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Zulu royal family to donate new mobile network proceeds to rural communities

Family spokesperson Prince Thulani Zulu said the desire to see rural communities develop had motivated Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini to start his new Bayede mobile network.

The launch of Bayede Mobile, the Zulu royal family's mobile network service, on 1 November 2019. Picture: Nkosikhona Duma/EWN

DURBAN - The Zulu royal household on Friday said that proceeds from its new mobile network business would be invested back into the rural communities it had targeted as a market.

The family has often come under fire due to the king's lavish lifestyle and millions of rands that the state pays annually to sustain him.

Family spokesperson Prince Thulani Zulu told Eyewitness News that the family was making a bid to protect its name and to show that it cared about its subjects.

Zulu said the desire to see rural communities develop had motivated Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini to start his new Bayede mobile network.

“The more people buy SIM cards, the more people use the network… and the profit that’s going to be made there, we’re going to start projects and ask the community in different areas what projects they want, then that project will be provided.”

Reports said the mobile telecommunications industry was struggling, with MTN having to write off Cell C’s debt of over R200 million two months ago.

However, Zulu said they were not deterred by this and they were confident that their business would succeed.

The family said it would evaluate the mobile network's reception in Nongoma before branching out to other towns and villages.

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