Ulundi: The MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal, Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi, continues her efforts to strengthen the working relationship between the government and traditional leadership.
On Friday, she engaged with Izinduna and representatives from the Congress of Traditional Leadership of South Africa (Contralesa) and Ubumbano Lwezinduna at the Old Legislature in Ulundi.
The engagement primarily focused on addressing various issues concerning Izinduna, including the explanation of back pay owed to them for the period of April 1, 2013, to November 30, 2016, which the department is currently administering.
MEC Sithole-Moloi provided an update on the progress made so far and addressed the issues related to tax implications on the payment. Matters concerning deceased Izinduna were privately discussed with the department, as certain issues have been handed over to lawyers for further action.
The members of Contralesa also raised the recognition of Izinduna by the department. MEC Sithole-Moloi explained the process involving Amakhosi submitting the names of Izinduna working in their villages.
The issue of land demarcation, which has been a cause for conflicts in certain communities, was highlighted as well, as it directly impacts the functionality of Izinduna and its boundaries. This has resulted in boundary encroachments by Izinduna into other villages, further causing confusion among the communities.
MEC Sithole-Moloi assured Izinduna that the department was actively addressing these issues with the executive, involving other sector departments as necessary.
“As a department, we are determined to support traditional leadership in fulfilling its purpose of assisting the government in delivering services. We are fully aware of the challenges faced by Izinduna, and we are committed to resolving them. We value the role of traditional leadership and believe that our collaboration can help resolve some of the issues we face as a government. We appeal to Izinduna to be patient as we work on the back pay and understand the implications, such as tax,” stated Sithole-Moloi.
MEC Sithole-Moloi concluded the engagement by reminding Izinduna that they serve at the behest of Amakhosi, acting as the go-to people in their respective villages.
She encouraged Izinduna to take pride in their work and assist the government in building safer communities by allocating residents to suitable residential areas, thereby minimizing the risk of natural disasters. This collaborative effort will help establish a foundation for effective service delivery by the government.