Isilo’s brand makeover

2018-03-14 13:45
Zulu King Goodwill Zwelethini

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelethini (Jabulani Langa)

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The Royal Household Trust wants Isilo to go global, and is spending R650 000 on a brand makeover for Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini.

The trust is planning to hire U.S.-based consulting firm B&C International to handle the rebranding of the Zulu monarch. The plan is contained in the trust’s revenue generation plan, which was presented to the Office of the Premier portfolio committee meeting at the legislature in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.

The trust, which was allocated close to R60 million in the 2017/18 budget, was allocated an additional R5 million to start fund-raising initiatives so that in future it does not depend on government funding.

The trust has allocated R650 000 “to elevate the global brand, status and image of His Majesty” with a view to attracting foreign investment, the trust’s chief financial officer, Bonginkosi Qunta, said on Tuesday. “This will en­able the trust to identify and attract foreign investment opportunities that will strengthen the economic viability of the monarchy,” he said.

Committee members described the trust’s plan as a “wish list”, saying there was nothing convincing in it.

The trust said there were also plans for Omnimedia media company to partner with an SA media company for them to open and operate a TV satellite channel through which Chinese, South African and Zulu content will be broadcast as a fund-raising initiative.

The trust is also planning the development of a King Shaka theme park, and the Zulu king had made land available near the Black Mfolozi river in Nongoma.

Qunta said the five-year revenue generating plan may not generate revenue in the first and second years of implementation.

“It may break even in the third and fourth year. In the fifth and subsequent years the investment is expected to start showing positive returns on investment,” he said.

Acting committee chairperson Gloria Swartbooi-Ntombela slammed the plan, saying it was not convincing.

“There is nothing tangible in this document that says this is how we are going to generate revenue. To me, it is just things that you want to do,” she said.

EFF MPL Vusi Khoza said the plan left much to be desired.

“[It] looks like a wish list to me. Whether we get the results for money invested, will all depend on the goodwill of the people. You cannot depend on those things,” he said.

Meanwhile, the committee sought to clarify the confusion over the king’s salary.

While delivering his address at the opening of the provincial legislature last month, the Zulu king said he did not receive any stipend from government.

In a written response to the committee, the Office of the Premier said the king was receiving an annual allowance of R1 176 760.

The committee had asked for the figure following the king’s speech.

ANC MPL Amon Zondi said it must be made clear that the Zulu king was indeed receiving an allowance from government. “It must be put on the record. It is misleading the country that the king does not receive any stipend from government,” said Zondi.

Committee members also added that on top of the allowance received by Zwelithini, the queens also receive stipends from the trust.

The trust also covers other costs such as tuition fees, transportation and medical expenses for the royal family, as well as the royal farming activities.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  king goodwill zwelethini

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