Treasury’s Nkandla deadline approaches

By Danielle van Wyk

All eyes are set on National Treasury ahead of tomorrow’s announcement where they are to disclose how much money President Jacob Zuma is to pay back for enhancements made to his Nkandla homestead.

This follows the Constitutional Court order that the president failed to uphold the constitution and must personally repay of the money used on ‘non-security upgrades’ for his home.

The upgrades constitute “costs for the construction of a visitor’s centre‚ amphitheatre‚ cattle kraal‚ chicken run and swimming pool at his Nkandla residence,” reported Times Live.

Tomorrow sees the end of a 60 day period that National Treasury was given to decide the amount that needed to be paid back. The report will be delivered to the Constitutional Court tomorrow, after which Zuma will have 45 days in which to pay the amount.

While it was concluded that R246 million was spent on the president’s private home, according to reports it is likely that he will only be paying a portion of the amount back.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), however has been very vocal about the fact that they believe Zuma should be responsible for the full amount.

“The DA believes that in the interest of justice, fairness and accountability, Jacob Zuma should repay 100% of the reasonable costs. President Zuma was fully aware of the Nkandla updates and the inflated costs related, yet he kept quiet as millions of Rands of taxpayers money was spend on lavish upgrades the Zuma homestead, to the benefit of the Zuma family,” said the opposition party.

The party went on to express their belief that “in addition to this, Mr Minenhle Makhanya, the chief Nkandla architect, must also pay back the more than R155 million used to inflate the cost of the ‘security upgrades’ at Nkandla - which the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) 2014 report found him to be responsible for.

“The DA maintains that all who were involved in the abuse of state resources at Nkandla be brought to book, and based on the evidence at hand, an investigation into Mr Makhanya and his involvement is essential.”

It’s unlikely that there will be any further delays or deliberations on the matter. Last month National Treasury released a statement which said it remained confident that it would not only meet the given deadline but that the investigation was going well and that ‘A detailed account of the work that has been undertaken, including the methodology followed will be made public at an appropriate time.’ However, only time will tell if Treasury will keep to its promises.

Handy tip: If you are struggling with making repayments and are in above your head debt wise, apply for Debt counselling.

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