A whopping sum of R500 000 was spent by the government on providing a cosy accommodation for the South African Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Van Rooyen and his family in a five-star hotel.
Apparently, the minister and his family have been enjoying the luxurious comfort of a five star hotel as their temporary home since his appointment.
The Department of Public Works justified the half a million expense by saying that as at the time of his appointment, there was no official state-owned residence available.
Minister van Rooyen and his family were booked into the five star hotel‚ with an amazing view of the city of Pretoria‚ on a month-to-month basis since January 1.
Surrounded by a lot of controversy, Van Rooyen (the president’s favourite minister) was appointed as the Minister of Finance by President Jacob Zuma on December 9 last year.
His appointment did no go down very well with the economy as the rand hit several lows when it was revealed that he had replaced Nhlanhla Nene in the delicate position.
However, his term as the finance minister was short-lived as four days later, he was appointed Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister.
This extravagant expense contradicts what present Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in his budget speech on February 24 in Parliament about curtailing spending.
“I need to emphasize that additional spending on higher education‚ small business development‚ and amounts set aside for responding to the drought and other contingencies‚ are accommodated through stringent cost containment measures across all departments‚” he said at the time.
The measures of cutting costs as mentioned by Gordhan included a “national travel and accommodation policy and instructions on conference costs.” He also added some guidelines to “limit the value of vehicle purchases for political office- bearers.”
It now comes as a surprise that the government is still venturing into mind blowing expenses like the five star hotel apartment and the cars for the president’s women.
The hotel in question on Herbert Baker‚ serves high tea and has an exclusive restaurant‚ Grissini.
As stated in the hotel website, it “offers discerning business and leisure travelers a distinctive luxury boutique experience”.