Sipho Mabena
Premium Journalist
3 minute read
18 Mar 2021
8:03 pm

Questions over Eskom burning millions for Zulu king’s memorial

Sipho Mabena

Cultural experts questioned the preferential treatment the Zulu monarchy received, while energy experts are baffled by the exercise.

Amabutho (Zulu regiments) form a guard of honour as they escort a hearse carrying the body of King Goodwill Zwelithini from a mortuary in Nongoma, KwaZulu Natal on March 17, 2021. - King Goodwill Zwelithini died on March 12, 2021 in the eastern city of Durban, aged 72, after weeks of treatment for a diabetes-related illness. His remains have been taken back to his birthplace, the small southeastern town of Nongoma in Kwa-Zulu Natal province, where he will be laid to rest after midnight. The intimate ceremony, to be conducted behind closed doors at the KwaKhethomthandayo royal residence, is referred to as a "planting" rather than a burial. (Photo by Phill Magakoe / AFP)

Eskom’s decision to suspend load shedding for the sake of the Zulu monarchy has not only got South Africans talking, but it also has experts and activists irate. Eskom announced late on Wednesday that it would suspend load shedding between 10am and 2pm in order to accommodate for King Goodwill Zwelithini’s memorial service on Thursday. The power utility has previously revealed that it costs R10 million per hour to burn diesel in order to generate electricity when the grid is under pressure. This means the taxpayer forked out a staggering R40 million in diesel during the load shedding suspension to mourn the Zulu monarch....