KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu has appointed an independent assessor to investigate the work done at the Premier’s official Parklane residence in Pietermaritzburg following concerns that millions of public funds had been squandered on the renovations.
While briefing members of the Provincial Legislature yesterday, Mchunu said the assessor will have to determine whether value for money was being realised.
The house is more than 100 years old and considered a heritage site; it is currently unoccupied as Mchunu uses his private residence in Durban.
Mchunu recently halted the renovations following an outcry over the cost of the renovations.
The DA visited the house to inspect renovations recently and found that some of the work done had been substandard and not worth the money spent - they dubbed the renovations, a “second Nkandla”.
“We have now taken a deliberate decision to undertake an independent process of actuarial assessments of the renovations being undertaken at the Parkside government residence. This will assess value for money,” said Mchunu.
Mchunu said despite the controversy, the renovations were necessary.
He said a preliminary assessment by the Department of Public Works found that the roof of the main building was in such a severe state of disrepair that it posed a safety hazard to the premier and his visitors.
Mchunu said the total cost of all the required renovations to the Parkside Residence at present is estimated by the department to be R32.65m
“This is payable for up to the year 2023 and includes professional fees. The figure of R35 million is therefore a projected and an estimated figure over a multi-year period,” he said.