NEWS & ANALYSIS

Govt building helipad outside Zuma house - The Presidency

But no state money being spent on expanding Nkandla residence itself

Construction work at President Zuma's residence

The Presidency has received enquiries from the media relating to construction work at President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla residence, with a mistaken belief that the construction work may be funded by government, or in particular the Department of Public Works (see M&G report).

The Zuma family planned before the elections to extend the Nkandla residence, and this is being done at their own cost. No government funding will be utilized for the construction work. This is a private matter which should be left to the family.

Outside the perimeter of the Zuma household, a few metres from the house, the State is to undertake construction work in line with the security and medical requirements relating to Heads of State in the Republic. The security services have to construct accommodation facilities for their staff that attend to the President, erect a helipad to ensure safe landing for the Presidential helicopter and a clinic as per medical requirements.

The security services have a responsibility to provide suitable care to the President, and to ensure that facilities are in place for that service. At the moment, security and medical staff are accommodated in the Zuma household. The new measures are designed to separate private from State facilities, family from staff, and to afford the Zuma family the privacy that they are entitled to.

The Presidency is fully aware of the need to separate public from private expenditure. The demarcation at Nkandla is very clear, and there can be no reason to confuse the private construction work in the Zuma household and the State facilities that will be constructed outside the parameter.

We urge the media to leave the family alone to conduct its business, and reject any insinuation that there could be any untoward abuse of State resources by the President or his family.

Statement issued by The Presidency, Union Buildings, December 3 2009

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