Nkandla committee chair: Costs grossly inflated

A group of MPs concluded their in-loco inspection of the Nkandla homestead today.

Members of Parliament’s ad hoc committee arrive in Nkandla in rural KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN.

NKANDLA - The chairperson of Parliament's ad hoc committee on Nkandla says shoddy workmanship, money wastage and grossly inflated construction costs characterise the spending debacle at the president's home.

Cedric Frolick was speaking after he and a group of MPs concluded their in-loco inspection of Jacob Zuma's homestead in rural KwaZulu-Natal.

They were also shown the 21 houses built for security personnel and a clinic on the outskirts of the estate.

The public protector found Zuma unduly benefited from the multimillion rand upgrades which include features such as a swimming pool and visitor's center.

But the police minister says he doesn't have to repay a cent.

Frolick believes the barracks and clinic outside the president's estate are not part of the security upgrades and should be seen as a separate project.

He says they bear the mark of shoddy workmanship despite carrying a R135 million price tag.

He adds that Zuma is not secure in comfort as the Public Protector's report suggests.

"What is also quite shocking is to see how at the time when the controversy started, key elements of the project were not completed."

He described today's in loco inspection as an eye opener.

"It basically confirms the findings of the previous ad hoc committee that we have seen the gross inflation of prices. What I have seen there today is not worth the R200 plus million that has been claimed to be spent.

He agrees with the Special Investigating Unit that action should be taken against officials from the public works department and the contractors that worked on this project.

MPs will spend the next day and a half deliberating about what they saw and who should be held responsible.