President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act into law, his office confirmed . Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act into law, his office confirmed on Friday.

The contested legislation gives statutory recognition to the Khoi-San communities, leaders and structures, and seeks to bring traditional Khoi-San institutions in line with constitutional imperatives, notably the Bill of Rights.

"Furthermore, the Act directs that the kingship or queenship, principal traditional community, headmanship, headwomanship and Khoi-San communities must transform and adopt customary law and customs in a manner that is consistent with the principles contained in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution."

Critics of the new law say it, in fact, disenfranchises poor communities further by placing too much power in the hands of Khoisan communities to enter into agreements without sufficient input from affected communities.

African News Agency (ANA)