5 May 2006
South African president Thabo Mbeki has called on traditional leaders to take the lead in pursuing moral regeneration.
Mbeki said many communities had abandoned the central tenets of the value system of ubuntu that ensured that people acted responsibly and respectfully towards one another.
He was speaking at the tenth official opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders in Pretoria on Thursday.
Humanism, compassion and solidarity
“As we know many people have turned their backs from the important elements of ubuntu of humanism, compassion and solidarity which ensured that none among our people would go hungry when others live the life of luxury.
“I think many of our people will agree that our traditional leaders have a responsibility to take a lead and help all of us to value a life of respect of honesty and human dignity,” said Mbeki.
He further called for strong and improved working relations between the institution of traditional leadership and elected public representatives to build better communities especially in rural area.
He said they could only improve infrastructure and service delivery when working together.
The law requires that traditional leaders should participate in the local municipalities. It further stipulates that no development can take place in the area of an inkosi without consultation.
In this regard, the president urged the traditional leadership to be proactive in engaging elected councillors to discuss issues affecting their communities and make constructive contributions for the development of the areas over which they exercised their jurisdiction.
“By working constructively with the elected public representatives we will make it easier for development to take place,” said Mbeki.
He acknowledged that government was aware of the capacity requirements traditional leaders needed in order to perform and contribute effectively to the development of the country.
The Chairperson of the National Traditional House of Leaders Inkosi Mpiyezintombi Mzimela said the official opening of the house was unique this year, as South Africa has just promulgated the new law of the traditional leadership.