Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini receives preferential treatment from the government over other traditional leaders, according to a report on Monday.
The Citizen reported that Traditional Leaders' Congress of SA head Phathekile Holomisa said Zwelithini was being favoured.
"The Zulu king is treated differently from the Pondo king, the Pedi king, the Ndebele king and the Venda king."
Zwelithini and his entourage recently stayed at an exclusive Durban hotel, at a reported cost of R150,000 to the taxpayer.
The Zulu king had also asked the provincial government for R18 million to build new royal houses. According to The Citizen, Zwelithini also wanted R12m to build a palace for his sixth wife.
Albert Mncwango, an induna of Zwelithini's, said Holomisa should "stay out of our business" and said the implications of his complaint "smacks of racism".
"Zulu's have a distinct history and pure bloodline and cannot be compared to other kings," he said.
Poverty in the province was the government's responsibility and was not Zwelithini's problem.
"If it is good for Prince Harry to splash million of pounds on luxury hotels, why is it wrong for our king to spend the night in a five-star hotel?"