A bill designed to make provision for the recognition of Khoi-San communities has been passed by the national council of provinces and returned to the national assembly for concurrence.
The Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill was tabled in 2015.
Drawn up by the cooperative governance and traditional affairs department, the bill also seeks to repeal and replace the Framework Act and the National House Act.
According to the bill’s memorandum, the repealing and replacing of the two acts was intended to:
• Ensure an integrated approach to all matters dealing with traditional affairs;
• Strengthen the uniform manner in which traditional affairs matters are dealt with across the country; and
• To address legal uncertainties and gaps identified in the two acts.
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 Khoi-San communities and 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 setting up and functioning of the National House of Traditional and Khoi-San leaders;
• to provide for the establishment of provincial houses of traditional and Khoi-San leaders;
• to provide for the setting up and composition of local houses of traditional and Khoi-San leaders;
• to provide for the establishment and operation of the Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims and the Advisory Committee on Khoi-San matters; and
• to provide for a code of conduct for members of the National House, provincial houses, local houses and all traditional and Khoi-San councils.
The bill seeks to ensure that traditional and Khoi-San leadership institutions promote democratic governance; advance gender equality; promote freedom, human dignity and the achievement of equality and non-sexism and strive to enhance tradition and culture.
The NA passed the bill and sent it the NCOP for concurrence in November 2017.
During its deliberations, the select committee on cooperative governance and traditional affairs amended clause 24 on partnerships and agreements and clause 63 on transitional arrangements.
The portfolio committee on cooperative governance and traditional affairs will now consider the proposed amendments.