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Opening remarks by Deputy President David Mabuza delivered at the engagement with Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders in KwaZulu-Natal

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Our host, Acting Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Province, Ms Nomagugu Simelane;
Deputy Ministers;
Members of the Provincial Executive Council present;
The Chairperson of the National House of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders, Inkosikazi Mhlauli, Ah! NoSandi!
The Chairperson of the Provincial House of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders, Inkosi Shinga;
All Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders present;
Mayors and Councillors present here today;
 
Esteemed Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders,
 
1. We thank the Acting Premier for hosting us, just a day after we paid an inspiring homage to His Majesty King MisuZulu Ka Zwelithini at KwaKhangelamankengane Royal Palace.
 
2. We thank His Majesty for his hospitality and for his guidance. We are inspired by His Majesty’s dedication to tackling community development challenges, and we look forward to working with the King, Amakhosi aseNdlunkulu, and the entire Zulu Kingdom.
 
3. We equally thank you Makhosi na Makhosikazi for your continued commitment to collaborative efforts and partnership towards development and resolution of emergent challenges confronting society and the Institution of Traditional Leadership.
 
Heritage Sites and Tourism
4. As revered leaders of the people in traditional communities, there is unequivocal expectation from the communities that our presence as leaders would result in the actualisation of their hopes, dreams, and aspirations. This is a sacred trust that must never be broken.
 
5. Our collective role as Government and Traditional Leaders is to strengthen communities, represent their needs and aspirations, strengthen social networks, while preserving the cultural heritage of the people.
 
6. Consequently, it is essential that during Tourism Month, we promote our cultural history, encourage visitors to visit heritage sites, cultural artefacts, and attend to events and activities that narrate our folklore and represent our past, the present and where we are heading into the future.
 
7. Our heritage is our wealth, and we need to harness this wealth by preserving and trading in what is sacred to us.
 
8. The ancient San artworks at the Rock Art Centre, the Zulu reed dance,  KwaZulu Cultural Museum near Ulundi, which exhibits famous icons of Zulu culture, like the spear and shield all paint the rich tapestry of our heritage.
 
9. These attractions hold  the potential for the economy of the province to develop and showcase its glorious history to the world.
 
10. As leaders, it is our responsibility to identify, unlock the potential and nurture all those sectors which hold a promise to create opportunities for the people to earn a livelihood whilst preserving their rich heritage including tourism.
 
11. Unlocking the potential of the tourist ecosystem and its entire value chain, as well as encouraging tourism investment which will result in a more equitable and sustainable development of our traditional communities, is of paramount importance. 
Esteemed Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders,
 
12. Your leadership as Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders has been, and will continue to be critical to the development of a cohesive, unified, and prosperous society that is democratic in nature, and does not discriminate based on race, gender, sexual orientation and political affiliation.
 
13. As government, we have full confidence in your abilities as traditional leaders, and we look forward to collaborating with you to address the most pressing problems facing our country.
 
14. When we paid our respects to His Majesty, we had an opportunity to reflect on the challenges confronting our country including those of governance, poverty, unemployment as well as varying levels of development. 
 
15. In particular, the Traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch and Nation, uMntwana wakwa Phindangene raised sharply the issue of role and function of the institution of traditional leadership, especially its capacity or constraints emanating from insufficient funding and in other total lack of funding, that collectively impact on effective contribution to development by the Institution. 
 
Critical Matters for consideration by Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders
16. Further to the challenges we have already mentioned, we are also confronted by social ills such as substance abuse, gender based violence, HIV/AIDS and TB that collectively are festering on the social fabric of our society thereby undermining our efforts at fostering social and nation building. 
 
17. We are grateful that His Majesty, King Misuzulu, has demonstrated a desire to continue to follow on the footsteps of our departed King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, whose spirit continues to guide us in addressing critical challenges of development, access to services and people’s well-being.
 
18. As government, we will continue to collaborate with Amakhosi and iNdlunkulu kaZulu in the fight against underdevelopment, and these social ills. Primary to this, will be our focus on violence against women and the elderly.
 
19. The abuse of women and children cannot happen in the name of culture. There is no reason for the abuse of women and children. Their continued suffering at the hands of men, is a dark spot on our society and the legacy we inherited from our forebears.
 
20. AmaKhosi and Amakhosikazi as influential leaders of our communities, must play a key role in advocating and driving social mobilisation initiatives that are geared towards addressing sexual offences, and gender-based violence, and femicide.
 
21. Violence against women, the elderly and children is “unAfrican”. As Africans, we are a people that embrace ubunye nobuntu kuyoyonke imiphakathi yethu. 
 
Esteemed Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders,
 
22.Among other issues of concern that has been raised, is inadequate access to information and communication technologies in rural communities, including traditional councils benefiting from the proceeds of telecommunication infrastructures in their communities. 
 
23. In order to do this, planned and focused investments in rural infrastructure networks are needed to provide people with clean water and sanitation, electricity, and roads that will promote access to economic activities, schools, and hospitals.
 
