The legislative mandate of the National House of Traditional Leaders is found in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the establishing Act of the National House of Traditional Leaders, Act no 10 of 1997(as amended). In terms of its objects and functions the National House must:

Promote the role of Traditional Leadership within a democratic constitutional dispensation Enhance unity and understanding among Traditional Communities

Enhance co-operation between the National House of Traditional Leaders and the various Provincial Houses

Enhance co-operation between the NHTL and the various organs of state with a view to addressing matters of common interest


"To be an institution that ensures efficieni leadership and ser'ice deli'ery by all statutor) traditional leadership structures".

MISSION Representing the aspirations of traditions communities by playing a meaningful role ii cooperative governance.


The NHTL's strategy has been formulated on a clear understanding of promoting the role and status of the institution of traditional leadership within a democratic constitutional dispensation.

lmproving the functioning and performance of the National House of Traditional Leaders.

Proi'ding support and guidance to Pro'inciat Houses.

Unifying Traditional Leaders of South Africa.

Restoring and uphold dignity, pride and culture of Traditional Leadership.

Promoting the role of Traditional Leadership Structure in Go-emance.

Promoting Social-Economic Development within Traditional Communities.

Coordinating activities of all statutory

Traditional Leadership Structures.

Fostering co-operation amongst ad statutory Traditional Leadership Structures.

Promoting and Protecting Economic & Social Rights of traditional communities

Fostering cooperation between the institution of traditional leadership and other societal organisation


As we look forward, this year promises to be a very special year for South Africa as we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of our fragile and yet truly remarkable democracy. The past decade has been characterized by hardships and robust dialogues which led us to where we are today. Today the Institution of Traditional Leadership in particular has received an increasing recognition.

On the empowerment front, we have seen the first i release and the adoption of the White Paper on Traditional Leadership, and secondly the enactment of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Legislation, Act 41 of 2003 and the Communal Land Rights Bill, 2003 respectively. All i this marks the beginning of the process of restoring the status and dignity that the Institutions of Traditional Leadership once enjoyed before it was negatively impacted by the colonial and apartheid injustices. It also marks the entry of the Traditional Leaders into the administration and management of their communities' matters.

Within the current financial year, we will inter alia, be committed to improving and enhancing further the working relationship between our House and other organizations which are within and outside the government, the conditions of service for the Houses and also we are going to fortify our efforts to deal with the programmes related to poverty alleviation, unemployment problems, the scourge for HIV / AIDS and other diseases that have ravaged our society as well as other government programmes and processes aimed at making the lives of our people better and sustainable.

The recently passed Framework Legislation, though to a lesser extent, wilt enable Traditional Leaders to be part of the decision-making processes in the social, economic, developmental and even political premises. The founder of Pan African Congress (PAC), Mr. Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe once said: " Our whole life in South Africa is politics". He said these words warning his fellow Fort Hare students who thought they could sit on the fence fearing to challenge openly the then existing apartheid order which had extended to educational institutions. Thus the notion that traditional leaders should abstain from politics is unfounded.

It is also important to remark on the fact that in one of the SABC's television programmes (Asikhulume) when a poll was done it was found that the majority (99%) of South African people, urban and rural have voted that this institution has a role to play in the governance of new democratic South Africa. An outstanding 63% of the people said that there is a major role to be played by this institution, a 36% said the role is minor and only 1% said there is no role
that can be played by this institution. We Traditional Leaders will capitalize on these statistics and our capacity, our competency and dedication to serve our communities and attend to their developmental needs for social growth and internal stability. I need to mention that the NHTL was nominated as one of South Africa's Top Emerging Empowerment Companies in 2003 by Top Company Publishing. This gives courage to our institution, it shows that we have been and are in the right direction.

I would like to thank the President, His Excellency, Mr TM Mbeki, for availing himself during the opening of the House on 01 April 2003 in Cape Town, Municipal Chambers.

During this opening the President, mentioned that we cannot celebrate our Tenth Anniversary of Liberation in a situation in which we have not met our constitutional oblioation to resolve all matters attached or pertaining to the institution of the traditional system of government.

In doing so, he said .that we must give our new democracy a uniquely African character with values that enshrine the concept of Ubuntu. This is a challenge that we intend to face with tenacity.

For the first time in the history of the NHTL, the President of this country came back on 30 July 2003 for the debate of his speech and it was worthwhile and eye opening. During the debate the President conceded that traditional leaders have a role to play in supporting the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the African Union (AU).

