R398m spent on president's palaces - Athol Trollip

DA PL says huge sums spent renovating Zuma's official residences

President's palaces: State spends hundreds of millions on Zuma's lavish lifestyle

The Minister of Public Works has today revealed, in a series of parliamentary replies, that over R398 million has been spent on renovating the President's Cape Town and Pretoria residences, and Cabinet's Pretoria estate. 

The content of these replies follows below.

I will today be writing to the Minister of Public Works to request a full explanation for why such expenditure was deemed an appropriate use of state funds. I will also be submitting an oral question to the President on this matter, so that he can account to Parliament and the South African people for this vast expenditure.

The cost breakdown supplied by the Minister is as follows:

  • Cost of renovating the President's Cape Town residence, Genadendal: R13.5 million
  • Cost of renovating the President's Cape Town office: R24.4 million
  • Cost of furniture for the President's Cape Town office: R778 000
  • Cost of upgrading the Bryntirion Estate: Over R192 million
  • Cost of refurbishing the President's Pretoria residence, Mahlamba Ndlopfu: Over R168 million

Such exorbitant expenditure represents just how disconnected the President is from the needs of the South African people.

At a time when millions of South Africans face rising unemployment, a lack of basic services and poor quality housing, the President has seen fit to reward himself with a series of renovations to his lavish residences. The hundreds of millions of rands this has cost the state could have built over 7000 RDP houses.

This is a leader who shows little regard for the plight of South Africans, and little respect for the prudent way in which state funds should be managed.

The Presidency has in the past tried to avoid taking responsibility for state expenditure on the President's homes, and has argued that this was purely a Public Works issue. This is disingenuous. These are homes that are intended for the President's use, and the President must account for their significant price tags. He owes the South African people a full explanation.

Please click on the following links for the parliamentary replies mentioned above:

Question 1

Question 2

Question 3

Statement issued by Athol Trollip MP, DA Parliamentary Leader, October 19 2011

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