23 Jun 2013

Zuma's retirement home bill angers South Africans

11:46 am on 23 June 2013

Outrage is growing in South Africa over the renovation bill for President Jacob Zuma's private retirement home.

Renovations for the estate, complete with football fields, a theatre and an underground bunker, have reached $NZ35 million, dwarfing all public spending for previous presidents' homes.

City Press journalist Adrian Basson started digging into the cost of renovations and said he could not believe the numbers.

He said the president already has access to at least three official state houses.

Almost 20 years after the end of apartheid, Mr Zuma's retirement estate has become a symbol of widening inequality in South Africa, the ABC reports.

Almost 50% of the people in his rural area, near Nkandla in Zululand, have no jobs and many live without electricity or running water.

Three separate inquiries are underway into how so much money could be spent on the retirement home.