it was expected that by 2014, the mine would have granted access to previously disadvantaged communities to become proper stakeholder teams.

He however, expressed dissatisfaction on DRDLR’s resolution with the community in 2011, which was to the effect that the department would work with the mine, and which required the Minister to sign off the resolution. The Minister only came on board in 2014. This issue required serious attention, particularly in bridging the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘haves not’. The gap between 2011 and 2014 was too enormous for government not to have attended to the issue.

Another area to be looked into was the delivery services paid by the mine to the municipality. The municipality would need the involvement and participation of the affected community in order to discharge this obligation. Although the municipality was responsible for distributing services equally, in this case, it was necessary to take cognisance of communities that had been directly affected either through reallocation or recommencement of a new life in previous places of residence. 

Ms Engelbrecht pointed out that a certain community was displeased on some issues, which included the BBBEE status of the Company. However, that community had been given a sum of R170 million by the mine, over a period of 75 years, which reflected the huge amount that came into the community. Each household was paid R37 000 for relocation, excluding the cost of graves. Houses had also been distributed and additional services provided. It was shocking that the community was making demands as if it had received nothing to start with.
It was proposed that the issue be considered through a broader view by ensuring that the municipality provided basic services while the mine focused on other things. The community should also be made accountable.

The Chairperson cautioned that the Committee should not be seen to be insensitive to the issues raised by the Community. Instead, all issues should be discussed in order to arrive at an amicable solution for all parties concerned.  

Mr M Mthethwa (KwaZulu-Natal; ANC) said it had been agreed that the mine should comply with the BBBEE. The Committee had an obligation to ensure that members of the community benefitted from the development taking place in their area.

Mr Mhlanga said that it was important for the grievances between the community and the mine to be resolved. The issue of the country’s economy should also be taken into consideration.
He wanted to know how a part of the beneficiation would get to the beneficiaries, since trust money was usually not paid into personal accounts of individuals. A developmental agenda should be drawn up to address methods of paying the community.

The Committee should also consider issues around BEE versus ownership. The mine was expected to fast-track the BEE, and also consider having direct ownership of the tribal council on the mine itself.

The Chairperson said the recommendation should be captured in a way that would encourage social responsibility, since the Mine was looking at issues of infrastructure development.
The issues around trust should be thoroughly looked into to curb tendencies of trustees to exploit the community.

Mr D Ximbi (Western Cape; ANC) moved for the adoption of the report, and was seconded by Mr Mohapi.

The report was adopted by the Committee.       

Committee Minutes

The Committee adopted minutes of 07 September 2016 and 12 October 2016; while it deferred the consideration of the minutes of 02 September 2016 for proper corrections to be made.

The meeting was adjourned.



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