The Zulu king, King Goodwill Zwelithini has been handed three houses valued at R1.7 million from the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government, so that his royal guests will not have to stay in hotels, The Times reported.
All three houses are reportedly being upgraded to the tune of R1.1 million by the provincial government.
Zwelithini reportedly received an annual household budget of R50 million, an annual salary of R1 million and has seven palaces.
The new houses are reportedly part of an old ministerial complex formerly used by KZN provincial ministers. Some have been allocated to provincial department of health officials working in the area.
One of the homes allocated to Zwelithini reportedly is a six-bedroomed house valued at R620 000. The other two are valued at R570,000 and R510,000, The Times reported.
A spokesperson for the Zulu royal family, Prince Thulani Zulu said Zwelithini asked Premier Willies Mchunu for the houses.
"The king wanted to take all 15 and renovate them as a royal village for his international guests because hotels are often fully booked. He was surprised to hear that some of them had been allocated to the department of health. But he has no problem with that.
"He was concerned about state property being left unused, such as some offices in the legislative building in Ulundi. He has decided to move his offices from Nongoma to the old legislative building," said Zulu.
Mchunu's spokesperson, Nda-bezinhle Sibiya told The Times:
"Every year the provincial government is approached by heads of states, ambassadors and captains of industry from many countries wanting to be presented before His Majesty. When such delegations visit they become the responsibility of the government in terms of government protocol. In many instances they require accommodation and these houses will be used for this purpose."