Zuma residence report wrong - The Presidency

R50m King's House upgrade in Durban not for the personal benefit of the president

Presidency clarifies status of Durban Presidential residence

The Presidency has noted with disappointment, the incorrect report in the Saturday Star (11 July 2009), relating to the renovation of Kings House, the official residence of the President and Deputy President in Durban (see article).

It is unfortunate that the Saturday Star decided to ignore the facts provided, and sought instead to cast aspersions on the integrity of President Jacob Zuma, by creating an impression of some deliberate intent on his part to have an extravagant residence in Durban.

The Department of Public works as the custodian of all government buildings is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of all residences of the President and the Deputy President as well as all official ministerial residences. Kings House is an official State house managed by the Department of Public Works, available for use by the President and Deputy President or any dignitary of befitting status, when in Durban. It is not the personal residence of President Zuma. He will share it with the Deputy President and other dignitaries.

The renovation of the residence has been in design stages over the last seven years. The renovations would have been undertaken regardless of who the President of the Republic is.

The work is expected to be completed by mid to end of September 2009. It forms part of the standard upgrading budget of Public Works, and is being done under routine, normal processes and is not out of the ordinary.

Once completed, the residence will be available to the President and Deputy President and all their dignitaries whenever required.

Statement issued by The Presidency, July 12 2009

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