First strategic planning meeting of House of traditional leaders in Mpumalanga takes place

The House of Traditional Leaders in Mpumalanga says service delivery could be achieved in rural villages if municipalities work closely with traditional leaders. The traditional leaders held their first strategic planning meeting in Mbombela where the organisation outlined a five-year plan for development.

The Mpumalanga House of Traditional Leaders says working closely with government will speed up service delivery in their areas. The House held its first strategic meeting together with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Leaders in Mbombela.

The National Chairperson of Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa, Kgoshi Lameck Mokoena has recently been re-elected as the provincial chairperson of the House of Tradition Leaders. He believes that unity and working together is the only way to help communities in rural villages access service delivery.

“Amongst other things roads that are not uneven, the question of quality of water and even basic facilities that are not accessible by our people are some of the challenges that need to be addressed.”

Employ more police officers

Following the recent tavern shootings in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, the House of Traditional Leaders has proposed that government should deploy the military on a temporary basis to patrol the streets. Mokoena says government should also employ more police officers.

“But a permanent solution is that our government must employ and hire many police officers who are going to man our police stations and even our streets. Because as you can see now crime has gone out of our control and this cannot be allowed but as royal leadership, we can’t keep quiet about what we are doing. We have to spread the message to say maybe we must resuscitate the street committees and CPFs that work together with police,” says Mokoena.

Meanwhile, Chief Khulile Mkhatshwa says engagements with communities through gatherings such as Izimbizo could also assist to defuse tensions among communities.

“I think bringing back the Imbizos – Imimemo in our language would really assist us in counselling our people since we have gone back to the way we were living before Covid. So making sure that our people get counselling is going to assist us in solving this problem that is happening right now people are shooting each other. We don’t know what the problem is but you can tell that people are frustrated with what has happened,” says Mkhatshwa.

The Head of the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Leaders in Mpumalanga, Sam Ngubane says government is prepared to work with traditional leaders.

“So amongst the things that we have noted, matters of water, matters of decent sanitation and roads, issues of electricity…these are matters that are really grappling these municipalities on the ground. But what is key is to get traditional leaders to be part of the process for development including the grafting and the approval of an integrated development plan of a municipal area,” says Ngubane.

Residents are hoping that the agreements reached between the House of Traditional Leaders and the Department will ensure the rural communities have access to services such as clean water.

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