Nelson Mandela Bay’s 2017/18 IDP and Budget was approved in Council on Friday 26 May 2017. The vote was carried with a majority of 67 councillors. The ANC, AIC and UF all objected to both documents.
Executive Mayor Athol Trollip’s full speech is below:
Honourable Speaker of Council, Cllr Jonathan Lawack
Our Council Chief Whip, Werner Senekal,
Members of the Mayoral Committee, All Councillors
City Manager and Senior Managers
Leaders from the different political parties
Members of various Media Houses
Ladies and Gentlemen
Blessed Africa Day, Blessed Ascension Day, Blessed Month of Ramadaan.
Speaker and Councillors, today I have the privilege as the Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay to table the 2017/18 Draft Budget and Integrated Development Plan (IDP) under the leadership of the Metro’s Coalition Government.
Such an occasion, Honourable Speaker, bears deep significance for the political leadership of this Municipality, but more importantly, for the diverse communities that make up our Metro.
Local government remains a strategic site for the delivery of basic services and as such, its role is weaved into the fabric of the communities it serves. It is common knowledge that the Metro has in recent years gone through a rough patch, which severely affected service delivery and other key delivery related targets.
However, we as a Metro have shown resilience throughout these difficulties and we need to acknowledge the visible achievements dotted around the city, which serve as evidence of our capabilities as the NMBM. Among many, the Coega Development Cooperation IDZ and the role it plays in both the economic and socio-economic spheres remains a tangible example of what you can achieve when you have a solid plan in place, backed by a strong vision.
We also remain mindful of the anchor role that industries such as the automotive sector continue to play in the development of this city through job creation.
High unemployment remains a monumental challenge for Nelson Mandela Bay. As one of our key deliverables, as the new administration, we have made visible strides in addressing unemployment since we assumed office 9 months ago, as shown by the 2% reduction in unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of 2016.
This was the result of 4000 new job opportunities that were created, which translate to a 2.2% increase. Statistics SA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey showed that Nelson Mandela Bay’s unemployment dropped from 31.8% to 29.6%. This occurred against the backdrop of a gradual increase in unemployment in the Eastern Cape Province. General Motors’ unexpected blow to our economy affected workers, families and extended families.
Thus, we remain committed in working with both domestic and international investment partners and to continue strengthening established relations with our various key stakeholders.
Nonetheless, we as the new DA-led coalition government feel confident as we table our IDP for 2017/18 – 2021/22 and 2017/18 Draft Budget, that we are delivering resources that are informed by public sentiments and full participation by Metro residents. Our residents should take ownership of both resources, as they have been crafted based on the needs of our people.
Consequently, we have produced a 90% pro-poor budget to ensure that we uplift communities that were previously disadvantaged. We are therefore eager to showcase our achievements and the challenges identified, including our proposed IDP and budgetary interventions. The hard work that has gone into producing both documents provides foresight into how we will be able to mitigate the adverse effects of the identified service delivery challenges in our Metro.
The August 2016 Local Government elections delivered an exciting change of administration to Nelson Mandela Bay. This historic about-turn and rejection of the maladministration of the previous administration heralded in a new era, under the leadership of a DA-led coalition in the Metro.
The participating coalition partners and their respective parties had all campaigned in one way or another on the offer of change and a commitment to stopping corruption, growing our economy in order to create jobs, and improve service delivery. These are the seminal issues that influenced the electorate to vote against the status quo and to vote for change.
It was also predestined that in a city named after our iconic first democratically elected President, Nelson Mandela, we would have to govern in a coalition of different parties in a spirit of cooperation, reconciliation and united interest to deal with the issues of all the citizens of the City and their respective needs.
This change of administration brought not only much excitement, anticipation and expectation; it brought a fresh approach to governance. Almost immediately after the elections, we embarked on the most comprehensive interaction with citizens ever across all 60 wards and all stakeholder communities in an endeavour to craft a credible IDP, based on the actual needs of all the communities in our City. We also informed these communities unambiguously about what the objectives of this new administration are.
Constitutionally, municipalities are mandated to prepare a five-year Integrated Development Plan, which serves as a strategic action and service delivery oriented resource and, as such, supersedes all other plans that inform the developmental agenda in local government.
Our newly crafted IDP is a bold and confident attempt to achieve the fundamental reorganisation and necessary change of municipal governance in Nelson Mandela Bay as directed by our communities and as required by legislation and the Constitution. It has the innate potential to create a local government environment that combines the best from within communities with best practices from around the country and the world that will stimulate socio-economic growth and play a key role in attaining our developmental priorities, as outlined.
