Stop illegal tribal taxes now, says YCL

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The Young Communist League (YCL) has lambasted the continued payment of tribal taxes in areas under the Amakhosi.

This after the chairman of the KwaZulu-Natal standing committee on public accounts (Scopa), Hawu Mbatha, said tribal taxes were now illegal.

Most people in the province, especially those in rural areas, pay the money. Payment varies from area to area and is paid for various reasons. In some instances it is paid for a chief's horse or as dog tax.

Mbatha said according to the KwaZulu-Natal Traditional Leadership and Governance Act 5 of 2005, it was illegal to force people to pay such taxes.

YCL national spokesman Castro Ngobese said this model for self-enrichment and accumulation of wealth by traditional leaders would lead to a rupture in relations.

"It demonstrates how the rural poor are being manipulated and abused in sustaining the opulent lifestyle enjoyed by some traditional leaders in the midst of the squalor and poverty endured by the rural poor," Ngobese said.

The YCL called on the ministry of local government and traditional affairs to scrap tribal taxes in all traditional areas with immediate effect.

"Traditional institutions and traditional leaders must conform to the laws and regulations that govern local areas and are being remunerated in line with local government laws promulgated by our nascent democracy," Ngobese. said.

"It is despicable that traditional leaders want to fill their filthy pockets at the expense of the rural poor.

"This tribal tax is a reflection of the Bantustan accumulation scheme imposed on our people by the traditional ruling oligarchy, which does not serve the needs and interests of our rural poor."

The YCL also called on the rural poor, and the youth in particular, to challenge "this feudal mode of exploitation that oppresses our people through tribal taxes".