How Treasury arrived at the figure of R7.8 million Zuma must pay for Nkandla

27 June 2016 - 19:45 By Penwell Dlamini

In its March ruling‚ the Constitutional Court found that the findings of the public protector were binding and that President Jacob Zuma’s failure to comply with the remedial action taken against him‚ by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in her 2014 report Secure in Comfort‚ was inconsistent with the Constitution. The court then ordered that the National Treasury determine the reasonable costs of those measures implemented by the Department of Public Works at Zuma’s Nkandla homestead that did not relate to security.R7.8m for Nkandla an insult‚ says COPEThe Congress of the People (COPE) has described Treasury’s cost estimate that President Jacob Zuma must pay for non-security upgrades to his Nkandla homestead as an insult to taxpayers. These are the visitors’ centre; the amphitheatre; the cattle kraal; the chicken run and the swimming pool only. But the court did not prescribe the process of evaluating the cost and the formula by which Treasury would come up with a “reasonable” percentage.Here are the steps leading to the Treasury’s determination of the R7.8-million to be paid by Zuma.1. Treasury had to first determine the reasonable costs that the non-security features cost. 2. Determine the percentage of the cost that Zuma would be personally liable for.3. Two quantity surveying firms each comprising of three experts were contracted to do the job. The firms had to do the work independent of each other.4. The Department of Public Works had to provide relevant electronic and hard copies of the construction and engineering drawings of amphitheatre‚ cattle kraal‚ chicken run‚ visitors centre and swimming pool. 5. Each firm visited the Nkandla residence and they never had contact with each other during the process.6. A moderating panel was assigned to receive the reports by the two firms The panel was made up of chief executive officers of the SA Institute of Civil Engineering (SAICE) and Association of SA Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS)‚ two professional engineers and two professional quantity surveyors‚ each of whom had at least 30 years of experience.7. In its study of the reports by two firms‚ the panel concluded on a view that that the only element of the five components in question that could be considered to be of a security nature was the control centre on the ground floor of the visitor’s centre. 8. The panel also concluded that the reasonable costs of the five items amounted to R8‚884‚364 (including VAT) as at June 2009 and R11‚753 758 (including VAT) as at May 2016‚ with an accuracy of ± 10%.9. Treasury accepted the reasonable cost determination from the panel and agreed that the amount that Zuma would have to pay personally would be 87.94%. This percentage corresponded to R7‚814‚155 as at June 2009.

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