Zulu king to launch mobile network

King Goodwill Zwelithini is advancing his business interests with a cellphone service provider.
King Goodwill Zwelithini is advancing his business interests with a cellphone service provider.
Image: THULI DLAMINI

Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuZulu will soon launch his mobile network named Bayede Mobile.

Director of Bayede Mobile, Jane Nkadimang, said plans to roll out the network were afoot and its services would target people in rural areas.

"This project is one of its kind and we hope to launch it by November 1 this year with a limited number of rural communities as subscribers to the network. In the long run, we hope to roll out the network to other provinces," said Nkadimang during a Diwali celebration held at the king's palace of Ondini in KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend.

Nkadimang told Sowetan the signal for the network would be hosted on
Cell C and MTN.

"We will soon have marketing activations in various villages and towns in KZN. We encourage communities to come together and form social groupings so that they can benefit. And the best thing is that whatever profit that we make will be ploughed back to the community through various community development projects such as clinics and learning centres," she said.

The Diwali event was aimed at strengthening relations between the Zulu royal house and the Indian community.

Zwelithini is SA's most highly financially supported king and has many business interests trading under the name of Bayede, including wine, property and tourism businesses.

Addressing a strong crowd comprising kings, chiefs, warriors and community members, Zwelithini said Bayede Mobile has been receiving offers from business people abroad who want to partner in the project.

"Bayede Mobile is a groundbreaking project not only for the benefit of the Zulus but South Africa as a whole. In the near future, I hope to bring on board other investors interested in uplifting rural community.

"At the moment there are pharmaceutical companies in India who want to come on board and this will strengthen ties between the Zulu people and the Indian community," said Zwelithini.

MEC for finance Ravi Pillay, who spoke on behalf of KZN premier Sihle Zikalala, said the provincial goverment was already on a fact-finding mission to collect the history of the Zulus and Indians so that it can be included as part of schools' curriculum to eliminate the hostility that exists between the two groups.

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