amakhosi to get 'tools of trade'

A SPIRIT of cooperation marked the meeting between amakhosi and MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs Nomusa Dube when she unveiled the "tools of trade".

Dube met the KwaZulu-Natal House of Traditional leaders in Ulundi yesterday where she unveiled a ground-breaking move by her department to enable amakhosi to become more effective in community development.

Dube revealed that her department would receive the resources to enable traditional leaders to actively participate in the service delivery work of government.

She said the tools of trade that will be provided to amakhosi include vehicles to be used by the chairperson and the deputy, cellphones for all amakhosi, laptops, office and house accommodation, as well as full-time officials to assist in administration.

The traditional leaders were led by house chairperson inkosi Bhekisisa Bhengu and his deputy Mpiyezintombi Mzimela.

Dube's move will partly address amakhosi's objections that government had failed to provide the necessary budget and resources to operate in their communities.

An upbeat Dube said it was her mission to bring amakhosi on board in the broader process of community development because they (amakhosi) understood their communities and their needs better.

"As government, we will involve amakhosi in all the programmes that impact on our communities.

"In doing so, we will be transparent.

"We will even discuss the budget together, so that we all understand if we can't achieve certain objectives," she said.

Inkosi Bonga Mdletshe, who is also a member of the provincial legislature, implored Dube to continue to demonstrate the spirit of co-operation with amakhosi as she had already displayed.

"For too long, we have been using the courts each time we need to resolve issues around traditional leadership.

"But this never seemed to work. But now, the fact that you (Dube) have kicked off in a true spirit of cooperative governance by coming to shake our hands really shows that you are indeed committed to working with us," Mdletshe said.

He said it was a new era for amakhosi in the province.

"Here is an African woman showing true support for ubukhosi," he said.