!' Aru | Khuisi doing a blessing ceremony. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency(ANA)

Makhanda - In an announcement in Parliament on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership bill into law. 

While the bill gives more autonomy to Khoisan peoples and their leadership structures, concerns have been raised about how this affects the traditional rule of law in these communities.

The concern is that it gives traditional leaders the right to enter into agreements on the use of land, without the consent of the people. The Bill provides that traditional leaders and councils can sign deals with investment companies without obtaining the consent of those whose land rights are affected.

However, the new law has also been praised for recognising the independence and the culture of the Khoisan.

Civil society had anticipated that the president would refer the Bill back to Parliament after two panel reports warned that provisions of the Bill were in breach of fundamental Constitutional rights. 

While civil society has repeatedly lauded that the Bill takes steps to recognise Khoisan leaders and structures, there is a concern about the cost at which this recognition has come. 

African News Agency (ANA)