Nkandla landscaping cost R16m

2014-09-15 08:11
Nkandla (Giordano Stolley, Sapa)

Nkandla (Giordano Stolley, Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Jeff Wicks, The Witness

Durban - Architect Minenhle Makhanya built a garden fit for a king - eventually spending more than R16m on landscaping at President Jacob Zuma's home.

This has emerged from reams of official Department of Public Works (DPW) documents made public in pursuit of Zuma’s personal architect Makhanya.

Designing a garden fit for Zuma blossomed out of control.

Indigenous plants

Landscaping the grounds of the Zuma family’s sprawling Nkandla compound rose exponentially, with contractors importing protected indigenous trees and plants from across the country.

In its completion phase, the plush presidential pad now looks part of the natural bush hillscape.

The embattled architect has been slapped with the mammoth R155m bill for his alleged inflation of the cost of the compound.

The documents were filed in response to Makhanya’s intention to oppose the lawsuit, which came after months of mounting political and public pressure.

The flourishing cost of carefully designed indigenous gardens, manicured lawns and lush swathes of rehabilitated veld has been a point of focus in the graft-busting Specialised Investigating Unit’s report into the upgrades at the president’s compound.

Costs split

According to DPW cost-allocation documents from 2011, over R16m had been set aside for landscaping of the president’s home.

The bill was to be split between the public and private purse of the first citizen, although it is unclear how much of this bill has been settled.

Bonelena Construction and Moneymine CC scored big with the landscaping contract - the bulk of the business shared between the two.

Both companies were identified in Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report into the upgrade of the homestead titled Secure in Comfort.

They found their way into the spotlight for unduly benefiting from inflated fees.

According to the documents submitted by landscape architects, large tracts of land had to be redesigned because of “new security measures”.

Cycads, fully grown trees

“The overall finished landscape is natural veld, enhanced with shrubs and trees and is not a manicured landscape,” the papers read. Among the enhancements are 12 protected cycads, which were brought in complete with tracking tags and papers for the landscaping project at a cost of R5 500 each.

Fully grown trees at R7 500 each were also shipped to the rural hamlet and strategically placed for “secrecy”. The total cost for trees came to R1.6m.

No expense was spared in the establishment of feature gardens and ambience; with a proposed spend of hundreds of thousands of rands for recessed lighting which would “enhance the estate”.

One of the feature gardens made of up indigenous succulents and shrubs, set in front of the military-run clinic, came with a price tag of R30 000.

Rehabilitation of surrounding land disturbed during construction of the homestead cost almost R2.5m.

Attempts by The Witness to contact Bonelena Construction and Moneymine CC were unsuccessful.

Read more on:    siu  |  jacob zuma  |  minenhle makhanya  |  pietermaritzburg  |  nkandla upgrade  |  government spending

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
157 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.