He even repeated this move on 8 October 2003 that he planned to lobby the African Union (AU) to set up a continent-wide house for traditional leaders, who had been overlooked. We as the NHTL salute His Excellency the President for the bold move he has taken on the issue. This is a true reflection of a dedicated leader committed to African Renaissance. On the issue of HIV/AIDS, unfortunately our Provincial Task Teams that were formed by with the Department of Health to help fight the disease have been turned into monuments because they are unable to take off and deliver due to lack of funding. Hopefully, 2004 would be better for us in this regard. I I am privileged to work with a team of professionals in the National House and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those whd are involved in the building of traditional leadership and its institutions, my colleagues in the NHTL, the officials, Provincial Houses, Traditional Authorities and our people-for their Ongoing support over the years

In celebration of our Tenth Anniversary of Liberation we would like to dedicate this Annual report to all our Kings and all traditional communities in our country. It is a great pleasure and honour to present to you and your committee the Annual Report of the National House of Traditional Leaders for the financial year 2003/04


The aim of this office is to ensure that the House runs smoothly


To formulate policy

To provide leadership functions of the NHTL

To build and maintain good relations with Provincial Houses; traditional leadership outside the country, Government, Non Governmental Organisations and other societal structures

The Chairperson represented the NHTL in the following activities, conferences and functions:


Attended the Ancestral Thanks Giving and National Prayer for Liberation of South Africa, 29-30 March 2003, Mbhashe River, Eastern Cape

Attended and delivered speech at the Griqua Centennial Festival, 3-6 April 2003, Cape Town

Attended the 20th International Candle Light Memorial, 18 May 2003, Mafikeng, North West

Attended Enthronement of King Leruo Mototlegi of the Royal Bafokeng Nation, 16 August 2003, Phoekeng, North West

Addressed gatherings of Amakhosi in KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Eastern Cape and Free State about the progress on the Communal Land Rights Bill 2003, Property Rates Bill 2002, the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Bill 2003 as well as the White Paper Process on Traditional Leadership and Institutions 2002,

Represented the institution of traditional leadership in the reference group dealing with the Communal Land Rights Bill

Attended the opening of the following Provincial Houses: Mpumalanga, North West, Free State and Eastern Cape

Attended the Installation and anointment of Inkosi Mavuso, 29 November 2003, Alice, Eastern Cape

Delivered a paper at the School of Political Studies, University of Zululand, 27 November 2003

Initiated the policy towards the construction of African Renaissance road from Obanjeni to KwaBulawayo (P240) in KwaZulu Natal

Coalition of Traditional Leaders

Through the coalition of traditional leaders the Chairperson made the following submissions to Parliament: White Paper on Traditional Leadership and Governance, Communal Land Rights Bill and Property Rates Bill.

International Visits
The Chairperson has undertaken the following international visits during the 2003/04 financial year


Deputy Chairperson - Kgosi SV Suping
The Deputy Chairperson represented the NHTL in the following activities, conferences and functions:


Participated in the White Paper process as a member of a Task Team drafting White Paper on Traditional Leadership and the


Participated in the workshop of Freedom Park Trust on the 9th July 2003, in Kopanong, Benoni.

The purpose of the workshop was to enlighten Traditional Leaders and Traditional Healers about Freedom Park

Trust plans of building a monument in Salvokop Hill, Pretoria. For the purpose of symbolic cleansing and healing.

Presented a paper on 'the role of traditional leaders in the promotion & protection of human rights in a workshop organised by the South African Human Rights on 28 August 2003, in Johannesburg

Made a presentation to Foreign Affairs diplomatic trainees about the role & significance of the institution of traditional leadership in the new dispensation, May 30 2003.

Addressed the American Embassy how traditional leaders operate in the new dispensation, October 7,2003.

Attended a breakfast meeting with the Sunday Times and Sowetan Sunday World, Sheraton in Pretoria, 1 October 2003. Concerns were raised about the media not covering rural communities.

The Deputy Chairperson has undertaken the following international visits during the 2003/04 financial year:

Challenges for the Office of the Chairperson

These are outstanding issues, some of which were mentioned in the NHTL last year's Annual Report.

Envisaged establishment of a continental organization of traditional leaders. While the NHTL still need the support and guidance of the department of Provincial & Local Government, it is necessary if we de- link from the department and become an autonomous statutory body or be relocated to the Presidency Need a chamber in Parliament in order to be able to fulfil the NHTL's legislative mandate. To amend the Act of the NHTL to make it possible for the House to have permanently appointed staff.

To become more involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS and poverty.

To become more involved in the Integrated Rural Development Programme

To actively take part in the Law making process. This exercise will broaden our democracy and make it more credible

To agree with Parliament on the process of making inputs to the law making process especially in the NCOP.

To influence the establishment of the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders in the Northern Cape for the San and Khoi communities. Government uses their language in its Coat of Arms and the NHTL view it as its responsibility to assist them.