Public Relations

After 500 years,Khoi and San groups welcome New Act

The Cape Town Khoi-San community has concluded Human Rights month (March) on a high note, following the new Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Act (Act 3 of 2019). The Act gives recognition to the Khoi and San communities and their leadership positions.

Kei Korana Chief Vincent Valensky said the Act left much room for uncertainty; however, he welcomed it as a move in the right direction.“After 500 years of colonisation and being marginalised, the government of the day has recognised us. Our history is in the archives and recognises us as the first people of South Africa.

“However, the government took long to recognise us. We are working to have our ancestral land back. We want to claim back the Cape Colony, which originally belongs to the Koranas. We need our land and our status back so that we are able to govern and rule ourselves,” he said.

On the other hand,Khoebaha of the Transfrontier ,Korana Melvin Arendse said they were concerned by the lack of capacity and infrastructure support.

“After 480 years, there is a lot of technical merits required by this law in terms of genealogy and ancestry, and there are no resources or support coming from the government in order to help Khoi and San communities prepare their submissions for recognition, which is a very complex process and difficult.Arendse said the Act should bring about a new intersection for the Korana people.

Chief Adviser of Genadendal Royal House of Khoi Khoi, Claude Pietersen said with the funds that would be available, the Khoi-San leaders should tap into the resources to help the community that has been struck by poverty.

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