'Zumaville' architects fight for fees

2014-05-18 10:33

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Cape Town - Architects who designed the planned R2bn town at Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal are embroiled in a bitter legal battle over R800 000 they claim is still owed to them.

According to the Sunday Times, Johannesburg architects Mashabane Rose Associates, who did the feasibility study and mock ups of the town – known as “Zumaville” – claim they are owed the money by Kombani Consulting which was originally contracted to do the work.

However, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, which is tasked with the job of developing the new town, has distanced itself from the matter and is going ahead with plans to have consultants formalise the master plan of the new town.

Phil Mashabane, from Mashabane Rose Associates, says in papers before the High Court in Pretoria, that he entered into a partly oral, partly written agreement with Kombani director Tinyiko Maswanganyi in January 2011 in that his company was appointed as project manager and architect for the new town.

But Kombani, which was appointed by the department as project manager of the town, has denied entering in such an agreement.

Earlier this month, Zuma assured local business leaders that plans to build the town in his Nxamalala village - officially known as the Umlalazi-Nkandla Smart Growth Centre - had not been scuppered and that they would be back on track within the next few months.

Uthungulu district municipality Mayor Thembeka Mchunu said private investors would be involved but she would not give names. The building of the R2bn, 200ha town, which is a mere 3.2km from Zuma’s Nkandla homestead, is being overseen by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.

- News24
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