National House of Traditional Leaders Bill & Traditional Leadership & Governance Framework Amendment Bill: final mandates

NCOP Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs, Water and Sanitation and Human Settlements

14 October 2008
Chairperson: Mr B Mkaliphi (ANC, Mpumalanga)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee was unable to proceed as only two negotiating mandates were received from the provinces. Additional time was required by provinces to complete their processes and to confer mandates on the Members.  The Chairperson requested that the mandates should reflect that due consideration had been given to all written submissions received on the Bills.

A Member reported that the National House of Traditional Leaders had claimed that stakeholders were not consulted with during the formulation of the Bills.  Officials from the Department of Provincial and Local Government submitted a document containing details of consultation with the National and Provincial Houses of Traditional Leaders to the Chairperson, and undertook to submit the consultation programme followed by that Department to the Committee.

Consideration of the negotiating mandates was postponed to 4 November 2008 and the final mandates were to be presented on 10 November 2008.

Meeting report

The Chairperson noted that the purpose of the meeting was to consider the mandates conferred on Members in respect of matters of traditional leadership by the provincial legislatures. He noted that only two negotiating mandates had been submitted although he was aware that some provinces had submitted final mandates.  He understood that the required processes were under way in those provinces that had not yet submitted mandates.  He said that traditional leadership was a crucial matter and adequate time must be allowed for the provinces to deal with the sensitive issues involved, in spite of the limited time available during the current Parliamentary session.

Mr Z Ntuli (ANC, KwaZulu Natal) advised that KwaZulu Natal Province had failed to achieve the required majority to confer a negotiating mandate on the Member.

Mr M Mzizi (IFP, Gauteng) advised that he had attempted to discover the reasons why a negotiating mandate had not been conferred by his province.  It would appear that the province was not briefed on the matter.  He requested that the proposals and concerns raised by the other provinces be copied to Gauteng, to allow it to take the input of the other provinces into consideration.

Mr M Gogo (ANC Member of Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature) understood that the final mandates were to be discussed at this meeting.  However, if the negotiating mandates were not finalised therefore the final mandates could not be considered.

Mr N Mack (ANC, Western Cape) confirmed that the Western Cape Province had submitted a final mandate.  He said that this province was less affected by the Bills than other provinces.  The Western Cape was sensitive to the issues concerning traditional leadership and agreed to the extension of the time allowed for submission of the mandates.

Ms F Nyanda (ANC, Mpumalanga) confirmed that a final mandate from Mpumalanga Province had been conferred.  She advised that public participation on the Bills had been concluded by the province.

Mr A Moseki (ANC, North West) advised that the North West Province had conferred a negotiating mandate.  Public hearings on the Bills in this Province were concluded the previous week.

The Chairperson concluded that the Committee was unable to proceed.  He said that the focus and sensitivity of traditional leadership issues needed to be taken into account.  He urged Members to ensure that the mandates were finalised before the next meeting.  He pointed out that the delay exacerbated the pressure on the Parliamentary schedule and the work that needed to be done by the Committee.  This extra time that would be given allowed the provinces to prepare thorough responses.  He expected a corresponding increase in the quality and content of the mandates submitted to the Committee.  He advised that the Committee would consider the mandates at the meeting scheduled for 4 November 2008.

Mr Ntuli referred to submissions made by traditional leaders to the Committee.  He asked if these submissions were included in the Bills, and if copies were forwarded to the provinces.

Ms Nyanda pointed out that Parliament would be taken to the people in the Eastern Cape from 3 to 7 November 2008.  She asked if the matter would be dealt with there, as Members would not be in Cape Town.

The Chairperson confirmed that would be the case.

Mr Mzizi said that in their submission to the Committee, the Chairperson and Secretary of the National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL) had claimed that the NHTL was not consulted on the Bills, and they had raised objections to certain phrases and terminology used in the legislation.  He requested that specific details of the concerns be submitted in writing to the Committee.  Claims of inadequate consultation raised major issues and he requested that the Committee Secretary pursue the matter with the members of the National House concerned.

Mr Mzizi said that the absence of Members of the Committee when Parliament was taken to the People was of concern as the Committee had a heavy workload.

The Chairperson noted the issues raised by the Members.  He confirmed that he had read the written submission from the National House of Traditional Leaders.  He said that the negotiating mandates from the provinces needed to reflect all the issues that were raised on the Bills.

Ms Nyanda remarked that the Committee was required to conduct oversight visits over the following two weeks.

The Chairperson requested that housekeeping issues not be discussed during this meeting.  He said that the Committee would attempt to finalise the negotiating mandates on 4 November 2008.

Prof Wellington Sobahle, Executive Manager, Department of Provincial and Local Government (DPLG), undertook to submit the Department’s consultation programme to the Committee, including the dates of participation and the major role players.

Mr N Mpungose, Director, DPLG, then submitted a document on the consultation with the National and Provincial Houses of Traditional Leaders to the Chairperson.

After perusing the document, the Chairperson remarked that this document now had answered his question on how the Bills could have progressed so far without consultation with the affected stakeholders.  He pointed out that it was a legal requirement to refer Bills affecting traditional leadership to the National House of Traditional Leaders.

Mr Ntuli asked what the situation was regarding any late submissions made by traditional leaders.

The Chairperson said that the written submission from the National House of Traditional Leaders needed to be considered by the provinces.  Adequate time was allowed to consider all submissions and the available information on the Bills.

Prof Sobahle said that the Department had submitted evidence of the consultation process in order to refute the damning indictment that the DPLG embarked on legislation without consulting the stakeholders.

Mr Mack agreed that all the relevant documents were required by the provinces to aid them in their deliberations.  He said that the National House of Traditional Leaders was assisting the Western Cape in the province’s preparations for dealing with emerging traditional leadership issues.  He requested that the minutes of this meeting be forwarded to the provinces as well.

The Chairperson thanked the Members and attendees for their contribution.  He confirmed that the negotiating mandates would be discussed on 4 November and the final mandates on 10 November 2008.

The meeting was adjourned.

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