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Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill needs tweaking

The Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill currently before Parliament gives sudden prominence to a new concept of “partnership” on communal land, but it makes no provision for the people living on this land to influence the shape of the deals made on their behalf.

The bill is set to replace the 2003 Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act.

One of the significant assertions made in submissions at these hearings is that the bill entrenches tribal boundaries that were initially drawn as part of the apartheid homeland strategy.

At stake are the rights of 18 million rural South Africans who are at risk of becoming subjects – without their consent – of traditional leaders and their councils. Under the bill, traditional leaders are slated to win substantial new powers over the ultimate owners of land in the so-called “traditional territories”.

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