Nkandla upgrade coming from Zuma's pocket
The Zuma family will continue to pay for personal upgrades in Nkandla, the Presidency said.
JOHANNESBURG - The Zuma family will continue to pay for upgrades in Nkandla which are not linked to state security, the Presidency said on Thursday.
It also rejected "the ongoing campaign by the media" of linking every development around the KwaZulu-Natal village to President Jacob Zuma.
The Presidency said it rejected the mischievous and inaccurate insinuation that the upgrade and construction of roads around Nkandla was because of favouritism - as the president lives there.
The Mercury newspaper reported this week that a stretch of road linking Zuma's village to Kranskop had been built at a cost of R290 million, while another road to Eshowe cost R292 million.
The Presidency said the road construction started in 2003, and that Nkandla was one of 23 districts identified by the government for development.
It also said the upgrade of Zuma's residence began long before he became president, and that it was a family decision to start the extensions - paying out of their own pockets.
Two weeks ago, the City Press newspaper reported that taxpayers paid for 95 percent of the renovations to Zuma's homestead.
It said upgrades, which would amount to a total of R203 million, would include underground living quarters, a health facility for Zuma and his family, a helicopter pad, as well as playgrounds and a centre for visitors.