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Johannesburg - There is an increasing trend that public money is being spent improperly and wastefully by the department of public works under the guise of “security upgrades”, the DA said on Friday.
“The department must not take the people for granted. We know... that building a R20 million fence, when one already exists, is ridiculous,” Democratic Alliance MP Anchen Dreyer said in a statement.
“I trust that the Public Protector will probe this most recent example of state abuse of public funds.”
Dreyer said the party would write to Thuli Madonsela's office to investigate the erection of a wall to protect an existing wall, costing taxpayers millions, at the ministerial residential estate Bryntirion in Pretoria.
This followed a report in the Mail&Guardian on Friday.
Dreyer said the building of an additional wall as part of security upgrades would cost around R20 million.
“This comes seven years after the construction of the controversial R90 million 'anti-climb, motion-detection security fences' around the complex, which includes President Jacob Zuma’s official residence in Pretoria,” she said.
“It must be asked why another expensive 'security wall' is needed to protect an already controversial state-of-the-art structure.”
Bryntirion Estate incorporates “Mahlamba Ndlopfu” - the residence of the president of the country, the vice president's home, the presidential guest house and the homes of many Cabinet ministers.
Dreyer said public money should be spent on projects that would improve service delivery, grow the economy, and create jobs.
The department of public works had not responded to a Sapa query by 2pm on Friday. He said it was unclear when the department would respond.
On March 19, Madonsela released her report on costly security upgrades at Zuma's private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, saying Zuma should have asked questions about the scale, costs, and affordability of security upgrades which could end up being as much as R240 million.
Her findings included that Zuma unduly benefited from the upgrades and that he should pay back a portion of the money.
An ad hoc committee has been set up to consider submissions made by Zuma in response to Madonsela's report.