King’s portrait plan

2010-02-24 00:00

ZULU King Goodwill Zwelithini wants the KwaZulu-Natal government to ensure that his portraits are displayed in public areas such as stadiums and airports before the 2010 Fifa World Cup begins.

Addressing the opening of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature at the Royal Showgrounds yesterday, Zwelithini said the display of his portraits will complement Tourism KZN’s Kingdom of the Zulu logo that people see as they arrive in Durban.

“One of the challenges we are facing is to elevate the king’s palaces to the level that befits the Royal Household. In that way (displaying the King’s portraits), the government will not be ashamed of showing our palaces to visitors,” Zwelithini said.

KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize’s spokesperson, Ndabezinhle Sibiya, said the Premier and his Provincial Executive Council will definitely look at the proposal presented by His Majesty the king.

Speaking about the coming 2010 Fifa World Cup, the king appealed to business people not to overcharge tourists.

“Let us resist the temptation of inflating our prices because we think that our visitors will not feel the pinch due to the strength of their currencies. It is not good for the country when visitors leave with a picture of us as greedy hosts. Let us sustain ourselves in an ethical and honest manner. Let us resist corrupt means in both public and private sectors.”

Regarding the call he made in September last year for the return of circumcision, he emphasised that the call was supported by proven research that it minimises the rate of sexually transmitted diseases, not that it will prevent HIV transmission to those circumcised.

“I heard that others are confused. I put it clear that circumcision is a ritual that promotes hygiene among men. I do not want my action to be interpreted as saying that those who are circumcised cannot be infected with HIV and Aids. I am not encouraging people to act irresponsibly just because they are circumcised,” he said.

The king appealed to those who are stealing government money to “please stop stealing”.

On education he urged the department’s MEC, Senzo Mchunu, to ensure that global warming is part of the school curriculum.

“Learners must have books that illustrate the dangers of cutting trees, starting veld fires, negligent waste disposal and harmful emissions caused by industry and our motorised world. It would be commendable if the government could apprehend and [bring] to book those who are destroying trees.”

He also voiced his concern about rural roads infrastructure, saying after the sod-turning ceremonies and the beginning of construction work, it takes years for the projects to be completed. He described provincial roads as very dangerous, mainly because of potholes and stray animals.

He advised the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department to do proper research before approving the installation of amakhosi, a function that he undertakes as the constitutional monarch of the province.

“I would recommend that the department conduct thorough research and ensure that we install the right and legitimate [amakhosi],” he said.

He reiterated a call that amakhosi should be trained to propose projects for rural development and that they should be listened to when they table such requests.

Zwelithini also congratulated the premier for his government’s high rating following the Ipsos Markinor survey released last week that found that 70% of KwaZulu-Natal citizens approved of the government.

The monarch urged citizens to get involved in development of the province and not to rely on foreign handouts. “The eagerness to live and to be victorious is in our hands. I do not trust in foreign citizens. I do not trust in those who have passed on. I do not trust in scientists. I do not trust in heavyweights and those who have a history of overcoming struggles for others. I trust in you!”

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