King Goodwill Zwelithini urges citizens to turn SA into 'Garden of Eden'
Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has called for political tolerance among political parties ahead of the May 8 general elections.
He was speaking during the last official opening of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature at Royal Show Grounds in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.
The Zulu monarch said a peaceful election would make it easier to lure investors to the country.
"There is no doubt that SA is facing numerous challenges at the moment. While we must continue to acknowledge great strides that have been achieved, it stands to reason that we must continue to challenge ourselves as a people," he said.
He also endorsed President Cyril Ramaphosa's "Thuma Mina" campaign which is aimed at galvanising South Africans to work towards a common goal of uplifitng the country's economy.
"The cost of living has become astronomically high. For us to live in these times, it will call for a new way of thinking. I guess this is the same spirit of 'Thuma Mina' the state president has been preaching about," he said.
The king also supported Ramphosa's call to turn SA into a "Garden of Eden" - which he made while addressing traditional leaders recently.
During his address Ramaphosa emphasised his support for the agricultural sector and committed his government to supporting rural areas where agricultural enterprises should be happening.
"A nation that cannot feed itself is a dead nation. One of the three scourges faced by SA is poverty. I am certain that poverty is something to be studiously avoided.
"There is no honour, no dignity and no rights in poverty. But this one thing agriculture can end poverty completely," said the king.
He said if "Thuma Mina" was to be realised, South Africans could no longer rest on their laurels.
"There must be better co-ordination of all government policies from the national development plan to the provincial growth development plan to district plans as well as agri-parks the government has been talking about. Here lies a secret to our success as a nation," he said.
King Zwelithini said agriculture and agri-business were generally the backbone of every civilised society the world over.
"Whether you are a scientist, doctor, teacher, priest or politician, you are always going to eat. Food is enjoyed during times of celebrations, commemorations as well as bereavements. Every family is a family because because they can sit around a table and enjoy food."