Durban — The Zulu royal family has welcomed a R12 million increase in King Misuzulu’s budget that was announced by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube during her budget speech in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.
Delivering the budget, the premier allocated R79.5m to the Royal Household Trust, a unit in her office responsible for managing the king’s support. The budget came with a whopping R12m increase, which was the first in many years. Last year the king received R67.3m.
The premier announced that the money would go towards maintaining the king’s palaces as well as funding the annual cultural ceremonies, including the famous uMkhosi Womhlanga (reed dance). The premier added that her government would continue with the initial plans to commercialise the king’s farms to make the royal family self-sustainable.
Welcoming the news, the king’s Royal Agent, Prince Africa Zulu, said the increase was quite commendable and reflected a desire for the provincial government to work closely with the Zulu monarch. The prince, however, said there was still an opportunity to find an appropriate platform where members of the legislature could make the necessary adjustments by creating new relevant policies on how it could be spent to make a real impact on the entire Zulu Nation.
Zulu said it would be good to see His Majesty getting powers to manage his budget through his own office, and not through the premier’s.
The prince said the royal family would like to see the king gaining control of the agenda of his budget, and be given an opportunity to fund subjects’ education and own enterprise development within the agriculture and other sectors. The prince also expressed concern that the premier has not yet clarified the non-payment of the king’s legal team.
Asked on the matter, the premier refused to be drawn on the matter, saying she did not want to discuss it with the media, but communication was taking place with the king’s office. The paper reported earlier this month that the king’s law firm, Strauss Daly, was owed R8m in unpaid legal fees. On Tuesday, a representative attorney, Andile Khoza, said they had not received the money.
“When all that is done, people would like to see the impact the budget is having in their communities. I, therefore, take this opportunity to congratulate the KZN government on their will and commitment to work and support the Zulu monarch as always,” said the prince.
Commenting on the budget, IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa said while welcoming the budget that the IFP was still calling on the premier to rescind the government’s decision and restore police in all the late king’s palaces, arguing that they had fallen under the king so there was a great need to be guarded by the police.
Earlier this year all police members who were stationed in the late king’s palaces were removed and placed in various stations, except KwaKhangelamankengane where the king lives.
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