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13 October 2022

14:00 -15:30 pm


Legislative Initiatives and Provisions on Traditional Leader’s Role in South Africa: Imperatives and Implications


Presenter  : Shimreisa Chahongnao

Discussant : Dineo Skosana


What is the role of traditional leaders under South Africa’s law? This paper analyses the relationship between historical contingencies and political ideals as instrumental factors of policy making. The recognition of traditional leaders in South Africa’s new Constitution proffered the debate between the modern constitutionalist – who sees it as anachronistic and conciliatory – and the traditionalist, who argues for cultural rights. Given the fluidity that culture embodies, it also enquires what implications ensued in the following years in the state and society’s interfaces concerning legal developments. The study uses exploratory research based on primary and secondary data. It looks at the public debates on the laws of the republic and interviews with academicians. Secondary data relies on historical sources, cultural studies, and think tank publications on the issue. Preliminary findings suggest that political structures and their agencies are consequent upon historical contingencies, particularly from a political economy perspective.