Government has spent an estimated R500 000 housing Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen and his family in a five-star boutique hotel.
The Mail and Guardian reported on Friday that the Department of Public Works justified the expense by saying there was no official state-owned residence available when he was appointed as a minister.
The family have been booked into the hotel‚ with sweeping views of Pretoria‚ on a month-to-month basis since January 1.
Van Rooyen was controversially appointed as the Minister of Finance by President Jacob Zuma on December 9 last year. The rand took a beating when it was revealed that he had replaced Nhlanhla Nene in the key position. He was appointed Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister four days later.
“I need to emphasise 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.
Cost-cutting measures‚ he said‚ included a “national travel and accommodation policy and instructions on conference costs” and guidelines to “limit the value of vehicle purchases for political office- bearers.”
The hotel‚ 131 on Herbert Baker‚ serves high tea and has an exclusive restaurant‚ Grissini‚ that promises to “satisfy even the most discerning palate”.
The hotel website says that it‚ “offers discerning business and leisure travellers a distinctive luxury boutique experience”.
“From the incredible panoramic views to the magnificent cuisine‚ 5-star expectations are surpassed time and again.