Architects show what they could have done with Nkandla’s budget

South African architects, Architecture for Change has taken a satirical approach to the Nkandla scandal and designed UN-kandla

The architects state on their website that instead of using the R265 million on creating a homestead for only one president they are aiming to “create a legacy that will outlive the rule of the president,” with their satirical proposal.

In their proposal for Un-Kandla the concept of a Zulu kraal is adopted to represent a “strong family dynamic and hierarchy of respect.”

In an attempt to get rid of the dividing nature of Nkandla, Un-kandla is a design for the community that aims to unite and include the people without depleting public funds. The architects state that they would have achieved this by incorporating a learning centre, a feeding scheme, a skills development center that is linked to a gallery and performance space, a rhino conservation centre, a clinic, a place of worship and entertainment and recreation facilities into the design within the R265mil budget. 

By taking a satirical approach to the matter, the proposed accommodation also includes the following:
The Father of the Nation Orphanage                                                    

A symbol for that which we have lost – Nelson Mandela – and simultaneously a literal reference to the many children of President Jacob Zuma.
The Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo Women’s Shelter (#rememberkhwezi)    
A reference to the rape allegations made by Kuzwayo against president Zuma.  The shelter (at the president’s homestead) ironically symbolizes a place of safety for women who have been victims of sexual assault.
The Spear Rhino Conservation Centre    

A symbol of power and protection – “the spear” now protects the rhino (an animal threatened by the illegal trade of rhino horn).  Instead of the president’s current cattle kraal at the current Nkandla development, we are proposing a rhino sanctuary which will at the same time provide for increased security measures as rhinos need to be closely monitored and secured.
The Shower Falls Waterfall         
A symbol of a cleansing pool and calming stream to the Nkandla building.
Design features such as the waterfall which could be regarded as optional extras that add to the project cost is justified by savings made from unnecessary expenditures in the Nkandla project as highlighted below.    

The bunker

R19.6m was spent (in the current homestead) on the bunker that includes fully charged cell phones, mini closed-circuit TV rooms, accommodation, food and medical supplies. There are also four elevators and tunnels. This safe haven covers 630m² which equals the size of approximately 3.4 tennis courts.

The architects are proposing to use these funds as follow:

To build The Father of the Nation Orphanage that consists of 315m² able to accommodate 78 children.

The remaining 315m² is then divided into 4mx4m rooms that can each be shared by two women thus accommodating 38 women. Therefore, shelter can be provided to a total of 117 people.

If we calculate the construction costs at a rate of R8000 p/m², the cost of the women’s shelter and orphanage adds up to approximately R5 040 000 which equals a saving  of R 14.56 million.
The staff village

In the current homestead, the staff village accommodates 20 people in an area of 2500m². An area of125m² per person added to a total cost of R 17.5m -  approximately R 750 000 per house.

However, the only purpose of this accommodation is to provide temporary accommodation for employees and could therefore have been designed to cover a much smaller area. An alternative solution could have been to encourage people to stay at the nearby villages (also furthermore supporting the local economy).

R4 mil could have been allocated to this budget to create on-site accommodation only needing to consist of 300m².
The clinic

The cost of the military clinic in Nkandla which remains closed and unused to this day came to R11.9m.

We are proposing a clinic which is accessible to the public to provide in the shortage of healthcare services in the surrounding areas. The available budget (compromising of the funds saved on the bunker, staff housing, double fence ect.) could provide for the construction of a 100 bed clinic.
The current homestead covers a large area surrounded by a massive fence - a physical barrier approached in the most conventional manner to secure the President. This barrier, including improvements made to the homesteads makes Nkandla exclusive to the President and his family and excludes the surrounding community. In sharp contrast to this, the outer wall of Un-Kandla is carefully designed to allow people to infiltrate the complex, creating a welcoming atmosphere rather than one of exclusion.

| via architecture for change

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