King Goodwill Zwelithini. Picture: S'bonelo Ngcobo

The Zulu royal trust, announced with fanfare by KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize in 2010 to turn around the chaotic finances of King Goodwill Zwelithini, has spent almost a year negotiating a legal minefield before mobilising funds to ensure that the royal house is self-sufficient.

This emerged from a briefing by the premier to the Zulu royal household portfolio committee in Pietermaritzburg this week.

Mkhize conceded to the committee that the trust had not been able to do things that it was set up for because there were constraints imposed by the requirement to meet the prescripts of the Public Finance Management Act.

In terms of the act, all funds raised by a public entity, which the trust is, should be sent back to the Treasury and not to service the royal house.

He said what was needed was a “hybrid” entity that would enable the trust to raise private funds.

In an interview with The Mercury, the chairman of the trust, Judge Jerome Ngwenya

, said it was beginning to raise funds. “But there is something of a challenge in that if we raise money aggressively, it will go back to the Treasury.

“We are working with the government’s legal adviser on how to change the legislation governing our operations,” he said.

Ngwenya said the trust had no intention of being a begging organisation. “In terms of fundraising and business opportunities, there are many,” he said, adding that the trust had established a subcommittee on business development.

“There are also a lot of business opportunities to do with the Nguni cattle, with the king being the champion of breeding these cattle. I am looking at one of the proposals around this,” said Ngwenya.