The Ingonyama Trust was established in 1994 by the erstwhile KwaZulu Government in terms of the KwaZulu Ingonyama Trust Act, (Act No 3KZ of 1994) to hold all the land that was hitherto owned or belonged to the KwaZulu Government. The mandate of the Trust is to hold land for “the benefit, material welfare and social well-being of the members of the tribes and communities” living on the land.
The Ingonyama Trust is a corporate body established in law and is the registered owner of various pieces of land in KwaZulu – Natal which have always historically been part of the Zulu Kingdom dating back to various Zulu kings. His Majesty the King is the sole Trustee of the land.
When the democratic government came into existence initially in terms of the Interim Constitution of 1993 the original enabling Act was reviewed comprehensively such that the final product was a new Act albeit called the KwaZulu – Natal Ingonyama Trust Amendment Act, (Act No 9 of 1997).
This Amendment Act had to meet all the constitutional requirements both in terms of the Interim Constitution and the final Constitution of 1996. The Amendment Act was passed in 1997 and came into operation on the 2nd October 1998.
The amendment act made provision among other things, for the establishment of Ingonyama Trust Board to administer the affairs of the Trust and the Trust land.