#ParksidePalace: Is KwaZulu-Natal’s Premier under house arrest?
27 November 2017
The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal is concerned by the prolonged absence of provincial Premier Willies Mchunu despite an assurance that he would present an executive statement on the subject of R32 million worth of upgrades to his official Pietermaritzburg residence, Parkside Place.
In October the DA exposed that millions of rands of taxpayers’ money were to be spent on renovations. These included more than a million rand on pool surrounds and braai area and over half a million on upgrading three bathrooms.
During a subsequent oversight visit by the DA to the property, also in October, we were assured by D-G Nonhlanhla Mkhize that the Premier would table an Executive Statement on the matter at the next Sitting of the Legislature.
The Premier has had no less than five opportunities to honour this commitment yet the statement has now been rescheduled – for the third time – to 7th December. Whether it will take place then is anyone’s guess.
The DA regards this ducking and diving by the Premier as unacceptable. Equally alarming is the whereabouts of the Premier who has not been present in the House since the Legislature to the People took place three weeks ago. In fact, the Premier is for all intents and purposes ‘missing in action’ while his ANC colleague, Sihle Zikalala has taken over the running of the province full-time.
We will not allow this matter to rest. While the DA welcomes the postponement of the Parkside Place upgrades the reality is that it has only come about as a result of our intervention.
The Premier has a duty to account to the people of KZN about what can only be described as horrific wasteful expenditure.
Issued by Francois Rodgers, Leader of the DA in the KZN Legislature, 27 November 2017