Local governance and traditional leadership : a case study of Umgungundlovu, Umzinyathi, Uthukela, and Amajuba Districts in KwaZulu-Natal.
The purpose of this study was to examine aspects of rural local governance within the democratic local government system in the Umgungundlovu, Umzinyathi, Uthukela and Amajuba districts of KwaZulu-Natal. This study could feed into the management and policy making systems of the Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs of the Province. It would also inform a practical traditional administration centre model. It also intends to provoke a debate on issues of rural local governance in particular within the democratic local government system in South Africa. The study looked at the evolution of the institution of traditional leadership over the years. Policy issues with regard to the functioning and structuring of traditional leadership institutions in local governance were used as a basis for this discussion. Different items of legislation relating to local government and traditional leadership in South Africa generally and in KwaZulu-Natal in particular were analysed to give insight into the issues of rural local governance. It was found that traditional leaders have always worked hand in hand with government and that the government has and still is making deliberate efforts to keep traditional leadership under its control by paying their salaries and controlling all processes and systems in the functioning of traditional authorities. National and Provincial policies were found to be giving government (both National and Provincial) too much discretionary powers regarding the roles and functions of traditional leaders. The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs (DLGTA) had transformed tribal courts into Traditional Administration Centres (TACs) in line with the government's call to bring government services closer to the people. There are sixty four TACs in the Umgungundlovu, Umzinyathi, Uthukela and Amajuba districts of KwaZulu-Natal. This study reviews the level of functionality of these TACs over a period of 6 months. The activities of all TACs were monitored and recorded daily for the duration of the study. The study revealed that the TACs were generally not being used to their full potential. A combination of well equipped centres coupled with motivated and committed support staff is crucial for the effective functioning of TACs. The study also looked at different community centre models and compared them with the traditional administration centre model to help develop a practical traditional administration centre model. The study further recommends that TACs be linked to the Multipurpose Community Centres (MPCCs) either as extensions or satellites thereof. In terms of ownership, it is recommended that TACs be handed over to the local municipalities in order to ensure proper maintenance and sustainability thereof. As part of rural local governance, the study also investigated synergistic partnerships between the institution of traditional leadership and municipalities. This was done through focus group discussions with government officials, traditional councils, municipal councillors and community members. The focus group discussions also revealed the level of understanding on the roles of traditional councils and municipal councillors by different groupings i.e. government officials, traditional councils, municipal councillors and community members. The study concludes that conflict between traditional leaders and municipal councillors is inevitable and that it is difficult but not impossible to form functional linkages between the two. South Africa has seen remarkable improvements in the transformation of the institution of traditional leadership in terms of composition, functions and legal manifestations. There is a reasonable understanding on the roles of municipal councillors but traditional councils seemed not to be clear about their roles and policy issues in general. Many subjects believed that direct intervention by National and Provincial governments was desirable if sound local governance was to be attained. The study also recommends that agency agreements be entered into between traditional councils and municipalities and between traditional councils and provincial governments to allow traditional councils to perform certain functions on behalf of government departments and municipalities.
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Anderson, Leigh Reginald. (1993)No abstract available.