The frenzy of excitement over the British royal visit to South Africa continues. But the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa isn’t impressed by the attention being given to Prince Harry and his wife. Courtesy #DStv403
JOHANNESBURG - The frenzy of excitement over the British royal visit to South Africa continues but the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa isn’t impressed by the attention being given to Prince Harry and his wife.
South African traditional leaders believe the British royals visit is much ado about nothing.
“You would remember in 1835, I’m making an example, King Hintsa was slaughtered like an animal, by his forebears, but he’s in this country now,” said Prince Manene Tabane from Contralesa.
In both South Africa and Britain, traditional leadership is recognised by law.
In Britain, Queen Elizabeth is head of state, but her role is ceremonial and to maintain her political neutrality, the Queen doesn’t vote and can’t stand for political election.
In South Africa, the law doesn’t stop traditional leaders from joining political parties or standing for election.
While traditional leaders in South Africa are largely symbolic figureheads, they also help resolve disputes among their people.
In contrast to the single British royal family, South Africa has 11 recognised kingships and queenships.
Each king or queen gets an annual salary of just over R1.2-million from government but some provinces make extra allocations, with AmaZulu King Goodwill Zwelithini’s budget for the current financial year standing at R66-million.
However, that’s paltry compared with the British royal family.
For the financial year that ended in March, they spent R1.2 billion largely on travel, property maintenance, housekeeping and hospitality, among other things.
One common thing about traditional leaders, whether in Britain or South Africa, is they don’t come cheap.