Environmental Development Agency Trust
The Environmental and Development Agency (EDA) Trust is a non-governmental organisation with over 20 years of experience in integrated rural development in the communal areas of South Africa. EDA works with rural communities and organisations in the Herschel and Maluti sub-regions of the Eastern Cape, in the southern and central districts of the Northern Province and in the Bronkhorstspruit district in Mpumalanga/Gauteng. EDA is affiliated to a number of rural networks of NGOs and CBOs, and will work to widen the discussions on traditional leaders and institutions into these networks, and to encourage broad participation in the popular formulation of policy at all levels.
EDA is concerned that the roles and functions of traditional leaders remain unclarified six years after the first democratic elections. Practical experience demonstrates that this is a stumbling block in the way of rural development in communal areas. We welcome the Department of Provincial and Local Government’s decision to proceed with a legislative process in this regard. We count on it leading to clear policy and legislation which serves to resolve the impasse and allow for co-ordinated and effective development interventions in the rural areas. We also welcome this opportunity to present our initial ideas to the Portfolio Committee for consideration.