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Shopsteward Volume 27: Special Bulletin

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COSATU Today  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU wants Public Protector to reveal truth about Nkandla

12 November 2012

The National Office Bearers of the Congress of South African Trade Unions today, 12 November 2012, discussed the information in the media about the money allegedly spent on the Presidentís residence at Nkandla. They were extremely concerned at the figure being quoted for the work at the residence, which, if true, would be completely unacceptable amounts to be spent on any one person.

The federation notes however that the Public Protector is investigating the situation and we hope that the government will collaborate with her to get to the root of the allegations. We shall therefore not comment until her report is published.

COSATU is however concerned at what appear to be hugely inflated prices being quoted in the media, just like the R3.5 million spent on upgrading the security of former President Thabo Mbekiís house or the even higher figures reported on how much the state spent on former Presidents Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk.

We are concerned that by the look of it all these figures do not seem to make sense and reinforce successive Auditor Generalís reports indicating collusion between government officials and the private sector to inflate prices.

We canít imagine a wall costing R3.5 million, still less of all the millions being debated today. We recall that the Auditor General report in 2009 that revealed that one provincial department was paying R26 for a loaf of bread and R25 for a 500 ml bottle of water for a school.

He further revealed staggering variances in the building of schools of the same size and specifications in a same country are as reflected below:

1. Eastern Cape - R13.5m
2. Free State - R38m
3. Gauteng - R24.7m
4. KwaZulu Natal - R19m
5. Limpopo - R27m
6. Mpumalanga - R32m
7. North West - R12.5m
8. Northern Cape - R24m
9. Western Cape - R27m

To us this seems to be at the centre of what we are grappling with - massively inflated prices to milk tax payers.

We hope that the Public Protector and the Minister of Public Works will get to the bottom of this matter.

On the developments in Nkandla, COSATU appreciates that rural development is one of the ANC governmentís five priorities, which is taking place across the country, but which must be implemented regardless of who will benefit.

The question we have to ask government is whether Nkandla is being treated just like every other rural community or is prioritised above everywhere else. If the government can produce figures to how that an equal amount of money is being spent elsewhere, there can be no problem if President Zuma is benefitting as a citizen of South Africa.

Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street

Tel: +27 11 339-4911 or Direct: +27 10 219-1339
Mobile: +27 82 821 7456
E-Mail: patrick@cosatu.org.za