Public Works Minister must explain Nkandla upgrade to Parliament
Anchen Dreyer, DA Spokesperson on Public Works
2 October 2012
The Department of Public Works’ request for an investigation into how City Press “illegally ended up in possession” of documentary evidence of the R203 million in state spending on President Zuma’s Nkandla homestead is a classic case of shooting the messenger.
I have today written to the Chair of the Portfolio Committee on Public Works, Manana Catherine Mabuza, to request that the committee be convened immediately and that Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi be called to Parliament to account for his Department’s role in the spending on the Nkandla upgrade and the investigation into City Press.
The Minister must provide answers on:
- What justifies the allocation of over R203 million to President Zuma’s private homestead, especially since there are a number of existing presidential houses he can utilise;
- whether these funds have been properly budgeted for by the Department;
- whether there was any directive from the Presidency for the Department to allocate funds for this revamp;
- whether any funds have been transferred from other much needed projects for this upgrade to take place; and
- whether the Department will be investigating City Press, on what grounds, and on what authority.
Public Works is in complete disarray; failing at almost every one of its key responsibilities. We have no register of state assets and the procurement and leasing system around properties owned and rented by the state is under investigation by Treasury. Yet this Department has found the time, energy and capacity to build the President a palace.
Shooting the messenger will not suffice. The Minister of Public Works must account to Parliament for the decisions on Nkandla.