The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government has increased King Goodwill Zwelithini’s annual budget by R4.5 million – to a whopping R71.3 million.
Premier Sihle Zikalala announced this on Tuesday when he delivered his budget speech at the provincial legislature.
Zikalala said the Zulu monarchy was still a key institution in the democratic dispensation and it was the provincial government’s prerogative to financially support it.
“In the sixth administration, the monarch still plays a crucial role in supporting government programmes and preserving culture ... In the 2020/2021 budget, the king’s support and royal house branch have been allocated R71.3 million,” said Zikalala.
In the last financial year, the Zulu royal household received R66.7 million, a figure that has been increased by R4.5 million by the province whose fiscus has been severely constrained by having the third most the Covid-19 coronavirus infections.
However, Zikalala added that the Zulu Royal House Trust would be expected to focus on revenue-generating activities to benefit the province’s citizens.
“A revenue-generating plan has been developed. The trust will perform upgrades, repairs and maintenance on all eight royal palaces, including KwaDlamahlahla, KwaKhethomthandayo, KwaKhangela, KwaLinduzulu, eNyokeni, Osuthu, Ondini and eMachobeni/Ingwavuma,” said Zikhalala.
During last year’s speech, he announced an increase of Zwelithini’s annual budget from R65.8 million in 2018 to R66.719 million.
Kings, queens and other traditional leaders also received a monthly salary from government.
Last month, through a gazette, government published the official salaries it pays to kings, queens and other traditional leaders in South Africa.
Zikalala said the king’s annual budget helped in the coordination and management of Zwelithini’s traditional and cultural events, providing logistical services and the maintenance of the royal palaces.
“The king support and royal house unit will continue to partake in important national ceremonies and traditional functions of the province. These include the openings of the provincial legislature and the traditional house and hosting various cultural events. His majesty will also continue to install amakhosi and in terms of traditional customs,” said Zikalala.
He also announced that the province would contribute R6 billion to the national Covid-19 fund.