The Amakhosi-councillors’ interface: The need for multi directional capacity building and accommodation

Marlene Muller, Nonhlanhla Maureen Zulu

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    As a developmental state, South Africa's local government are continuously facing major challenges. KwaZulu-Natal itself experiences severe poverty, incessant HIV / Aids casualties and unemployment. Being the foot-soldiers of democracy, our municipalities carry the brunt of discontent and societal pressures. Hence, elected political office bearers and municipal administrators are mandated to undergo training so as to enhance their municipalities' capacity and delivery record. But where is the recognition of traditional leaders? Where are the incentives to train them alongside municipal officials? South Africa's Constitution, 1996 mandates traditional leaders to ensure that services are delivered to their members in a sustainable way. Their relevance depends to a large extent on how the institution serves its communities customarily, culturally and developmentally. Within the uMhlathuze Municipality, in partnership with various stakeholders, training of the aMakhosi (traditional leaders) is seen as non-negotiable. Yet, the actual interaction between elected political office bearers, local communities and the aMakhosi remain limited and inefficient. Subsequently, service deliveries are affected.
    The University of Zululand in partnership with its in-house KZN Institute for Local Government and Traditional Leadership and other corporate entities, embarked on extensive capacity building endeavours. The overarching aims are to capacitate local community leaders as well as to bridge the gap between those elected members, officials and the aMakhosi. This is an ongoing project and serves to test the applicability and relevance of capacity building of the aMakhosi as an important tool for effective service delivery.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)285-294
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Public Administration
    Issue numberSpecial issue 3
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


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