Public Protector’s recommendations will be implemented: KZN government

The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government has given Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane an undertaking that recommendations in a report about the poor relationship between traditional leaders and municipal councils be implemented.

This is the only major issue emanating from a Public Protector report that has not been implemented yet.

Following complaints raised in public hearings in 2017, the Public Protector found that the provincial Department of Traditional Affairs has neglected to foster a good working relationship between councillors and traditional leaders.

The department has cited budget constraints.

Mkhwebane says, “We needed the proof that indeed there are service level agreements between traditional leaders and municipalities because of the fact that traditional leaders sit in the municipal council. And their concern was that they don’t participate they just sit there, and they don’t engage.

“So we’re saying the law compels them to be engaged. Because the Traditional Leadership Governance Framework Act provides that traditional leaders should be consulted or they should be given responsibilities,“ adds the Public Protector.

Mkhwebane and other officials from her office had a cordial meeting with the KZN executive council, the Speaker of the legislature and traditional leaders.

The Public Protector’s office gave them feedback on what recommendations in various reports must still be implemented, and the 142 complaints the provincial office is investigating.

Premier Sihle Zikalala has signed a memorandum of understanding to step in if officials fail to implement recommendations.

Mkhwebane says a similar draft document has been handed to the Speaker of the legislature Nontembeko Boyce. “Then we also have a draft MOU which we will expect the Speaker to consider because the Speaker is a key stakeholder. They conduct public participation, they also receive petitions and complaints from the public. So how do we eliminate duplication in the process.”

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