Traditional Authorities Applied Research Network, Second Report

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The report is an overview of the research findings in South Africa in relation to TAARN’s stated objectives. There is a general overview of the institution of chieftaincy, which notes that the institution has developed over many hundreds of years and is an integral part of black leadership in Africa. In reviewing the history of chieftaincy Lefenya makes a good argument for chieftaincy as a democratic institution, noting the collective nature of tribal authorities, even under the Black Authorities Act of 1951. Lefenya argues that a traditional leader, while the highest authority in the territory, did not act autonomously, but “in collaboration with a tribal council that represented the people”. The purpose of Lefenya’s piece is to link traditional authority to rural governance, particularly in light of the disadvantaged economic condition of South Africa’s rural communities.
South Africa, Traditional Leaders