Reports: Presidency denies claims of plans to renovate Zuma’s Nkandla home

The Sunday Times is reporting that the Public Works has confirmed that it has begun processes to upgrade some of the property features.

The upgraded Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal, which allegedly cost more than R200 million to upgrade. Picture: City Press.

JOHANNESBURG – The Presidency has denied claims that there are plans to renovate the president’s multimillion rand Nkandla homestead.

The Sunday Times is reporting that the Public Works Department has confirmed that it has begun processes to upgrade some of the property features.

The paper says Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has also confirmed his knowledge of the upgrades.

But the Presidency has refuted the claims, saying there are no such plans by any government department.

The paper is reporting Public Works Chief Director for legal services Barnie Ntlou insists the upgrades have to go ahead as the president’s home cannot be left dilapidated.

It claims that while the assessment is not yet complete, the renovations are expected to cost millions of rand, as some houses on the property could be rebuilt.

But the Presidency’s Bongani Ngqulunga says government will not allow any renovations to be conducted at the property.

“No government department, including the Public Works Department, will be permitted to renovate any of the president’s private homestead in Nkandla.”

The initial upgrades to the property were found to have been excessive, with the Public Protector ordering President Jacob Zuma to pay back R7.8 million which was used for non-security features.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)