King Goodwill Zwelithini's budget increases slightly to just over R66m
Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini’s annual budget has increased slightly, from R65.8m in 2018 to R66,719m — the same figure announced by former provincial finance MEC Belinda Scott during her budget speech in March.
The Zulu royal household’s annual budget was announced by KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala during his budget announcement in the provincial legislature in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday.
Zikalala’s office, which is responsible for the Royal Household Trust, was allocated a total budget of R714m for the 2019/2020 financial year. Zikalala said his office would give support to the trust, and funds would be transferred accordingly.
“His majesty the king serves as a symbol of unity in KwaZulu-Natal and continues to be the custodian of Zulu culture, an important defining character of this province,” he said.
He said the king would be supported during various important ceremonies and traditional functions in the province. These included the official openings of the provincial legislature and the KZN house of traditional leaders.
As has been the case in the past, the provincial government would continue to support the royal household in hosting traditional events such as the annual reed dance, the first fruits ceremony (Umkhosi Woselwa), amaganu ceremonies, Umkhosi Womama and the installation of amakhosi.
Zikalala said a revenue-generation plan had been developed for the trust and was expected to be implemented this financial year.
“The plan will take advantage of public-private partnerships as catalysts for revenue generation in the long term,” said Zikalala.
The Zulu monarch, who has often come under fire for his lavish spending, has maintained that he is entitled to the money as it is derived from taxes on his subjects.
The trust was established by former KwaZulu-Natal premier S’bu Ndebele in 2007 in a bid to make the king and royal household self-sustainable and generate its own revenue, like the British royal family.
Early last year‚ it was announced that the trust would be spending R650‚000 on a brand makeover of the Zulu king. The trust said it was planning to hire US-based consulting firm B&C International to handle the rebranding.
During the official opening of the legislature last year, the king lashed out at the trust, saying it had failed and he did not benefit from it.
“I’m not getting paid from the budget of the Royal Household Trust. Maybe some people think I am getting a salary,” he said.
He told Ndebele, who was a guest at the official opening of the legislature: “I’m happy that the person who started the king’s trust is here. I know you meant well, but it did not go according to the way you wanted it to.”