KwaZulu-Natal - Zulu royals have asked the KwaZulu-Natal government to fork out R17 million towards the building of King Goodwill Zwelithini’s new house and the refurbishment of a house into a palace for his youngest queen.
The house – which is expected to cost R12m – would be built at the king’s eNyokeni palace in Nongoma.
According to the estimates a further R5m would be required to refurbish a house at the king’s Kwakhwashakhwasha farm into a palace for, Queen Zola Mafu.
King Zwelithini has seven palaces and six wives.
The plan for this development was presented to the members of the portfolio committee on Royal Household on Tuesday by Mduduzi Mthembu, the chief financial officer at the Royal Household Department.
Mthembu told the Daily News that if approved, the funds would be spread out over three years beginning from the 2013/2014 financial year.
For the house in eNyokeni palace the department would require R4m to start construction with R6m and R2m to be made available in 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 respectively
For the refurbishment of the farm house, the department asked the government to make available R2m in the 2013/2014 financial year with R2m and R1m expected to be released in the last two financial years in the cycle.
“The palace is yet unnamed and would only be named by his majesty the king,” said Mthembu.
Queen Mafu is the only one of the six queens without her own palace. She is staying at the KwaKhangelamankengane palace with Queen Mantfombi.
Previously the king has lamented the state of his palaces, saying they were not befitting his status. But in recent years there have been moves to rectify this while also plans are afoot to ensure that the palaces are self-sustainable.
This year, R20.4m of the Royal Household’s R59m budget was set aside for the planning and development programme which includes palace refurbishment and construction.
Some of the refurbishment that was expected to be undertaken during the current financial year included upgrades to the kwaKhetha, kwaDlamahlahla, ingwavuma and Linduzulu palaces and offices.