Nkandla money can be put to better use – survey

2012-10-08 11:33

About four in five young South Africans feel the money spent on President Jacob Zuma’s private home can be put to better use, according to a survey released today.

“The vast majority (84%) thought the money should rather be put towards solving major problems in South Africa,” said consumer insights company Pondering Panda, which did the study.

“Six percent felt that as the president, Zuma knew best what to do with taxpayers’ money,” researchers said.

Another 5% felt that as president, Zuma deserved a better home and a further 5% could not decide.

Pondering Panda questioned 3?477 young South Africans between the ages of 15 and 34.

On Friday, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said the upgrades at Zuma’s residences were similar to those of former presidents.

He declined to disclose how much money had been spent on the security and other constructions at Zuma’s Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

City Press reported yesterday that Zuma’s spending was in fact much higher than that of former presidents.

So far, high security fences had been erected, roads in the area had been upgraded and local fire fighting services had been developed for the helipads.

Reports have estimated the cost of the work to be between R203 million and R238 million.

According to the survey, a higher proportion of women (88%) felt the money should be spent on solving problems in the country compared with 80% of men. About 53% of the respondents were aware of the cost to taxpayers for the Nkandla improvements. Fifty-nine percent of 25- to 34-year-olds were aware of Zuma’s plans, compared with 49% of 18- to 24-year-olds and 46% of 15- to 17-year-olds. Based on the results, Butch Rice of Pondering Panda said: “An overwhelming majority of young South Africans feel that the expenditure of taxpayer’s money on Zuma’s house is wrong.” He said it came at the “worst possible time” – amid widespread labour unrest.

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