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Batho Pele Principles

The role of Traditional Leaders in Socio Economic Recovery

By: Emmaculate Cindi

The Deputy Minister in the Presidency Ms Thembi Siweya in her monitoring and evaluation role, is engaging Traditional Leadership on issues of economic development. Her first stop in that journey was at the residence of Hosi Mahumani of the Mahumani Traditional Authority in Giyani. One of the roles of Traditional Leaders is to ensure the welfare and wellbeing of their communities, promote social justice, safety and security and socio economic development.

The Mahumani community has various projects that employ local residents to improve their well-being; equip them with skills while preserving the rich natural heritage for generations to come. The Mahumani Empowerment Centre is a skills development programme where learners come together to become computer literate. They are taught business management, leadership and management coursers.

The centre also empowers the community with technical skills such as carpentry, brick laying, plumbing and  recognises Prior Learning. It has been accredited on certain courses such as computer skills, constructive and training authorities  and  Agri Sita among others.

During the walkabout, the Deputy Minister observed more than hundred young people queing patiently for registratioin at the centre, all hungry for knowledge and skills  to improve their lively hoods  with employment  opportunities.

“This centre is one the sustainable projects that has been operating for many years, it is a salt making project that produces salt by the most highly qualified women with indigenous knowledge. It was declared by the late state President Nelson Mandela in 1999 as a natural heritage side, now it is registered with South African heritage programme.” Hosi Mahumani

The South African Human Science  Research Council has declared the white salt produced at the project as fit for human comsumption, while the brown salt has been declared fit to be consumed by cattle while the community of Mahumani believes that the salt is effective in regulating hypertension.

Hosi Mahumani has shared a glimpse of greater things to come including opening a Mahumani gate into the Kruger National Park. A partnership agreement has already been established with SanParks and Department of Fisheries and Forestry to expedite this creation of access into the National Park which is bound to contribute to the socio economy of the Mahumani communities. Hosi Mahumani also wants to see the creation of  a smart city where local businesses will be equiped with 4IR technologies thus accelerating economic development in the area.

The Deputy Minister will continue to engage other traditional leaders in the province in the following weeks to build and strengthen partnerships geared to accelerating economic recovery post Covid 19 Pandemic.