Zuma home costs spiralling

2012-10-17 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Significant amounts have been paid to an elevator company and for bulletproof glass for President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla compound.

New information in documents, in the possession of sister paper Die Burger, shows that improvements to the estate have already cost the taxpayer almost R250 million.

According to the documents, the Department of Public Works has since 2009 spent R188 million on building work, and paid R54 million to consultants.

This brings the costs of the project to R247 million. The original budget calculated in 2009 was R23 million.

A breakdown of spending on the Nkandla compound, which forms part of Public Works’ Prestige portfolio, includes R23 million for “emergency work”.

Other payments include R121 million to builders, R2,4 million for bulletproof glass, R9,23 million for a fence and a payment of R1,9 million to a leading international elevator company.

Altogether, R41 million has already been paid to consultants, including architects, surveyors, engineers and project managers.

The presidency said in an earlier statement that the improvements to the compound were a family decision, paid for by the Zuma family.

Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj yesterday referred queries to the Department of Public Works.

In turn, Sabelo Mali, spokesperson for minister Thulas Nxesi, referred Die Burger to a statement issued by the minister on October 1, in which he said all expenditure at Nkandla complies with guidelines in the Ministerial Handbook. He said the Nkandla compound is a national keypoint, which prohibits the release of any details of security arrangements.

In terms of an instruction approved by Cabinet in June 2003 and included in the ministerial handbook, the department may only spend R100 000 on security improvements at the private houses of public officials.

Any costs above that must be covered by the official.

Approval of the full R100 000 is dependent on a security assessment by the South African Police Service at the request of the public official.

The handbook added that the official must make a formal application to the Department of Public Works to contribute to security costs, after the assessment is complete.

Standard security improvements could include a bulletproof guardhouse, fences with vehicle and pedestrian gates, burglar guards on windows and doors, secruity lights, an intercom and alarm system and fire extinguishers.

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