In an about-turn, KwaZulu Natal premier, Sihle Zikalala, says the provincial government will support the AmaZulu royal family’s plan to hold a memorial service for the late King Goodwill Zwelithini next Saturday.
This, after traditional prime minister of the AmaZulu nation, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi expressed surprise at the provincial cabinet’s announcement that they will hold the memorial at kwaKhethomthandayo Palace at Nongoma.
The provincial cabinet said in a statement that a memorial for the late King Goodwill Zwelithini will take place at the KwaKhethomthandayo Palace at Nongoma, and that the royal family will participate.
The memorial marks the passing of the late king a year ago. Buthelezi says the queens have been discussing the royal family’s decision to hold a memorial service, and that they asked government to help pay for catering.
According to Buthelezi, the queens decided that the KwaKhangelamankengane Palace would be the appropriate venue partly because nominated king Misuzulu KaZwelithini was snubbed by a daughter of the late king.
Addressing the media following Buthelezi’s statement, Zikalala said the provincial government will not hold a separate event.
“In our statement today, we said led by the royal house, so it’s not our prayer, but the prayer will be led by the royal house, whether the prayer will be as announced by Prince Buthelezi, the government will be informed, and will follow those processes, whether there will be a need for financial engagement and support that will be discussed in the process.”
Zikalala says the issue of the nomination and coronation of the next AmaZulu king is now being handled by the Presidency.
Court gives green light for Prince Misuzulu KaZwelithini’s coronation:
He says this includes whether the ruling by the Pietermaritzburg High Court on applications for interdicts about the late king’s will, will have an impact on the process.
“The issue of coronation will be done after the presidency exhausts processes that are involved. So that is left with the presidency, we did submit everything and it is with the presidency. And with regards to the impact of the judgement also, I believe we’ll engage with the judgement and see whether it impacts or not impact the coronation process.”
Meanwhile, Zikalala says they are concerned that the recent Constitutional Court judgement which declared the 2017 Preferential Procurement Regulations invalid will paralyse government services.
“In response, National Treasury issued a communique to all organs of state to stop issuing tenders, until it has received clarification from the Court as to whether the Regulations will still be valid until February 2023 or not. On behalf of the Provincial government, we wish to state that we are concerned with the paralysis and backlog in the supply chain that this will create. It is our view that this decision amounts to a possible liquidation of government services.”
Zikalala also says the province’s economy is showing signs of recovery. He says they are engaging with investors to address the increasing unemployment rate and job creation.
“Our government continues to engage with local investors and businesses, next week we will host a summit of the KwaZulu-Natal growth coalition on the South Coast. This activity will bring together more than 100 CEOs of companies. Our target is to address our unemployment rate, which has now risen to 28.7%, from about 23% before the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Zikalala adds that more than two-thousand jobs will be created following investments by several companies in the province. He says they’ll engage the national government regarding the re-opening of stadiums to fans as sports play a huge part in the economy.