Saturday, 30 November 2013

Did Jacob Zuma's Nkandla really cost more than Mandela, Mbeki, de Klerk and PW Botha's residences?

I'm not all that impressed, let alone shocked, by the latest chart doing the rounds, comparing the taxpayers' money wasted on the homes of the past five presidents.

I'm beginning to think that it is all propaganda. Now I am certainly no Jacob Zuma fan, but I think we have to be reasonable at all times. What is good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

Firstly, at least R91 million should be added to Mbeki's figure, because the R12 million mentioned in the chart, which mysteriously excludes the R 91 miliion spend on building a wall from imported materials around his house.

it also does not mention all the money ever spent on all Mandela's residences.

It also does not take into consideration the value of the Rand at the time of the upgrades to Mandela's residences and neither does it take into account the building costs at the time as compared to today's building costs.

If that same wall around Mbeki's residence was to be built today, would it still cost R 91 million? I think it would probably cost at least double that, particularly having to imported at the current record-low value of the SA Rand.

Now while R215 million is a huge amount, I do not think it compares too badly when all these aspects are taken into consideration.

What would just the R32 million's worth of renovations to Mandela's house cost today? I would not be surprised if it would cost at least five times that amount. Conversely, what would Nkandla have cost had it been build at the time Mandela's residence was upgraded, or even de Klerk of PW Botha's residences?

Even now in preparation for Mandela's funeral, R-Millions, if not R-billions are being spent on roads and airports just for his funeral, all of which probably make Nkandla's R215 million look like a waiter's tip.

At the time of the upgrades to Mandela and Mbeki's homes the amounts spent at the time were probably much more compared to the ridiculous R215 million spent on Zuma's palace today.

The difference is that Mandela is the messiah of this sick country, a saint descended from heaven, the little angel himself, so no one would ever dare say anything bad about him now would they?

Personally I think that the R32 million spent on Mandela's home at the time, together with the ridiculous amounts of money spent on the preparations for his spectacular funeral yet to come, and the R103 million spent on Mbeki's home were much more compared to the R215-million spent on Nkandla Zuma's palace.

In 19 years the SA Rand has weakened from R3.41 to R10.40. So how much was the R236,000 spent on that de Klerk chap's home that time, compared to R215 million today?

All the presidents, saint Mandela included, sucked us dry, while Zuma just made the news, because he is in the firing line, while the spending on the others went by unnoticed and unchallenged.

Some further reading

DA: Mbeki should explain R90m wall

Mbeki's 'secret' R90m wall

Nkandla security dwarfs that of other presidents' homes

Jacob Zuma faces investigation over plans to renovate home

Pool, marquee land Zuma in hot water

Zuma defends costly home upgrades

S. Africa’s Zuma under fire over ‘security’ revamp

Mthatha Airport was upgraded for Nelson Mandela’s death
At what cost? No complaints about this?


  1. How does this compare to the R215 million spent on Nkandla?

    Ministers have spent R58m on luxury vehicles since 2009 - Ian Ollis
    Ian Ollis
    28 November 2013

    DA MP says there is a clear lack of controls to curb unneccessary spending

    Car-gate: More than R58 million spent since 2009

    President Jacob Zuma's cabinet has spent more than R58 million on car purchases and car rentals since 2009, according to an analysis of parliamentary questions compiled by the DA.

    This excludes the additional R1.5 million for the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Jeff Radebe's new car approved in the 2013 Medium Term Budget Policy, the same day Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced the executive austerity measures.

    The excessive spending on new and rental cars by the executive shows:

    R32.56 million was spent on new cars in 2009;
    R16.23 million was spent on new cars since 2012; and
    R9.49 million was spent on rental cars since 2012.
    The 65 cars on the DA's records include expensive high end models:
    Mercedes Benz: 3x GL's, 3x ML's, 2x E500, 3x S350's, 3x S250's and 2x E500's;
    BMW: 6x 750i, 2x 730D's, 4x 550i's, 3x X5's, 2x X6's and a 535GT;
    Audi: 10x Q7's and 2x A6's;
    Lexus: 2x LS450's and a LX570;
    3x Range Rovers; and
    1x Porsche Cayenne.
    The most excessive spending by Ministries on new and rental cars since 2009 includes:
    Communications, totalling R5.99 million;
    Rural Development and Land Reform, totalling R5.34 million;
    Women, Children & People with Disabilities, totalling R4.09 million;
    Police, totalling R3.66 million; and
    Basic Education, totalling R3.46 million.
    There is a clear lack of controls to curb unnecessary spending with 9 Ministries buying cars in both 2009 and since 2012, while 6 of those also recorded excessive rental car bills. Questionable rentals, such a Minister Fikile Mbalula's R1 375 bill for 1 kilometre and Transport Ministers' average of R3 400 per day on rentals, is further evidence of the unabated wasteful expenditure in government.

    This needs to stop. Minister Gordhan's belt-tightening measures should be implemented immediately, and he must explain to South Africa what punitive measures will be introduced to ensure that it is properly enforced.

    This must be supplemented with the introduction of a new Ministerial Handbook, which has now been ‘in the pipeline' for over 1500 days. In 2009, the DA-run Western Cape introduced a revised Ministerial Handbook for the province and reduced the maximum amount to be spent on official vehicles to 40% of Ministers' salaries compared to the national prescription of 70% of Ministers' salaries. The Western Cape also introduced restrictions on the type of vehicles that may be rented (only ‘Group D') where the national handbook still have no limitations on the use of rental vehicles.

    Through these and other changes to the Western Cape Ministerial Handbook, the DA-run government in the Western Cape has already saved over R100 million.

    The national government should emulate this success without any further delay. Indeed, wasteful and unnecessary expenditure diverts money away from projects that will boost service delivery, grow the economy and create jobs. In the end, it is the poor who are hit the hardest.

    That is why the DA will continue to scrutinise every cent of government expenditure. South Africans deserve nothing less.

    Statement issued by Ian Ollis MP, DA Shadow Minister of Transport, November 28 2013

  2. So Jacob Zuma wasted R215 million on building himself a place, while the Minister of minister of agriculture, wasted R800 million, four times more than Zuma. Would her R800 get four times, or at least the same attention as the R215 million Zuma had wasted?

  3. Your financial calculations regarding inflation are far out. You obviously never did any research.

    1. The values used in Madonsela's report on Nkandla have already been adjusted for inflation. The amounts ( Nelson Mandela (R32-million), Thabo Mbeki (R12-million), FW de Klerk (R236 000) and PW Botha (R173 000)) comes from the report, therefore no further inflation calculations should happen. The gap is huge.