It’s the second time within two months that Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has complained about the money his kingdom receives from the government.
As well as hinting that the R58m fund for The Royal Household Department wasn’t enough, he claimed his million-rand salary wasn’t acceptable. In fact, he literally said a monthly wage of roughly R50,000 was not ‘fit for a king’.
Where does the money go?
The Royal Household is responsible for renovating the King’s palace, maintaining his extensive fleet of vehicles and covering numerous travel costs. This department also accounts for the ‘general upkeep’ of Zwelithini, his six wives, and 30+ kids.
The ruler of Zululand territory in KwaZulu-Natal delivered a speech at the King Shaka celebrations held in KwaDukuza on Sunday, where he voiced his contentious opinion. He feels his subjects pay too much tax to warrant the ‘small’ government grant of R58m:
“Our provincial government does not recognise me. Not in a form of a stipend that is fit for a king of the Zulus who pay so much tax in this country. You, as the Zulus, contributed to building Joburg, Cape Town and Durban. It is you who were working in the mines.”
Does the Zulu King need more money?
Despite pleading poverty, Zwelithini still finds the money for the finer things in life. Take his 69th birthday back in July, for example. He chose plush surroundings and an expensive dinner party to declare his dissatisfaction of ‘only’ receiving R58m a year.
The King also used Sunday’s speech to reiterate his desire to reclaim land that was ‘taken from him’. He does not agree with the government distributing ‘his land’ to others without even consulting him or asking for permission.
Royalty and Monarchs are little more than symbolic powerhouses in South Africa. Though they carry the prestige of their title, they have very little political power. They are mainly used in advisory capacities and to intervene in rural issues
For now, Goodwill Zwelithini will have to remain royally cheesed off. It doesn’t look like there’ll be a pay rise any time soon.