The case of the 21 empty houses at Nkandla

Six years after construction began as many as 21 houses at South African President, Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead still stand empty.

(Image via BusinessTech)

These three bedroomed houses were built for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), according to Police Minister Nathi Nhleko. Although more than R6-million was spent on each of these homes, the SANDF uses park home which is also situated on the President’s property.

Nhleko said that he would launch an investigation into the construction of the 21 security staff homes as he was unsure about why they were built. Saying that, “we need to know who constructed those houses by whose decision. Who decided to use that construction, which is situated completely outside the property of the president to be lumped with the security upgrades”.

According to the minister the total expenditure on Nkandla was a little more than R206 million. Of this R50.5 million was spent on security upgrades, R20.7 million on consultants and professionals and the biggest portion of R135.2 million was spent on the 21 houses for the SA Police Service (SAPS) and SANDF.

Adding that the homes in question were built almost a 1km away from the actual homestead, therefore it cannot be considered security features and should not have been lumped into the amount spent on security for the president.

“I need to establish how we came to the 21 houses, what actually transpired and what the logic was. But also who decided to use one cost centre for two different projects.

“That will inform me what direction I need to take in that regard,” Nhleko said.

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