Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Deputy Minister Obed Bapela says the institution of traditional leadership is important to the development and continued existence of the country.
Minister Bapela on Thursday said there is a need to restore the dignity and pride of Africans by recognising their heritage and history.
“The institution of traditional leadership represents the early form of societal organisation and it embodies the preservation of culture, traditions, customs and values, and it continues to evolve with changing times,” he said.
Addressing the media in Pretoria on Thursday ahead of the National Traditional Leaders’ Indaba to be held in Boksburg starting on Sunday, Deputy Minister Bapela said the decision to convene the indaba follows the request by traditional leaders to have a dialogue with government and key stakeholders on matters of common interest.
The indaba will be held under the theme, ‘Unity in Diversity – Together moving South Africa forward for an inclusive prosperous future’.
The indaba is taking place in the year dedicated to celebrating the contribution of national icon and hero, Oliver Reginald Tambo, in advancing unity in the struggle for liberation.
“As an outstanding revolutionary, internationalist, strategist and architect of our national struggle, he is one of those who shaped the country’s vision, mission and value system.
“We are also delighted that this important indaba, which is a major milestone in our democratic journey, will be taking place during Africa Month,” the Deputy Minister Bapela said.
He said there is nothing more befitting to celebrate Africa Month than through the National Indaba of Traditional Leaders, engaging in dialogue about issues related to our cultures and traditions.
“In this Africa month, we confirm that indeed the institution of traditional leadership is important to the development and continued existence of our country, hence the need to restore the dignity and pride of Africans by recognising their heritage and history.
The indaba comes just weeks after President Jacob Zuma officially opened the National House of Traditional Leaders in Cape Town. President Zuma used the gathering to call for unity in action to achieve good governance and the development of communities.
He also invited traditional leaders to work with government to make the Back-to-Basics programme in government a success. He urged them to make use of government programmes to bring about economic stability and cultural development in rural areas.
The national indaba follows the successful 3rd Presidential Local Government Summit that was held on 6 and 7 April 2017.
The summit recognised the importance of the coexistence between traditional leaders and government, especially at local level.
At the conclusion of the indaba, resolutions will be compiled into a declaration, and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver a closing address. Courtesy SAnews.gov.za