29 November 2019
The Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act has been signed.
Parliament passed the bill and sent it to president Ramaphosa 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.
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.
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.
The act, published in Government Gazette 42865, comes into effect on a date still to be determined by the president.
Meanwhile, the president has also signed the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Act.
Parliament passed the bill and sent it for assent in February 2019.
The bill was tabled in parliament in March 2017.
During its deliberations, the portfolio committee on cooperative governance and traditional affairs adopted the bill with amendments.
A new clause 1 and clause 2 were inserted. Clause 2 deals with the election of traditional council members to community councils.
The select committee on cooperative governance and traditional affairs, during its deliberations, amended clause 1 to include reference to the setting up of a kingship or queenship council by kingships or queenships in place prior to the commencement of the amendment act within two years of the commencement.
The act aims to amend the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act, 2003 in order to:
• make provision for extended timeframes within which kingship or queenship councils and traditional councils must be established;
• provide for extended timeframes within which community authorities have to be disestablished;
• align the term of office of tribal authorities, traditional councils and kingship or queenship councils with the term of the National House of Traditional Leaders; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.
The act, published in Gazette 42867, came into effect on the date of publication.