On Tuesday, Premier Willies Mchunu tabled his office’s budget at the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature which brought to lime light the financial affairs of King Goodwill Zwelithini.
During his budget speech‚ Mchunu laid emphasis on the affairs of the Royal Household Trust and its failure to fundraise for Zwelithini.
Mchunu said the Royal Household – which is now a sub-programme falling under his office following the abolishment of the Royal Household Department in December 2014 – would receive R58.8-million in the 2017/18 year.
He also said that only R16.5-million will be utilised by the Royal Household Trust.
The Premier’s office‚ whose total budget stands at R742.1-million‚ is the responsible department for the Royal Household Trust.
“The Royal Household Trust is fundamentally also responsible for fundraising and commercialisation of the king’s grazing land. So far there has not been any visible achievement in fundraising activities and this matter will be addressed with the Trust as a matter of urgency with a view to improve the work of the Trust in this aspect‚” said Mchunu.
He said the R16.5-million for the Royal Household Trust would cater for the remuneration of staff‚ seven board members‚ as well as the queens’ expenses‚ including travel and accommodation.
“The maintenance of the royal palaces is the responsibility of the Royal Household Trust. In addition‚ the Trust provides for other costs such as tuition fees‚ transportation and medical expenses for the royal family‚ as well as the royal farming activities‚” said Mchunu.
The remaining R42-million will assist the king as he partakes in various important ceremonies and traditional functions in the province.
Mchunu said these include the opening of the KZN Provincial Legislature‚ opening of the Traditional House‚ and hosting various traditional events‚ such as the Reed Dance‚ First Fruits ceremony (Umkhosi Woselwa)‚ Amaganu ceremonies‚ and Umkhosi woMama.
“His Majesty‚ the King will also continue to install Amakhosi statutorily and in terms of custom‚” said Mchunu. However‚ despite the concerns‚ the king’s budget was markedly increased from the R48.8-million he received in last year’s budget – which itself had been reduced from R56.5-million in 2015/16.