Closing the gaps: Chief Ramosetlha Gasebone and MEC Paul Sebegoe. Picture: Thabo Rantlha
Chiefs in the province have agreed on a strategic plan outlining support to institutions of traditional leadership to deal with gaps between themselves, municipalities and government.
“We need capacity building for traditional councils and budgetary constraints addressed before the beginning of the financial year (April 1),” said chief Ramosetlha Gasebone during the traditional affairs summit in Mafikeng last week.
“The relationship between traditional leaders and municipalities in some areas of the province is not satisfactory. There is no parity in terms of chiefs participating in municipalities and some drag their feet.
“The chiefs are not informed about their sitting and travel allowances, and that a memorandum of understanding was signed in 2009 between the South African local Government Association and traditional leaders for chiefs to be treated equally in municipalities.”
The summit’s purpose was to assess progress against predetermined objectives and support the institution of traditional leadership.
Since 2009, subsequent to the reconfiguration of departments (Local Government and Traditional Affairs), there had no efforts to effectively integrate the two departments at a strategic and policy level. There had been integration only at the administrative level where budgets had been aligned to the national budget structure and the movement of assets had been effected, the department said.
It said a lot of other administrative issues, including the status of personnel and internal control systems, remained unresolved. “All of us are representatives of environments from where we operate,” said Local government and traditional affairs MEC Paul Sebegoe.
“We still have to discuss the extent of damage caused on community authorities.”
Sebegoe said the department had made inputs regarding demarcation issues and still needed to make presentations and review processes towards 2014 general and 2016 local government elections.