The DA has requested that the Auditor-General conduct an audit into the updated costs of the Nkandla project after Department of Public Works (DPW) failed to furnish National Treasury with the most up to date figures in this regard.
It is completely unacceptable that Public Works could not furnish up to date figures and details on this major national scandal. This must be corrected.
To this end, in terms of the Public Audit Act of 2004, the Auditor-General may undertake investigations of expenditure by a national department. As such, we request that the Auditor-General’s office investigate the financial contribution of the DPW to the Nkandla project, by conducting a forensic audit of transactions and accounts of the Department, and to report these findings to Parliament.
The National Treasury asserted that it encountered difficulties in obtaining details of expenditure related to the upgrading of President Zuma’s Nkandla homestead. Specifically, the report from the Treasury to the Constitutional Court stated that it did not receive all the necessary documents from the Department of Public Works. This has led to difficulties in determining the extent of expenditure on the project.
In almost all instances, the information provided by the Department was incorrect. Where a double story building was built, the drawings given showed a single story building. The information provided for the cattle kraal, construction around the pool, and landscaping information were all not reflective of what was actually built. This meant that Treasury had to make a large deal of assumptions during their investigation. The Department of Public Works should have given them the full information and costs.
While Minister of Public Works, Thulas Nxesi, has argued that he is not responsible for project irregularities that occurred before his tenure began, it is clear that he is obstructing attempts to determine the updated amount that his Department of Public Works (DPW) has spent, and continues to spend, on the project.
We cannot stress enough the importance of a clear accounting of the cost of the Nkandla project, particularly so in the case of Public Works spending. We trust that the A-G will fulfil your role in ensuring the accountability of public officials, and in promoting the interests of South African citizens who have footed the bill for the upgrades of the President’s private residence.
The DA will not relent in getting to the full truth of how much money was actually spent at Nkandla and the full liability of those Ministers and government officials who appear to have colluded throughout this debacle.