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Commission on Khoi-San Matters in the Pipeline

April 12, 2019

Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

12 April 2019

A Commission on Khoi-San Matters is in the pipeline.

The cooperative governance and traditional affairs department has called for nominations of candidates to be considered for appointment to the Commission.

The Commission flows from the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill passed by parliament in February 2019 and sent to president Ramaphosa for assent.

Three key objectives of the bill are to:


• Transform traditional and Khoi-San institutions in line with constitutional principles;
• Restore the integrity and legitimacy of traditional and Khoi-San leadership institutions in line with customary law and practices; and
• Protect and promote traditional and Khoi-San leadership institutions.
Other objectives of the bill are, inter alia, to:
• provide for the recognition of traditional and Khoi-San communities, leadership positions and for the withdrawal of such recognition;
• provide for the functions and roles of traditional and Khoi-San leaders;
• provide for the recognition, establishment, functions, roles and administration of kingship or queenship councils, principal traditional councils, traditional councils, Khoi-San councils and traditional sub-councils, as well as the support to such councils;
• provide for the establishment, composition and functioning of the National House of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders;
• provide for the establishment of provincial houses of traditional and Khoi-San leaders;
• provide for the establishment and composition of local houses of traditional and Khoi-San leaders;
• provide for the establishment and operation of the Commission on Khoi-San Matters;
• provide for a code of conduct for members of the National House, provincial houses, local houses and all traditional and Khoi-San councils;
• provide for regulatory powers of the Minister and Premiers;
• provide for transitional arrangements;
• amend certain Acts;
• provide for the repeal of legislation; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

According to a department statement, the Commission is designed to assist government with the recognition process of Khoi-San communities and leaders.

It has also been “tasked with investigating applications for recognition of Khoi-San communities and leaders, and make recommendations in this regard to the Minister responsible”.

The Commission will be made up of a chairperson, a deputy chairperson and not more than five other members and will operate for five years.

Nominations are invited until 31 May 2019.

The names of the appointees will be published in the Gazette once the application process is completed.