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King Misuzulu rolls up his sleeves to fight rural poverty and unemployment

By Zukile Majova

There are already clues of how King Misuzulu kaZwelithini plans to wield the enormous power that comes with his massive popularity.

The newly crowned king of the Zulu nation has begun new programmes that will see him running his kingdom as both a king and a company board chairman.

A report prepared in 2020 by Amin Mia, Chief Financial Officer of the Ingonyama Trust Board, showed that the trust had total assets of R25.290 billion as well as 28,000 square kilometres of land in KwaZulu-Natal.

Over the years critics of the Zulu royal family have tried to use the trust and its wealth to create a wedge between the king and his people. So the affairs of the trust appeared to be secret and its resources hardly benefited the poor in the 15-million strong Zulu nation.

All this is about to change, as King Misuzulu has promised to use the trust to promote rural development in KZN and to fight poverty and unemployment.

Last week the ANC KZN leadership met the board of the Ingonyama Trust to fast track the release of vast pieces of land for development.

ANC secretary Bheki Mtolo addressed the media, saying it “was agreed legal processes should be speeded up to ensure identified land is handed over to municipalities for development.

“Part of the agreement is also to [clear] obstructions to the passing of freehold land ownership to persons in former black townships.”

In another display of his efforts to encourage job creation in Northern Zululand, the king led the sod turning [ground-breaking] ceremony for a new coal mine in Newcastle.

His majesty is also expected to deliver the main address in the first Zulu Kingdom Investment Conference.

The two-day conference, to be held in Durban, is organised by the eminent Heritage Development Trust and is designed to unlock investment opportunities in the king’s land.

Besides his boardroom responsibilities, King Misuzulu is using his influence in the fight against gender-based violence and femicide.

The king has invited all men and Amabutho kaZulu to meet him at the Kingsmead Stadium in Durban this Saturday to form a new bulwark against domestic violence and the rape and murder of women and children.

In the wider context there is a running battle between the ANC and the IFP for control of the king’s influence that is expected to intensify ahead of the national general elections in 2024.

Pictured above: King Misuzulu

Image source: @TheCitizen

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