Nkandla overcharge 'possible'
The Department of Public Works is investigating the possibility that the cost of the upgrading of President Jacob Zuma's homestead in Nkandla has been inflated, the deputy minister, Jeremy Cronin said.
Yesterday, members of two parliamentary portfolio committees were involved in heated debates about the cost of the upgrading of the homestead, reportedly R237-million, and of roads leading to it, reportedly R582-million.
Cronin told the public works committee that it was possible that the department had been overcharged for the Nkandla improvements.
"We are determined to find out whether there has been an inflation of costs," he said.
Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi has denied that the upgrading will cost R237-million but has refused to give another figure.
Cronin told parliament that his department was working with the auditor-general, who had reported on the possibility of irregularities in the project.
Public works portfolio committee chairman Catherine Mabuza and DA public works spokesman Anchen Dreyer argued about whether follow-up questions would be allowed.
Dreyer insisted: "We have rights as people, as MPs representing the voters, the people of South Africa, to question and get as much as we need from the auditor-general."
A similar argument ensued in the transport portfolio committee.
Committee chairman Ruth Bhengu dismissed the DA's questions as "politically motivated".