Traditional leaders and government gather for Motsepe Foundation Workshop

Some of South Africa’s most prominent traditional leaders – Kings and Chiefs – were among the dignitaries who attended the Motsepe Foundation’s Workshop themed “Partnering with our Traditional Leaders and Communities for Economic and Financial Stability and Self Reliance”, held in Kempton Park.

The workshop was also attended by government ministers, MEC’s and other provincial representatives.

Among the traditional leaders were His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini, King Makhosonke Mabena, Queen Lombekiso MaSobhuza Sigcau, King Kumkani Mpendulo Sigcau, Queen Noloyiso Sandile, King Kumkani Tyelovuyo Sigcau, King Kumkani Ndamase Ndamase, Inkosi Enkulu Siyambonga Matanzima, King Thulare Thulare, King KK Sekhukhune, King Tony Peter Mphephu, and Prince Anqobile Alwaba Dalindyebo. Also in attendance was Chief David Masupha Seeiso, who attended on behalf of King Letsie III of Lesotho.

Other traditional leaders from government included Chief PP Maubane, Chief SE Mahlangu, Chief Aaron Masselaar, Chief Setlamorago Thobejane, Chief Gambani Mabena, and Chief Xolile Ndevu.

Government Ministers included Minister Pravin Gordhan, Minister Senzeni Zokwana and Deputy Minister Obed Bapela.

Minister Gordhan told the workshop that traditional leaders play an important role in their communities, and acknowledged that these leaders sometimes faced challenges as municipalities often implemented projects without including them in the decision-making process. This, he said, must change over time.

He commended the Motsepe Foundation for the “excellent work” done in promoting self-reliance and sustainability in communities. He also commended Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Chief Executive and co-founder with her husband Mr Patrice Motsepe, of the Motsepe Foundation for her “outstanding work” and the “great” example she was setting.

“Shared prosperity also requires that progress should be sustainable within communities in terms of environment, social inclusion and fiscal prudence. Inequality and poverty will only be slowed by what is demonstrated through this meeting,” Gordhan said.

“Poverty has no place in our society,” he added.

He referred to the “Back to Basics” programme launched by President Jacob Zuma in December 2014, which, he said, is based on the following principles:

. All Municipalities must perform their basic responsibilities and functions consistently, by putting people and their concerns first
. Supporting the delivery of municipal services to the right quality and standard
. Promoting good governance, transparency and accountability
. Ensuring sound financial management and accounting, and
. Building institutional resilience and administrative capability.
There is an ongoing need for traditional leaders and municipality leaders to share wisdom towards contributing to the benefit of their communities.

The Motsepe Foundation is necessary to help in achieving the goals of empowerment and building economically self-sufficient participants in the national economy..

Traditional leaders are the moral and social custodians of cultural values and the economic underpinning of traditional institutions.

Minister Zokwana spoke about the need to identify resources that are already available which, if invested will promote self-reliance. Traditional leaders, he said, must take ownership of land and ensure production of the best that the land can offer its people. This, he said, is the only way poverty can be fought and people fed.

The Chairman and Founder of the Motsepe Foundation Patrice Motsepe, spoke about the importance of pride and respect for traditional leaders. Without knowledge and taking pride in our history, we cannot fully prepare for our future.

Expertise will be provided throughout the country and assigned to help traditional leaders in identifying economic resources and areas that would be focused on sustainability and self-reliance. Experts from banking, farming, and other areas will be assigned to meet with the Kings and Leaders and to work with them to achieve this.

Mr Motsepe outlined how the Motsepe Foundation has operated. Twenty Six Development Forums have been established, and some of the outcomes include the fact that 800 students are currently enrolled in studies at top national universities. Each Development forum consists of 30 members, and a similar principle ought to be implemented and be used to lead processes that are in keeping with the workshop theme of partnering with our traditional leaders and communities for economic and financial sustainability and self-reliance. Traditional leaders need to take the lead in community projects, traditional organisations and councils.

A committee to oversee the implementation of funding to promote the day’s theme was formed, while government announced a similar committee to assist in carrying out objectives from this workshop. This committee would report back in December.

The Motsepe Foundation will visit each province to evaluate progress made in identifying projects in line with the workshop objectives.

Mr Motsepe announced that a similar meeting would be held with religious leaders who, he said, formed an integral part of the leadership of our people.