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Minister announces more upgrades for Nkandla

"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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Nickolaus Bauer
Nickolaus Bauer is the Mail & Guardian's jack of all trades news reporter that chases down stories ranging from politics and sports to big business and social justice. Armed with an iPad, SLR camera, camcorder and dictaphone, he aims to fight ignorance and pessimism through written words, photographs and videos. He believes South Africa could be the greatest country in the world if only her citizens would give her a chance to flourish instead of dwell on the negativity. When he's not begging his sub-editors for an extra twenty minutes after deadline, he's also known to dabble in the occasional poignant column that will leave you mulling around in the depths of your psyche. The quintessential workaholic, you can also catch him doing sports on the weekday breakfast show on SAfm and presenting the SAfm Sports Special over the weekend.

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