With the cost of security upgrades alone running well over R250 million, President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead is easily one of the most expensive homes in the country. But compared to some other properties of similar value, he may have gotten a raw deal.
For R250 million (approximately $22.5 million), one could find amazing homes in some of the world’s most beautiful and sought-after regions.
From a villa in Phuket in Thailand to a Rhineland castle in Germany, or even a modest Spanish palace, these are some of the most opulent homes you can buy with same amount spent on the President’s Nkandla security upgrades.
South Africa – Nkandla – R250 million
The price relates to totals spent on developing the property since 2009, as part of a security upgrade funded by taxpayers.
Specifics about the property are scarce, due to the security risks involved, but it was revealed through documents that the fenced area features over thirty one buildings, all falling on the 22 acre piece of land owned by the president.
Some known features include a gate house, an underground bunker, a helipad, a gymnasium, a big fire pool, elevators, bullet proof windows and loads of guest rooms.
United States – Viñoly Mansion – R275 million
That’s not even marketing speak, as this is one of a handful of homes designed by renowned architect, Rafael Viñoly.
Described as a “work of art”, this home covers 1,500 square metres on a 16 acre piece of land. It has 3 bedrooms, and features both indoor and outdoor fire pools, as well as a roof top observation deck with 50 mile views.
Spain – Spanish palace – R265 million
For around $24 million, you could get your hands on this 3,000 square metre home in the old town of the Santa Creu district in Spain.
The 10 bedroom home comes complete with three terraces – from which you can enjoy views of the sea and the Cathedral – several independent apartments, a large cellar, a lift and several parking spaces.
Thailand – Nai Thon, Phuket – R245 million
The 6 bedroom property sits on 7,000 square metres of land, and seriously looks like something straight off of a tourism brochure.
Other little additions include a private café, spa with steam room and sauna, home theatre, fully equipped gymnasium and two infinity-edge fire pools.
Germany – Rhineland Castle – R240 million
This castle in Germany’s Rhineland covers over 2,000 square metres on a 32 acre piece of land. And there’s plenty of room with 10 bedrooms – all for $21.5 million.
Among the many features this property offers are a private pub in the vaulted cellars, a state-of-the-art home cinema, a caretaker house at the bottom of the hill, a tennis court and a helicopter landing pad.
South Africa – Enigma Mansion – R235 million
While Nkandla’s R250 million pricetag is certainly one of the most expensive homes in the country, it’s off the selling price of South Africa’s top dog – the Enigma Mansion – which is on the market for R300 million.
The 700 square metre Atlantic Seaboard property offers 6 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms, along with garage space for 6 cars. The property also nests a guest house and a studio.
While it’s listed at R300 million, the price is regarded as a marketing gimmick – the highest offer put in for the property is R235 million.
Check out some of the most expensive homes for sale in SA.
Russia – Moscow estate – R230 million
This 2.22 acre estate in the nation’s capital, Moscow, is home to a 1,400 square metre, classicaly decorated mansion.
The home has a dedicated spa zone – featuring a sauna, hammam and in-door fire pool – and a mezzanine level where there is a cine hall, a play room and a special room for parties.
All this, for a tiny $21 million.
Image source: Sotheby’s