Zulu king wants to be paid for soil used from trust land for infrastructure projects

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini wants to be paid for soil used by the government to build infrastructure projects such as roads and RDP houses on the Ingonyama Trust land.

The king is so determined to benefit from the sand used on his land that he wants to summon Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and her Mineral Resources counterpart Mosebenzi Zwane to his palace to discuss the issue.

The Ingonyama Trust‚ which administers 2.8-million hectares of land on behalf of King Zwelithini‚ was established in 1994 to be the custodian of the land previously administered by the former KwaZulu-Natal government.

Speaking during a meeting with Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba and traditional leaders at Enyokeni Palace in Nongoma on Friday‚ King Zwelithini said he was concerned about the way government-appointed contractors were using his land.

“I am talking about the abuse of sand and soil by contractors who are doing work for the government and who are trading with something they do not pay for. I am talking about companies that are building infrastructures such as roads and houses‚” he said.

He said the contractors were taking sand from his land without benefiting him and his subjects.

“We’re speaking about something that we see them taking. They can just say this road has cost so many cubic metres of sand so that we can also benefit‚” he said.

He said the contractors who were using sand without paying for it were no different from “people who are depriving us benefits and we need to avoid this situation”.

King Zwelithini said if the government agreed to work with him on the issue of land there was a lot that could be done in the agricultural sector to ensure that the country had enough food and food security.

“We have never had a situation like this before where our people or our country or our government has to import food from neighbouring countries which are being financially supported by us.

“But today our country can’t produce the maize it was producing because people say there is drought and are hiding behind it. Let us protect our people. They suffered too much during apartheid. When we are supposed to be happy that we have attained democracy‚ we should not suffer from hunger. That is not democracy‚” he said.