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Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act in Effect in April 2021

December 14, 2020

The Presidency

The Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act will come into effect on 1 April 2021.

Proclamation 38 was published in Government Gazette 43981.

President Ramaphosa signed the act in November 2019.

Parliament passed the bill and sent it to the president for assent in February 2019.

The bill was tabled in 2015.

Drawn up by the cooperative governance and traditional affairs department, the bill sought to make provision for the recognition of Khoi-San communities and 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 act 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 act 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.

The act 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.