Four years after construction, a road linking to Zuma’s village in Nkandla has gulped another huge amount of money. The 34km P15 was built at a cost of R290 million in 2012 and is currently under rehabilitation for R45m.
Construction of P15 kicked-off in February 2015 after it developed potholes and bumpy surfaces – posing a serious to road users. As reported by Sunday Times, the road in Zuma’s village runs past his private residence and links his village of KwaNxamalala with nearby Kranskop and Eshowe.
It also emerged that three companies- Crossmoor, Aqua Transport and a third unnamed firm were awarded contracts to fix the road.
According to KZN transport department spokesman, Kwanele Ncalane, the road will hopefully be completely in August, after the companies have completed the first two sections of the road (about 15km) at a cost of R45-million.
Ncalane however said he would like an audit of the costs incurred on the project. He also said he would like to know whether the contracts were duly awarded.
In his own words:
“There are heavy loads on the road and there have been too many accidents. This is classified as light rehabilitation to improve the lifespan of the road.”
Construction Of P15 In Zuma’s Village Too Expensive
Speaking also, a DA MPL and member of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature’s committee on transport, Rafeek Shah, opined that “the P15 shouldn’t have deteriorate to the extent which now warrants millions for refurbishment”, since it was constructed just four years ago.
Shah went on to say:
“Communities living in other rural areas suffer socioeconomic deprivation as there are inadequate roads … but we can afford to spend millions for the benefit of one person’s clan and homestead.”
Shah also questioned why such amount of money was spent on one road in Nkandla when so many others needed rehabilitative work. Apart from P15, another road that needs urgent attention in the area is R68. The road is currently rough and cragged, with terrific potholes. But there are reportedly no plans of rehabilitating it.
The lifespan of a tarred road should be at least 20 years, according to road specialists. Meanwhile, the state has refuted claims that upgrades around Zuma’s Nkandla are for his household.
Speaking in defense too, a joint standing committee on intelligence special report on the security measures at Zuma’s residence said the conditions of roads in Nkandla are “generally very poor.”
Zuma’s joint standing committee on intelligence special report added:
“The 200km between Zuma’s home and King Shaka International Airport – which includes the P15 – posed a transportation challenge for the president.”
While it is befitting to have smooth roads around Nkandla, many have grumbled about other nearby roads being neglected – after all, the construction funds belong to taxpayers.