Forging A Better Life Through Business Growth
His Majesty of KwaZulu-Natal
King Goodwill Zwelinthini ka Bhekuzulu
The economic growth of KwaZulu-Natal is inextricably linked to the quality of life of the people of the province. We have noticed, with much gratification, the progress that has been made over recent years, but there are there are many communities who, despite striving to improve their lot, still lack some of the basic amenities and there remains much to be done.
KwaZulu-Natal has a proud and successful agricultural sector, but the continuation of growth of the industrial and tourism sectors is also essential for broad development throughout the province. The promotion of investment and tourism are, therefore, essential to this end.
Fundamental to the task of leading the Zulu nation in the 21st century, is my active role in preserving the culture of the Zulu nation. The Reed Dance, First Fruits Festival and the hunting ceremony have been carefully nurtured, ensuring the preservation of tradition while at the same time embracing modernism, technology and social change. Zulu culture remains an international draw-card, attracting tourists to KwaZulu-Natal, boosting employment and creating income not only in the major centres, but also in the often impoverished rural areas. Our KwaZulu-Natal heritage also endows the province with great natural beauty and wildlife, and eco-tourism contributes significantly in this regard.
However, KwaZulu-Natal also faces on-going challenges. While socio-economic advancement has improved the lives of so many, there is still much that needs to be done. I am of the firm conviction that education is essential to the upliftment of society and that this should incorporate adult literacy programmes and skills training in addition to formal schooling. Poverty will be alleviated by accelerating rural development, and co-operative developments, investment in public/ private partnerships can help communities achieve self-sufficiency.
I remain deeply concerned about the scourge of HIV/AIDS that has besieged our country. As leaders in society, business and the political sphere, we must lead the way in the fight against the spread of HIV. We must be open about our HIV status, and dispel any shame that victims may feel when they are diagnosed. We must lead by example, and once again, I appeal to young people, male and female, to abstain from sex until they get married or until they decide to raise their families.
I extend my gratitude to all those people and organisations that have contributed and continue to contribute to the success of our beautiful Kingdom. Let us forge a better life for all the people of KwaZulu-Natal through economic growth. We salute the KwaZulu-Natal Top Business Portfolio, and the companies who participate in this publication, which is proudly used to showcase our province and highlight the opportunities for investment and growth.