Traditional Courts Bill via the provinces: Lets get talking.


There has been much debate around the traditional courts bill for the best parts of 2012. In 2013, the bill will circulate via the provinces to gauge whether provinces accept or reject the bill. In recent debates, the bill has been heavily criticised for excluding women in traditional courts and was rejected outrightly by the Ministry of Women, Children and People with Diabilities. How potent is the ministry’s stance on the bill?

Since this bill relates to the primary objectives of this blog(to debate traditioonal issues of governance), we have decided to repost an article titled “Traditional Institutions, Leadership, marginalisation and the shame of the South African Constitution” in order to bring forth our argument for the passing of the bill. The reader will note that amongst those who support the bill are traditional leaders and traditional communities. In this article we highlight the plight of Traditional Leaders, Institutions and Cultural Communities in a country where it is claimed that democracy is fledging an all is well. Reading the article will indicate to the reader there are numerous challenges faced by Traditional leaders, their Institutions and Communities and hence our conviction that, if applied correcty, the draft bill will see to it that these and more challenges are addressed.
The article can be downloaded from here:

In addition, we have included some review of the bill by journalist Siyabonga Mkhwanazi for reference and futher debate below:

Siyabonga Mkhwanazi @ The New Age;

The contentious Traditional Courts Bill faces the test of whether it has the support of provinces or not.

Chairperson of the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development in Parliament, Tjetha Mofokeng, on Tuesday said provinces had to decide whether they backed or rejected the Bill.

Following the public hearings on the draft law the committee had sent the report to all the nine provinces to determine whether they supported the Traditional Courts Bill or not, Mofokeng said.

“They (provincial legislatures) must give us a mandate on whether they support or reject the bill. Based on the majority of the provinces (who support one position) the committee will take a decision,” he said.

“We don’t want to pre-empt what the provinces will say, but we are aware that some people say it (the Bill) must be scrapped (while) some people say it must be retained,” he said.

The committee will take a decision on the way forward depending on what the provincial legislatures want.

The National Council of Provinces held public hearings on the Bill late last year where various stakeholders criticised it.

However, the Bill received support from traditional leaders.

Even the Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana had called for the government to scrap the Bill.

During the opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders last month President Jacob Zuma urged all South Africans to participate in the discussions on the draft law.

The Bill has been criticised for being oppressive against women and taking the country back to apartheid days.

However, Zuma had said that it would be important for all stakeholders to take part in discussions on the Bill.

The Bill has been called unconstitutional, criticised for excluding the participation of women in traditional courts and for giving traditional leaders more powers.

The Bill offered the prospect of access to justice to 18 million of the citizens who reside within the ambit of the traditional system.

Whats your take on the bill?

Molepo Dam eyed for development?


3. TOURISM : Tourism development at Molepo Dam
Opportunity An opportunity exists to create an attractive destination for tourists, around the Molepo Dam.
Nature of the Project It is proposed that the development will consist of:
• 40 bedroom lodge at 2-star level
• Conference Hall
• Restaurantt
• Shop
• Education Centre
• Campsite
• Water-based activities
Rationale for this venture The infrastructure around the dam is well developed as water and electricity readily available. There is also a recently tarred road leading to the dam.
Attractiveness Assessment The product that is offered in the Molepo development contains various elements such as:
• Accommodation facilities
• Conference centre
• Restaurant
• Kiosk and shop
• Education centre
• Water based activities.
There are 126 tourist accommodation establishments in Capricorn District, with the biggest proportion being hotels/motels (26.4%) and 3 star facilities (46.9%).
Opportunity Alignment Limpopo’s Tourism Growth Strategy identifies six priority tourism clusters to drive tourism growth in the province. The clusters are:
• Family and recreation
• Mega-conservation
• Safari and hunting
• Golf and game
• MICE (meeting, incentives, conference and events, or business tourism)
• Special interest.
Key Competitive Advantage The development at Molepo will attract tourists who travel along the R71 to the Magoebaskloof area. This route is also used to get to the northern parts of the Kruger National Park. It will provide 64% of the rooms in the market, however the target markets are different between the Molepo end the existing competitors.
Potential Economic Impact The Molepo Dam development is projected to require 50 employees. The project will therefore create job opportunities, promote entrepreneurship and encourage skills training of the labourers.
Investment Requirements The Molepo development is financially viable. The initial investment needed is projected at R13.5 million. Gross operating revenue is projected to reach over R11 million and profit projected at over R3 million by year five. The project has an ungeared, pre-tax IRR of 18.8%..
Linkages The approximate investment for the proposed project is set on R13.5 million (at 2008 prices).
Note: Molepo Dam and Sego Game Reserve can be undertaken as a single investment opportunity because of their close proximity to each other.

Contact Us
Danie van der Merwe
Tel: 012 342 8686

Contact Us
Capricorn District Municipality
Ellen Mashakoe
Tel: 082 781 4768



Assignment 3  for the portfolio was the most challenging since it was the final lap towards the completion of a year’s work I worked so hard for. I enjoyed laying down the plan for a community analysis and needs assessment of the users and potential users of Alex-San Community Library. I had fun searching for information that would be added to my fist and second tasks respectively. Finding additional information on the history of Alexandra Township on Wikipedia was the most exiting.

A word of thanks goes out to all the scholars of Information Science in the group BInf Unisa Students on social networking site Facebook. To Pauline Maritz, Jullie Makwata, Karen Buckley, librarians at Alex-San Community Library and Carol Mwaura, I acknowledge all the knowledge sharing activities we engaged in during the year. Although we are worlds apart, we were able to communicate beyond the constraints of time and space. Thanks to the advancements in technology communicating was as easy as one could imagine. Without your inspiration and courage this portfolio wouldn’t have been a success. I look forward to a prosperous new year ahead and all the best for your upcoming exams. I am hoping to nail this one with the Department of Information Science, lecturers and examiners alike.

