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Zuma speaks out on Nkandla revamp

President Jacob Zuma has finally broken his silence on renovations at his Nkandla home.

President Jacob Zuma speaks at a New Age business breakfast. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG- President Jacob Zuma finally broke his silence on Thursday about the development project in his KwaZulu-Natal homestead.

The president was speaking at The New Age business briefing, when he was asked about the controversial project, which is reported to have to cost taxpayers more than R200 million.

Zuma said the upgrades to the buildings and the construction of houses in Nkandla were his own idea, but that the security upgrades at the complex were insisted on by the Department of Public Works.

According to the_ City Press _newspaper, Zuma will only be paying five percent of the total R203 million it could cost to revamp the presidents Nkandla homestead.

The renovations will include the building of underground living quarters, a health facility for Zuma and his family, a helicopter pad, as well as playgrounds and a centre for visitors.

He said the lack of transparency in the costing of the project was a question that should be answered by the department.

Thepresidentsaid he was not in a position to say what the correct way of handling the matter was, adding that the departments and Auditor General were the experts on who should finance such projects and how much should be spent.

The _City Press _claims contractor fees amounting to R193 million, and consultant fees amounting to an extra R44 million, have already been paid.

The Democratic Alliance and lobby group Afriforum earlier this month submitted applications for an investigation into the construction project.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela announced last weekend that her offices had agreed to probe the allegations being made.