Royal finances better run

2013-06-21 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Royal Household Department is turning the corner in managing its finances, Premier Zweli Mkhize said yesterday.

At least R3,7 million would be saved by the end of the financial year, he told the legislature during the department’s budget vote.

The department, which falls under the premier’s office, looks after the affairs of the Zulu royal family and has been notorious for overspending over the past few years.

Mkhize told journalists that much had been done to arrest the over-spending.

“There had been policy reforms and [they are] managing the administration more tightly and also investigating all the daily expenditure, including the daily accounts,” he said.

Sipho Gcabashe, the Royal Household portfolio committee chairperson, said the effects of the over expenditure of the past years were still being felt.

At the beginning of every financial year, preferential debts from previous years had to be settled.

This, he said, was affecting service delivery within the department.

Mkhize said while some of the royal residences were undergoing renovations as they were in a poor state, there was a possibility that some would need to be reconstructed because of old age in the future. As much as R15 million has been set aside to renovate some of the palaces.

The IFP’s Blessed Gwala was critical of how the Royal Household was treated, saying the incompetence of some of the staff in the department had led to an embarrassing situation for the royal family.

The DA’s Sizwe Mchunu said the Royal Household should be treated with the dignity it deserved and could provide unique economic opportunities for the province.

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