The money is used to maintain Zwelithini’s royal palaces, his lifestyle, his six wives and close to 30 children.
KwaZulu-Natal premier Willies Mchunu announced this week that Zwelithini would receive R58.9-million in the 2017/18 financial year, an increase over the R48.8-million he received the year before.
Even the rural ANC in the province was unhappy with the performance of the Royal Household Trust, the body that handles the king’s finances.
“We have not seen returns for the money that has been invested by the province,” said ANC MPL Sipho Gcabashe.
The amount “invested” is large.
In the 2007/08 year, Zwelithini was allocated just under R36.5-million. This worked out to R3-million a month, the lowest annual allocation in 10 years.
His budget shot up to R39.4-million the following year and was raised further in the years thereafter. In an attempt to rein in the finances, the budget was clipped to R54.2-million for 2014/15.
There was then another attempt to clip the monarch’s wings, with his budget being reduced to R48.8-million for 2016/17.
The king has spent his cash on his palaces, private flights and various trips.
His 2014 wedding to Zola Mafu cost nearly R4-million, and monthly stipends for his wives in that same year were R31,000 tax-free.
There was a cellphone allowance for each wife.
He also spent nearly R1-million in 2014 on the tuition and boarding of his children and a grandchild.