The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has expressed shock at the removal the Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene from his position.
On Wednesday evening, President Jacob Zuma announced he decided to remove Nene, ahead of his deployment to “another strategic position.”
“Whilst, we appreciate and respect that our constitution gives the president the powers to make changes to the cabinet, we feel that the decision was ill timed,” said Sizwe Pamlam, COSATU National Spokesperson,said.
He said Nene’s tenure, which began in 2004, was short and the economic sector did not cope well with “abrupt and unqualified changes” because that created uncertainty.
“Currently, the economy is on its knees and it is haemorrhaging jobs across all sectors. The unemployment rate is going through the roof and the blight of capital flight is back in full swing. To manoeuvre this economic minefield and smooth transition, we needed the stability, continuity and the experience that Cde Nhlanhla Nene provided,” said Pamla.
While the organisation was discomforted by Zuma’s decision, COSATU wished the new Minister, David Van Rooyen well in his new position.
“He deserves to be given a chance like all other ministers that have come before him,” said Pamla. He said the new minister had a difficult task before him.
Van Rooyen serves as a Whip of the Standing Committee on Finance and as Whip of the Economic Transformation Cluster.
He is a former Executive Mayor of Merafong Municipality and a former North West provincial chairperson of the South African Local Government Association.
“We need him and Treasury to take the nation out of this economic quagmire. Our federation expects him to bring about fundamental and not cosmetic changes to the way the economy of this country is managed,” Pamla said.
Author: Savious Kwinika