Chiefs demand benefits Oct 12 2012 11:41AM
Traditional leaders across the province are agitating for equalisation of benefits to match those of senior government officials, mainly targeting access to medical aid.
Ndebele king Makhosoke II raised the matter at a conference of traditional leaders,
organised by the provincial department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs at the regional legislature’s chamber in KwaMhlanga on Wednesday.
The conference was meant to listen to the needs and grievances of traditional leaders, including salaries.
The gathering was presided over by the provincial house of traditional leaders chairperson, Chief Mathibela Mokoena and his deputy Sandile Ngomane as well as the department’s chief director, Henry Magagula.
Speaking in the presence of 300 traditional leaders, Makhosoke II said it was time for traditional leaders to receive benefits.
“Some of our people have been serving as traditional leaders for 30 years and upon death their families remain poor because they do not have benefits. As traditional leaders we need to have medical aid and other benefits,” the king said.
He added: “It is a shame because some of our traditional leaders are unable to carry their duties because of a lack of funds, especially salaries.
“We appeal to the authorities to help us meet our demands.”
Mokoena said they were aware of the demands and as the house, together with the department, they were attending to the matter.
“We are busy revising the leaders’s chairperson, Chief Mathibela Mokoena. Picture: FRANCE NYAKA
stipends received by traditional leaders. All we can say is that they will be surprised by the outcome. We urge them to be patient until we have a budget for them,” said Mokoena.
“It was way beyond the norm when scores of traditional leaders marched to Premier David Mabuza’s office demanding better wages.
“In our custom as the house of traditional leaders we saw the action as an insult to us and the provincial government,” said Mokoena.
Recently The New Age reported that about 1000 traditional leaders and their employees across the province, led by the African People’s Convention president Themba Godi, marched to hand over a memorandum for better salaries and other benefits to the office of Premier Mabuza in Nelspruit.
According to Godi, Judge Seriti recommended that headmen and women be paid about R71000 a year while in the province they were still receiving R13000 a year.