By Neo Makwiting

PRETORIA, Dec 16 (NNN-SABC) — South Africa’s newly appointed Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), David “Des” van Rooyen, has outlined his programme of action for 2016 and beyond following his sudden removal from the Finance Ministry after spending only four days in that portfolio.

Van Rooyen, the man who briefly replaced Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister last week, said here Tuesday that he understood and supported President Jacob Zuma’s decisions and plans.

His appointment as the new finance minister last week set social media ablaze with some commentators calling for his head. It took the president four days, following strong public dissatisfaction and protests, to reverse his own decision and deploy van Rooyen to Cogta.

He opened his media briefing Tuesday by thanking President Zuma for appointing him as member of the Executive. Van Rooyen, who refused to discuss the behind-the-scene deals which saw him moving from one portfolio to another, would only say he understood and supported the decision made by the president.

He said he wanted to focus on his new job at Cogta after swapping roles with Pravin Gordhan, who moved from Cogta back to the National Treasury, which he headed until he was replaced by Nene .

Van Rooyen promised to work and improve relations with labour movements and associations representing municipalities.

“We look forward to engaging with the South African Local Government Association and the labour movements to ensure that they play their meaningful role so that we can all execute on what needs to be accomplished together. We are committed to continuing the work of my predecessor, Minister Gordhan. The Back-2-Basics programme has set the wheels of service delivery in motion and as one ANC government we will work together in the best interests of our citizens,” he said.


News Reporter