‘Modesty’ to ‘indefensible extravagance’

2014-09-13 00:00

THE Special Investigating Unit’s final report said there came a point in the security upgrade at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla when “reasonable modesty gave way to indefensible extravagance”.

The SIU report blamed this on the appointment of the professional team — “who were appointed by the president in his private capacity” — to overall control of the project, including the state’s spending.

The SIU said the “huge increase” in costs could be attributed the “addition” of structures including support staff accommodation; allowance for relocation of the three households, plus a visitor’s centre and waiting lounge.

“The estimated costs of all these proposed additions was R48 417 685.”

Secondly, there were further increases in the costs of “shaded parking for VIPs and the swimming pool; and landscaping and storm water control” while the consultants’ “costs had also increased by R11 888 259.”

The SIU report said that when officials raised concerns about “the lack of planning and financial management … they were simply removed from the project.”

The SIU said state officials “could no longer be held accountable for specific decisions or actions that were taken in the upgrading process”.

The report said that both the SAPS and the Public Works Department officials “voluntarily” ceded their powers and “abdicated” their responsibilities in failing to ascertain “precisely what security upgrades were to be implemented.

“In fact the Public Works never quite finalised the planning,” said the report.

“This resulted in the scope of the project not being fully known at any stage of the project: bizarrely, the scope changed constantly — almost till the end!”

So did the costs, which ballooned from an initial estimate of nearly R28 million to over R216 million. The report details a number of examples where extra costs were incurred contrary to recommended security requirements.

In 2009 the SAPS proposed reinforcing the walls of all bedrooms but in 2010 “accepted the inclusion of a bunker instead”. A 63-square-metre underground bunker was duly constructed, but beyond the recommendation “three lifts and an exit tunnel” were added at a cost of R21 million.

Six roads were also constructed, costing nearly R9 million where the SAPS had recommended a “path between inner and outer fence for patrol purposes”.

Landscaping that was not requested by either the SAPS or the SANDF was done at a cost of over R7 million.

Nor were VIP parking or a fire pool requested, though these were constructed for nearly R4 million.

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.

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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.


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.