24. In addition to service delivery challenges faced by our government, especially at local government level, we are mindful of the unique challenges confronting Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders.
 
25. That is why we are here today to listen to your concerns, and to find ways of resolving them and putting us all on a path to sustainable peace, harmony and development. 
 
26. In our capacity as government, we are committed to act swiftly in response to any issues that are stagnating the development of our traditional communities.
 
27. This commitment is what brings us to Amakhosi today, and this is also part of the mandate of the Task Team charged with coordination of government's response to the difficulties that Traditional Leaders and their communities face across the country.
 
28. Government alone cannot bring about the much-needed development in communities. Similarly, we cannot achieve our development aspirations and plans, if we work in isolation and detached from the Institution of Traditional Leadership.
 
29. It is therefore important for Traditional Leadership, as an institution located in rural areas, to collaborate with government to identify any obstacle that is hampering community development. 
 
30. Every community and every South African deserve to enjoy the fruits of freedom and democracy, irrespective of location. 
 
31. One critical concern that we must deal with head-on, is the callous murders of Traditional Leaders, especially in this province. We must ask ourselves tough questions about what is happening in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal.
 
32. Most importantly, we must be able to equally commit ourselves to rooting out the elements within our society that are responsible for such brutal acts, not matter how difficult this can be.
 
33. We strongly condemn the killings of Traditional Leaders and Izinduna, and we have to show our condemnation with action.
 
34. As government, we are prepared to deploy the necessary resources to confront this challenge. We urge Amakhosi and Izinduna to work with us in this regard.
 
35. We have also learned from various Provincial engagements and dialogues, including the one we had recently in Mpumalanga Province, that your challenges as Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders correlate across geographical areas.
 
36. We have heard your demands to accelerate the execution of the necessary measures to ensure speedy development in rural communities.
 
37. Furthermore, we have heard your cries about your personal benefits, welfare, and tools of trade. As we did in other Provinces, we continuously urge our Premiers together with MEC’s responsible for Traditional Affairs to engage with Provincial and Local Houses of Traditional and Khoisan Leaders to implement policies that will enable the improvement of lives of our Traditional Leaders, and their communities.
 
With regard Land Reform and security of Tenure
38. Just as we shared with the King yesterday, we want to assure the Institution of Traditional Leadership and the people of KwaZulu-Natal that as government we are looking into a sustainable land tenure system.
 
39. We will be taking to Cabinet various options as discussed in the Communal Land Summit for approval and feedback to Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders.
 
40. The Ingonyama Trust, plays an important role in this regard. We will continue protecting the land that indigenous people have historically owned.
 
41. Having said that, it is common knowledge that those who reside in, or want to invest in communal land face challenges related to ownership and management of land.
 
42. This was also discussed during the Communal Land Administration and Tenure Reform Summit resolutions will be very helpful in setting up laws and policies for land reform that will speed up the process of land allocation for agricultural purposes and Human Settlements.
 
43. As government, we will keep working hard to create and sustain rural communities by transferring land ownership from the state to legitimate owners.
 
44. It is critical to prioritise access to land as a crucial asset for rural development and economic transformation, so that the land held in trust by Traditional and Khoi-San leaders may be effectively used for agriculture, human settlements, industrial development, and other beneficial purposes.
 
45. The big question should no longer be about land distribution, but should be about how we use the land that is claimed and settled. We must ensure that ordinary people benefit from commercial land use, and the extraction of natural resources in traditional communities.
 
46. We must integrate efforts through social enterprise models so that agricultural produce can be distributed into markets, and added to major value chains.
 
47. What is important is that we must till the land. If we till the land, we can be able to fight hunger and poverty through small-scale farming or agricultural start-ups.
 
48. Start-up social enterprises can help generate desperately needed inclusive economic growth and play a role in solving some of the development challenges.
 
Progress report and reflections
49. The ongoing interactions between the government and Traditional Leaders in efforts to address obstacles that limit development in rural communities have highlighted the need for a closer working partnership between the government and Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders at all levels.
 
50. We are making some headway in this area, and you will learn more about it today when a report on the government's coordinated response to concerns raised by Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders is presented.
 
51. In addition, we plan to employ the Invest Rural Strategy to enhance living conditions in rural communities.
 
52. Invest Rural Strategy is an initiative that seeks to bring renewed attention to rural communities, reframe rural problems as attainable investment possibilities, and collaborate with rural residents to promote their full inclusion in the economy and in society.
 
53. The goal is for people in rural areas to develop their communities to their fullest potential under the guidance of Traditional Leaders and Traditional Councils.
 
54. As we continue with our efforts of strengthening a partnership between government and the institution of Traditional Leadership, we must implement today’s decisions including those we will take in the near future, in order to ensure that all concerns of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders are effectively addressed.
 
55. We hope that your participation will help to resolve critical issues affecting traditional communities, and ensure that development goals are attained with the requisite sense of urgency and speed.
 
Thank you very much.