The budget of South Africa’s powerful Zulu king has been slashed by more than 15% as part of the government’s cost-cutting drive.
The household of Goodwill Zwelithini, the king, will receive 48.8m rand ($3.5m) during the 2016/2017 financial year, down from the 54.2m rand and 57.6m rand in the two previous financial years.
The decision of the Kwazulu-Natal provincial government, led by the African National Congress, was condemned by the opposition Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).
“We can’t have the dignity of His Majesty being undermined in any way,” said IFP MP Blessed Gwala.
However, Kwazulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu said “adequate measures” were in place to continue giving financial help to King Zwelithini, who has six wives and close to 30 children.
“In terms of respect [for the monarch], we will do our utmost to succeed on this one,” he is quoted as saying.
Political analyst Thabani Khumalo told the Daily News that King Zwelithini was likely to accept the cut as South Africa was going through tough times.
“He has to stand with his subjects,” he said.
“We all know we are in a drought and it has affected our lifestyles.”