Communications and language discrepancies in feminism and traditional gender relations discourse





Molepo, M. 2011. Communications and language discrepancies in feminism and traditional gender relations discourse. Mabutheto Literature: Ga Molepo

Current feminist discourse seems to suggest that“women are often abused in the name of culture and tradition” and in order to deal with this the woman should be liberated for empowerment. On further analysis and in contrast to the aforesaid phrase, there is also a tendency to associate the man (as an object) with such ill treatment to such an extent that there is also an intention to liberate both the man and the woman towards a solution. Thirdly, there is much evidence in literature to suggest that the activists of the feminism theory (in all categories) approach emphasis with a different, somehow distant, cultural and social context (language, communication and way of life prime agents) from the cultural and social context of those they purport to be the targeted victims belonging to structures perceived to be sectors of perpetration. Once again, traditional communities and their way of life seem to be questionable prime suspects. But what does the feminist theory say about the thinking of women such as Mma Masedi and the meaning they attach to certain practices that could be perceived as advancing the cultural, linguistic and religious rights of women as illustrated in the excerpt?


Traditional Institutions and Leadership, marginalisation and the shame of the South African constitution












When a friend of mine posed a question to me on the role and relevance of traditional institutions and leadership in democratic South Africa I immediately took the chance to share with him a crude perspective on being one of the members from so called royal families of post-apartheid South Africa. I had just finished listening from a mobile radio network, to a speech by a government official facilitating a seminar in preparation for an upcoming COP17 Climate Change Conference which was being broadcasted by SA FM’ AM Live show. “My dear friend, I am curious”, he continued while we sat down for an interesting exchange of ideas at a student cafeteria table on University of South Africa’s Florida campus. I wasn’t in the best of mental shapes for I had just listened to a monotonous and separatist investigation into the real causes of climate change in today’s world. Of course, the government official on the radio show had spoken at length about the intentions to involve all sectors of society in all discussions relating to the climate change topic. Those included, as reiterated by the flamboyant government official, the democratic parliament of the ruling party (the African National Congress), “civil society” and a bunch of environmentalists local and from abroad. “And did he mention the role of traditional institutions and leadership in all this?”-  retorted the friend. Not that I heard of I replied, but we must revert back to indigenous knowledge systems. As we continued engaging on the subject, I could feel tension mounting in my nervous system since the participation of traditional institutions and leadership in democratic South Africa was such a sensitive issue, one that disproves of the popular belief that “South Africa had the best constitution in the world”. Where they are involved, I continued with my answer, participation is so minimal it often amounts to a herd boy’s duties. Almost seventeen years into post-apartheid South Africa there is irrefutable evidence of an axiom of awe, bitterness, fury, anxiety, shame and hopelessness in traditional leadership circles.

Hell no! It is not a ticking time bomb. ORDER a hardcopy of The Green Collection Essays…


Mabutheto Precis – A Collection of Green Essays


Defining Mabutheto-the concept

The concept, Mabutheto consists of two parts. Mabu refers to soil and theto means praise. The concept Mabutheto owes its semantic structure to the Northern Sotho language of the Sotho tribes of Limpopo province, South Africa and was conceived out of our realisation that oral traditions and indigenous knowledge systems have survived many centuries of isolation and suppression up until today. These oral traditions and indigenous knowledge systems are embodied in Traditional Education (i.e. proverbs, folktales, music, rituals, games, idioms, names, storytelling and initiation as a rite of passage) which was greatly marginalised with the arrival of Missionary Education imposed on the indigenous people through colonisation by European colonial rulers.

Later the former Apartheid government introduced what was known as Bantu Education, a curriculum that was designed to elevate Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in black schools. Since English had previously enjoyed a privileged position during the early days of colonial rule, the apartheid government wanted to elevate the Afrikaans language to the same level of prestige. The end result was the separation of Africans, coloureds, Indians from whites. The chief architect of the Bantu education system Dr Verwoed, believed that different races should be schooled in such a way that people would be kept apart in the job market. This resulted in poor education being offered to Africans, coloureds and Indians thereby rendering these races incompetent in careers exclusively reserved for whites such as engineering for instance.  There was widespread dissatisfaction with the Bantu education system and in 1976, the Black Consciousness movement emerged and was later said to be the brains behind the students riots in Soweto and elsewhere in the country. The basic idea was to inculcate a sense of pride in those oppressed by the apartheid system.

In 1994, a new National Curriculum statement was introduced when the new democratic government was elected. There are now eleven official languages which are said to enjoy equal status although English and Afrikaans still dominate. According to the democratic constitution, traditional cultural education is now centre stage in a quest to correct the injustices of the past.  Mabutheto Precis™ is a collection essays which aim to highlight the need to bring back  Oral Traditions and Indigenous Knowledge System into mainstream education and social development systems in a bit to promote practice, usage and sustainability. The mission is to use literature to support the new educational landscape that has been created with the adoption of the new constitution where all cultural, linguistic and religious groups have a right to practice without any discrimination. The time has come for Oral Traditions and Indigenous Knowledge Systems of Southern Africa and Africa to be part of national and global dialogue. We trust the reader will enjoy the introductory issues of an upcoming collection of Green Essays on traditional community life, its role and relevance in today’s world.



Mahlaga Molepo is an author, executive member of Makhudu Traditional Council and a scholar of Library and Information Science at University of South Africa.