Zulu queens’ hefty clothing bills revealed in analysis of royal costs

2008-04-10 00:00

JUST over half a million rand (R533 000) of taxpayers’ money was spent on clothing for the Zulu queens between June and October last year.

The Royal Household Department spent R133 000 in June alone to clothe Queen Mantfombi of KwaKhangela Palace, while a further R183 000 was spent on her clothing the following month.

These are some of the recent findings by the provincial Treasury after an analysis of the Royal Household’s expenditure patterns.

A summary of the findings, circulated to members of the legislature’s Finance committee yesterday, raises concern over expenditure on clothes, while noting that it is “not clear” if this is the department’s responsibility.

Another area of concern to Treasury is the “high” expenditure on entertainment. The report summary states that expenditure on “entertainment management” from April 2007 to September 2007 amounted to R1,168 million under programme one (the administration and support services to the king).

A further R1,446 million was incurred under programme two (planning and development).

The bulk of the money was spent on catering services; the hiring of marquees, toilets, stages and music systems.

Yesterday, members of the Finance committee called on Kwazi Mbanjwa, the director-general in the province, to establish whether spending on these items is in violation of the Public Finance Management Act.

The acting head of the Royal Household, Vusi Shongwe, could not comment on the findings, saying that he had not seen them.

In a bid to stabilise the beleaguered department, the provincial government will be taking over some of the functions.

Mbanjwa is to act as the head of the department, while the chief financial officer in the premier’s department, Rodger Govender, will also hold the same position at Royal Household.

Shongwe will become a full member of the soon-to-be established Royal Trust.

bmbanjwa@witness.co.za

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