As part of government’s commitment towards supporting the royal family, King Goodwill Zwelithini and the entire Zulu royal family will be receiving the huge sum of R58.8-million for the 2017/18 budget.
This was announced on Tuesday by Premier Willies Mchunu who tabled his office’s budget at the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature.
He said his office which have been vested with the responsibility of supporting the Zulu royal family -after the Royal Household Department was abolished in December 2014, will be giving the king the sum of R58.8-million for the financial year.
The money budgeted for the royal family was markedly increased from the R48.8-million he received in last year’s budget – which itself was reduced from R56.5-million in 2015/16.
Breaking down how the money will be used, Premier Mchunu said the royal household Trust will be using only R16.5-million while the remaining R42-million will be used to assist the king in other important ceremonies and traditional functions in the province through out the year.
As part of its expenses for the year, the Royal Household Trust is expected to cater for the remuneration of staff‚ seven board members‚ as well as the queens’ expenses‚ including travel and accommodation.
“The maintenance of the royal palaces is the responsibility of the Royal Household Trust. In addition‚ the Trust provides for other costs such as tuition fees‚ transportation and medical expenses for the royal family‚ as well as the royal farming activities‚” said Mchunu.
On the other hand, the R42 million will take care of ceremonies like the opening of the KZN Provincial Legislature‚ opening of the Traditional House‚ and hosting various traditional events‚ such as the Reed Dance‚ First Fruits ceremony (Umkhosi Woselwa)‚ Amaganu ceremonies‚ and Umkhosi woMama.
“His Majesty‚ the King will also continue to install Amakhosi statutorily and in terms of custom‚” said Mchunu.
The premier however, reiterated his concern over the lack of direction of the Royal Household Trust and lack of accountability of the state of the monarch’s farms, saying it has caused some consternation among the ANC and opposition MPLs.
Mchunu also said that he was not pleased with the affairs of the Royal Household Trust and its failure to fund-raise for Zwelithini. But despite all that, his office will remain committed towards assisting the Zulu royal family.
Meanwhile, Opposition parties‚ particularly the IFP and the NFP responded to the budget saying they are not happy with the ways the royal family’s Household Trust was operating.
IFP leader Blessed Gwala said that the Household Trust is failing to meet its obligations for the most important citizen of this province, while NFP’s Njabulo Mlaba said there was no accountability in the Royal Household Trust.
Even now, there’s no business plan in the trust and it cannot even fund-raise‚ said Mlaba.