Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Municipalities cautiously welcome Van Rooyen

Unlike the storm that followed his appointment as finance minister, the announcement that Des van Rooyen is now the minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs has been met with a resounding “meh” from those at the heart of his new portfolio – even though South Africa is just months away from municipal elections.

But although the public has been left with the perception that Van Rooyen was a disaster as the mayor of Merafong, some of his new constituents are cautiously optimistic.

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) initially expressed concern about Van Rooyen’s appointment, but this week spokesperson Papikie Mohale said it was unlikely to make much difference to the elections.

“I don’t think his appointment will affect the way people will vote. The only thing which might [affect the vote] is if he’s unable to deliver. We hope that his appointment will be in the interests of service delivery,” he said.

Van Rooyen also served as the head of the South African Local Government Association (Salga) in North West province. Salga spokesperson Tahir Sema said: “There is already commitment from the department that programmes that were already in place will continue to be in place. However, we are yet to meet with him and when we do we will raise our concerns.”

Sema said Salga would tell Van Rooyen that it was “crucial” that municipalities were stabilised, that their finances were in order “and that they are ready and willing to deliver basic services”.

He said Van Rooyen’s local government experience would aid him. “Together with that, we are confident that he will be able to discharge his duties. We welcome him and wish him well.”

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and receive a 40% discount on our annual rate..

Sarah Evans
Sarah Evans

Sarah Evans interned at the Diamond Fields Advertiser in Kimberley for three years before completing an internship at the Mail & Guardian Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane). She went on to work as a Mail & Guardian news reporter with areas of interest including crime, law, governance and the nexus between business and politics. 

Related stories


Subscribers only

‘W Cape, fix unplaced pupils crisis’

Civil rights organisations want the department to find a permanent solution to the problem

Shanduka shade over Free State education

Audit firm PwC said R500-million irregular expenditure incurred by the Free State education department is related to an unsolicited bid by the Kagiso Shanduka Trust to improve schools

More top stories

Even religion has limits on its rights

The constitution does protect faith — but not beyond what is reasonable

Covid kills a decade of employment growth in SA

The self-employed were nearly three times less likely to work during the hard lockdown, economists found

Ramaphosa faction dividing Limpopo — NEC hears

In a leaked recording during Saturday’s ANC national executive committee meeting, Mathabatha said he has observed ‘comrades who run around purporting to be the defenders of our president’.

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…