Cronin: Public works will watch Nkandla process
The public works department will keep a close eye on the process to spend nearly R240-million on upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead.
Minister Thulas Nxesi last week said he would not reveal the costs for the security upgrade – estimated to be about R240-million – as the National Key Points Act prevented him from doing so.
Democratic Alliance MP Anchen Dreyer on Tuesday insisted on answers during a public works portfolio committee meeting.
In reply, Deputy Public Works Minister Jeremy Cronin said on Wednesday that though he did not know the details of the planned upgrade, his department would be keeping an eye on the project to see that no wrongdoing occurred.
Cronin could not confirm exactly how much would be spent on the project.
"I don't have confirmation of the over R200-million to be spent and that's one of the things we need to look at ... there are different figures being bandied about and some might not even be for the account of public works."
Cronin said the department needed to be as transparent as it could be.
"At the very least we need to make sure, without revealing the details, nature of security ... we need to make sure as far as the tenders issued by public works, those were done cleanly, there were no inexplicable overruns on costs."
Cronin said once he was in possession of those details, he would do his best to be transparent.
Asked about the timing of the revelations on Nkandla, Cronin would not speculate.
"We need to take the matter seriously regardless of the timing and the context in which it is happening ... It could well be politics and silly season, but we can't allow those things to sidetrack us." – Sapa