Zulu king to get R48.8 million to maintain his lifestyle: report

KwaZulu-Natal premier Willies Mchunu announced this week that Zulu king, Goodwill Zwelithini, would receive R58.9 million from government over the course of the 2017/18 financial year – an increase over the R48.8 million he received the year before, according to a report by Times Live.

This amounts to Zwelithini being given approximately R550 million by government over the course of the past 10 years, according to the report, with Zwelithini allocated R36.5 million during the 2007/08 financial year.

The money will be used to maintain Zwelithini’s royal palaces, his lifestyle, his six wives and close to 30 children.

Traditional kings and senior leaders are symbolic figureheads in the country with little political power. However, these rulers play an important role in local disputes as well as in playing advisory roles to government – and in the lives of the traditional rural populations.

As of 2010, the South African government recognizes seven royal families in the country, after a recommendation by a traditional leadership commission that South Africa lose six of its kings and queens. Of the 13 recognized traditional kingdoms recognized previously, only seven will remain once the current incumbent rulers of the identified kingdoms have passed away.

These are the current salaries of traditional leaders and other officials as published in a February 2017 government gazette.

Position Salary (Rands)
King/Queen 1 126 057
Chairperson: NHTL 817 842
Full Time Chairperson: PHTL 673 603
Deputy Chairperson: NHTL 625 524
Full Time Deputy Chairperson: PHTL 577 281
Full Time Member: NHTL 356 923
Full Time Member: PHTL 305 959
Senior Traditional Leader 228 650
Headmen/Headwomen 96 460

Read: This is how much money Ramaphosa, Mbete, Malema and Maimane will get paid in 2017

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