Spotlight on Nkandla as KZN oversight committee kept in the dark

Tom Stokes, MPP

DA KZN Spokesperson on Sport and Recreation

News that KwaZulu-Natal’s Department of Sport and Recreation funded soccer fields and tennis courts adjacent to President Zuma’s Nkandla residence- to the tune of R4.2 million – are a bombshell to members of this province’s portfolio committee.

The DA finds it extremely disturbing that a project so high profile should have been kept a secret from the portfolio committee responsible for the oversight of the department’s infrastructure. At the very least, committee members should have been invited to the opening of the facilities and been given a brief on why this site was chosen above other sites in the district.

We acknowledge that there may well be legitimate reasons for choosing Nkandla as a sports centre. But the lack of transparency around the project, particularly considering the political sensitivity surrounding it, suggests that not all is right and proper.

The DA has today submitted parliamentary questions for urgent reply to KZN’s Sport and Recreation MEC requesting clarity on this matter.

We have asked;

* Why the portfolio committee was not advised of this project considering the political profile?

* The justification for using this particular location. We have requested an analysis of the research done to choose this site above other optional sites.

* Under what mandate in the strategic outcome of the department and the APP this project falls?

The DA expects the MEC to respond to these and other questions at the next provincial portfolio committee meeting, to be held on Wednesday.

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