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Minister announces more upgrades for Nkandla

Nickolaus Bauer

The state intends to fund further upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's rural homestead in Nkandla, says Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

The state intends to fund further upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's rural homestead in Nkandla. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

"There will be further additions to the clinic at the president's Nkandla residence, in order to service the members of South African National  Defence Force that conduct duties there,"  Mapisa-Nqakula said on Tuesday during parliamentary debate on the president's State Of The Nation address.

The Nkandlagate scandal came to light after a string of reports revealed that over R200-million would be forked out for infrastructural improvements at the president's private residence at Nxamalala in rural Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

The project is chiefly financed by the public works department with the last payment reportedly taking place days before Zuma called for financial caution in light of current economic conditions – along with a pay freeze for senior public and private sector executives.

Additions to the property include a helipad, medical clinic, bulletproof glazing and air-conditioning in certain residential units as well as a bunker.

The upgrade is currently the subject of an investigation by public protector Thuli Madonsela, although a public works' report on alleged abuse of public funds during the upgrades found no signs of wrongdoing.

Details of the additions to the clinic were not provided by the minister, however Mapisa-Nqakula reiterated all upgrades were solely on the basis of providing added security at the president's rural residence.

She added it would be investigated if the the clinic could be made available for the use of the greater Nkandla community.

Requests for further comment from the minister were left unanswered at the time of publishing.

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