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.”

Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

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

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Unvaccinated South Africans to pay more for insurance premiums

Insurance companies have adjusted their premiums and people who are not vaccinated will pay more for cover

Little justice for gender-based violence cases in Eswatini

A report details how medical and legal shortages and discrimination curtails survivors’ rights

Hawks in legal tussle with arms maker over billet seizure

Differing interpretation of the Firearms Control Act resulted in the seizure of a shipment of billets bound for the DRC from Durban harbour last week

Lessons from Turkey to SA: Economic independence is a battle

Without tighter capital controls, regulating the flow of money in and out of their economies, Turkey and South Africa are vulnerable to the whims of the financial markets
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×