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Zulu king wants rural development bank

May 02 2012 16:46 Sapa

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Pietermaritzburg - Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini called on Wednesday for the establishment of a development bank to serve rural communities, which he said were often neglected by the major banks.

"Rural communities are not catered for in the current environment by the banking sector, and such a bank will help in attending to this," the king told delegates at the launch of the Ingonyama Rural Development Forum in Pietermaritzburg.

The forum is regarded as a key structure which will help in rolling out development in rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal. About 40% of the land in the province falls under Ingonyama Trust, with the king as the custodian.

Although KwaZulu-Natal had Ithala, which is a development bank owned by the provincial government, he said many people struggled to get help from it.

The envisaged development bank would take a cooperative form and illustrate how communities were able to sustain themselves.

"Some will recall that rural communities used to build schools and other centres by pooling their resources together, because their areas were neglected under apartheid," he said in outlining the vision of the bank and how it could operate.

Zwelithini cited other countries such as Botswana, where important centres were established by rural communities which set up savings schemes and banks.

“It is because of past results in other countries that I am convinced that such a bank will help in meeting (the) needs of poor rural communities,” he said.

He challenged amakhosi (traditional leaders) to play a leading role in development, saying through the forum they would dispel the misconception that they were against development.

The king emphasised the need for closer cooperation between traditional leaders and elected public representatives in government in driving development in the province.

goodwill zwelithini  |  pietermaritzburg
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