The Eastern Cape Congress of Traditional Leaders says it has requested an urgent meeting with the African National Congress (ANC) leadership and its deployees in government.

This they say is in an attempt to resolve some of the burning issues affecting the institution of traditional leadership in the province.

The Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) Chairperson in the province Nkosi Mwelo Nonkonyana says they are under extreme pressure from traditional leaders.

Nonkonyana says should the meeting fail to address their legitimate concerns, they are determined to embark on a mass action before the Local Government Elections.

He says, “Exclusion of 20% traditional leaders in municipal councils without any consultation with traditional leaders concerned and Contralesa, withdrawal of gratuities which were payable to widows of Kings and other traditional leaders without consulting the royal families concerned, unfair discrimination of traditional leaders in charge of administrative areas by excluding them from participating in houses of traditional leaders in the province, the letter has been delivered to the provincial secretary of the ANC in the province and we hope that this meeting will be held as requested within five days.”


In September, Contralesa called on government to engage traditional leaders and ingoma holders over the future of initiations during COVID-19.

The Congress is concerned that government’s silence on the issue will lead to mushrooming illegal initiation schools in provinces such as Gauteng, Free State, North West, and Eastern Cape.

These provinces often conduct initiation schools in summer and are already asking for clarity after the country moved to Level 2 lockdown in September.

In the video below from last month, SABC’s reporter Eric Lubisi gives more details: