Cogta MEC Xolile Nqatha has called on traditional leaders to lead the charge to bring an end to the commercialization of isiko lokwaluka in the Eastern Cape Province. Speaking on the first day of the Summit on Local Houses in KSD today, MEC Nqatha said traditional leaders as custodians of culture, tradition and customs, they must guide government on how to compensate iingcibi namakhankatha for work done during the traditional initiation seasons.
The Summit is the first of its kind throughout South Africa. The Eastern Cape Houses were established in 2017 and the current term is coming to an end this year.
He complained about the fact that there are some people in the Province who continue to make a profit out of the custom hence the great need to regulate the payment. The mushrooming of illegal amabhuma is due to the commercialization of the custom in the absence of fitting regulatory regime by government.
“We all have a responsibility to stop the commercialization of isiko lokwaluka and traditional leaders must lead us in that front. The process to regulate the suitable payment is long overdue as brings our age old custom into disrepute through the deaths and injuries of abakhwetha. The role of traditional leaders is key in the process to renew the custom by ensuring correct and appropriate reimbursement of practitioners for their costs. The reign of free for all must come to an end,” said MEC Nqatha.
Meanwhile, MEC Nqatha appealed to traditional leaders in attendance to “enforce” their Code of Conduct by refusing to “tolerate wrongdoing in their midst.”
He said those traditional leaders who violate the Code of Conduct must be called to account by the relevant traditional leadership structures.
Some traditional leaders continue to bring their institution under a dark cloud and should be made to account.
The MEC said he would like to get involved in the enforcement of the Code, however, he will not keep quiet if no action is taken against errant traditional leaders.
It is about time to look at development issues affecting rural communities, said the Chairperson of the national House Nkosi Sipho Mahlangu. “Rural people are at the receiving end of poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment. The urban migration is a testimony to this reality. We envisage that all Traditional Councils in South African must have Master Plans to attract investment to the rural areas driven by traditional leaders themselves,” said Nkosi Mahlangu.
For further information, please contact Mamnkeli Ngam on 071 685 7981 or Makhaya Komisa on 066 381 8259.
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