Most traditional leaders in the Free State don’t have land and those who do, say it’s not enough to accommodate everyone. This was revealed by the chairperson of the Free State House of Traditional and Khoisan Leaders, Neo Mopeli.
He was speaking in Bloemfontein where Deputy President David Mabuza held engagements with Traditional and Khoisan leaders in the province.
Traditional and Khoisan leaders gathered at the President Hotel in Bloemfontein, in a bid to address their challenges with Deputy President David Mabuza. Mabuza met with the group, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team which was set up by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The meeting was part of engagements to find solutions on challenges faced by rural communities.
Land distribution remains a crucial, thorny issue among traditional leaders in the Free State. Mopeli says they hope to receive a response on the land issue.
“What we’re expecting to hear from the President, from the Deputy President today is the answers of the land issue. We did raise as the province our concerns with regard to land with regard to issues that relate to the land. So today we’re expecting the President to come with answers to us, whether or not we’re getting the land. Because there are traditional leaders who don’t have the land but it’s too small and the population is growing, people are populating those spaces.”
Mabuza says traditional and Khoisan leaders remain central in building safe communities and confronting social injustices. He says they’ve made progress in some issues that were previously raised by traditional and Khoisan leaders in the Free State, while others are still being dealt with by government.
“I must confirm that there is commitment at the highest level of government, at the level of the President. Your concerns have finally reached his office and he has responded. That’s why we are here and we are not going to abandon this journey.”
Traditional and Khoisan leaders say strengthening relations with government will assist in speeding up service delivery to communities. Nkosikazi Nomandla Mhlaudi is the Chairperson of the National House of Traditional and Khoisan leaders.
“I’m here to support government as we work together. National House of Traditional Leaders is also responsible for advising government. And we cannot advise them when we are far.”
Mabuza says government is prioritizing traditional leaders to find speedy resolutions to the challenges.
Mabuza leads inter-ministerial team to address traditional and Khoi-San leaders: