Durban - The Inkatha Freedom Party in KwaZulu Natal welcomed King Goodwill Zwelithini's address at the opening of the provincial legislature in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.

“He has highlighted some vital issues that need a close scope when being tackled,” IFP national chairman Blessed Gwala said.

The IFP applauded the king for his call for a mining dialogue, he said.

“It is vital that we have such an engagement, since mining plays such an important role not only in our economy, but in the society as a whole,” Gwala said.

He said the IFP supported Zwelithini's approach to rural development.

“It is the IFP's belief that traditional leaders should be at the centre of any development in their areas,” Gwala said.

The IFP accepted the report-back by the king on the issue of the Ingonyama Rural Development Forum, and said the monarchy had demonstrated the importance of accountability. - Sapa