JZ, his wives and the president's houses

Will our machine-gun happy new president be good for property prices? What’s on the market near him; values, details.

He had humble beginnings in Nkandla, a rural village in KwaZulu Natal, but Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma will soon be ensconced in palatial splendour at the Presidential residences in Pretoria and Cape Town.

The ANC president affectionately known as JZ, or just by his clan name Msholozi, will soon have to decide fast which of his five wives will become South Africa's first lady. He will be the first polygamist to head the nation.

There has been much speculation in the last few days before the elections about how he will manage his spousal situation. For example, which of the five wives is set to be the first lady? And where will they all stay?

A spokesperson for JZ said he currently lives in his Forest Town home in Johannesburg and his first wife, Sizakele Zuma, lives in his Inkandla homestead in Kwa Zulu Natal.

With so much support for JZ, I can't help but wonder whether any will consider moving closer to where he lives. Perhaps Forest Town, where he lives now, will rise in popularity, thanks to JZ's roots in the Johannesburg suburb.

According to valuations supplied by Lightstone , Forest Town suburb in the City of Johannesburg, is ranked number 160 nationally with average prices of R2,635m for freehold homes. A trawl through the 17 Forest Town homes for sale by estate agents shows you can pick up something very comfortable for R3,5m, while R12m buys the best (click here to see what's currently on offer in the suburb).

JZ's homestead in Inkandla is said to be worth R1,5m in rural KZN. Whether his coming to power is set to bring that rural property market into the lime light remains to be seen.

Let's get this party started

One thing is for sure: JZ loves to throw a good party to entertain friends and family as well as appease the ancestors at the same time.

The Presidential houses will provide him and his family with more than enough space to work, relax and entertain all they like, with taxpayers coughing up for all the VIP protection he needs to ensure uninvited guests do not set foot on his property.

JZ, whose financial woes are well-known to the world, has sampled the fruits of fine living, and perhaps he will invite for tea - or maybe something more medicinal - his more notorious benefactor, Schabir Shaik.

More about the top South African addresses: As South African President, Zuma he gets to live in the Presidential properties Mahlamba Ndlopfu in Arcadia, Pretoria, and Genadendal in Rondebosch, Cape Town.

These properties carry an undisclosed amount of value, thanks to their prestige and heritage importance. The department of public works told Realestateweb.co.za that it is difficult to attach value to prestige and, since these properties are not in the market, one cannot therefore attach value to them.

Those who live in the area have benefitted from this prestige. A search of the properties on the market in Arcadia indicates that the suburb is highly popular for ambassadorial residences, though there are a few "entertainer's dream" homes on offer for a few million rands. The priciest home on the market in Arcadia is a Herbert Baker beauty for a snip under R12m, while most of the more luxurious residences have asking prices of about R4m and less (click here to find property in Arcadia).

Genadendal nestles in the snobby southern suburbs of Cape Town, where the white liberals in nearby areas like Rondebosch and Newlands are perhaps perturbed that the man who is becoming internationally famous for singing "bring me my machine gun" will soon be their neighbour.

The country's controversial Presidential candidate hasn't yet dampened asking prices in these suburbs, though there doesn't seem to be any shortage of sellers. Realestateweb's property listings show there are about 140 homes on the market, the priciest of which is an R8,5m grand old lady that has been "beautifully restored" for today's living (click here to view the photo gallery).

Newlands doesn't have quite as many properties as Rondebosch on the market (about 90), but prices are much higher. The most expensive home on the market in Newlands is a R35m "great house in the grand manner with unique quirks, which make it truly one in a million". It includes a "sweeping staircase built from hand-carved slabs of table mountain sandstone, secret study, wine cellar, luxurious teak and yellowwood parquet floors, cedar built-in cupboards and an attic", says the agent marketing the home. Other homes are on offer for about R12m and if you are searching in the R5m range, you will be spoilt for choice in Newlands (see property listings on Realestateweb).

Lining up for First Lady

Who will share all the trappings of being the most powerful man in the land? The next President's spokesperson confirmed that JZ has five wives and 18 children but could not say which of the wives have been tipped to be first lady. Although some analysts have hinted that the first wife will be the First Lady, some are convinced that wife number three could beat her to the post.

Even his well-known daughter Duduzile, (she stood by JZ during his rape trial) is set to step into the limelight holding Daddy's hand just as former President Nelson Mandela's daughter, Zenani Dlamini does.

JZ's first is Sizakele Khumalo who married him in 1973 and lives in Nkandla, the couple do not have children. Mantuli Zuma has two children with JZ and Nompumelelo Ntuli married JZ last year with two young children. Thobeka Stacey Mabhija and they have two children.JZ has four children with former wife, Foreign Affairs Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, they divorced in 1999. The late Kate Zuma, committed suicide in 2000 and has five children. JZ also has a young son with Bongi Ngema.

Article by: Denise Mhlanga - www.realestateweb.co.za