We have built our new administration on six pillars, which will form the foundation of what kind of city this new administration wishes to create in our term of office.
The pillars that our vision is hinged on are as follows:
- Opportunity City
- Caring City
- Safe City
- Inclusive City
- Well Run City
- Forward Thinking City
This IDP is the stepping stone towards achieving the vision of the City, based on these six pillars. The issues and needs raised by the communities from the six clusters in Nelson Mandela Bay, and the representatives of children, youth, elderly and differently abled persons; as well as key stakeholders in the Metro’s economy, are all aligned to these six pillars.
These stakeholders emphasised, among other things, the provision and improvement of basic services; focus on early childhood development; the visibility of the Metro Police; job creation; the empowerment of SMMEs and the revitalisation of business hives; urgent engagement with Transnet to expedite the relocation of the manganese ore facilities and fuel storage tanks in order to develop the Habour; strengthening collaboration within and amongst sectors; and revamping dilapidated signage across the Metro.
The expectations of our stakeholders require a change of mind-set in how we conduct our business as the City administration – it cannot be business as usual – change brings disruption. This IDP is the beginning of a new journey that we committed to embrace. It responds to the issues raised by all the stakeholders that participated in this historic and record IDP process.
Based on the renewed commitment of the leadership in the Metro and the new vision and mission that will guide the City, we developed an encompassing mission and vision, both supported by a brand promise.
Our mission: To create Freedom, Fairness and Opportunity for all in the NMBM; stop corruption; create jobs; and improve service delivery
Our Vision: An iconic, friendly, ocean city driven by innovation, service excellence and economic development – a destination of choice
Our Brand Promise: One City One Future
It remains key that we remind ourselves that in order to achieve all this, we need a capacitated, stabilised and modernised and operational service delivery environment.
This Budget and IDP provide expression to the strategic thrusts of local government, which among others seeks to promote good governance, ensure basic service delivery to all our communities, contribute towards job creation and accelerated economic development, and ensure financial sustainability and public participation.
It is our commitment as this administration to remain vigilant in the monitoring and implementation of the approved cash-flow strategy. Our goal is to ensure that we keep to the promises that have been captured in the IDP to allow for a community crafted service delivery plan, informed by public participation, to run seamlessly, for maximum impact and value for money for every rand spend, 100 cents return.
Honourable Speaker, Section 24 of the MFMA requires that an annual budget be approved before the start or beginning of the budget year. The approval of the budget should be done together with the adoption of any resolutions as may be necessary. When this exercise has been completed, the municipality is required to submit the approved annual budget to the National Treasury and the relevant Provincial Treasury.
Furthermore, you would recognise, Speaker, that our budget is informed by our consideration of the economic, social and financial factors affecting the broader community of the Metro. Following a string of Budget Steering Committee meetings, we have produced a realistic budget for the people of the Metro and we are confident that it reflects the will of the people. The proposed budget will in no doubt drive the IDP and assist the Municipality in attaining its objectives. Treasury has endorsed it
We have a total operating revenue of R9,4 billion for the 2017/18 financial year.
A total of R221,6 million has been set aside for the Human Settlements Directorate to address the myriad of challenges facing it. This will go a long way in redressing housing related issues and opening up the Directorate to the possibility of having the right to build low cost housing relinquished back by the National Housing Department.
Another sizeable chunk of the budget, totalling R300 million, will go towards the tarring and resurfacing of roads across the Metro. An amount of R40 million will go towards the Bucket Eradication Programme. This will help to remove the indignity that our people have been subjected to and ensure that dignified facilities are erected.
The Assistance to the Poor (ATTP) Programme has a generous allocation of R580 million as part the Municipality’s indigent support to Metro households.
We express our sincere gratitude to residents and businesses that consistently pay their municipal accounts. Their contributions go a long way towards expanding and sustaining service delivery.
Speaker, we are quite aware of many households who cannot pay. We will continue to assist them. The ATTP Budget speaks to this. But our message is unambiguous: people who can afford to pay for municipal service should pay.
Compared to other Metropolitan Municipalities, the NMBM has the lowest tariff increases for the 2017/18 financial year. For instance, the proposed 9% increase for water is 2% lower than the proposed 11% in Mangaung. The Buffalo City Metro has a proposed 9.60% property rates increment, against the NMBM’s 4%.
These are small victories for the Metro, as the comparative increments will go a long way in ensuring that our people still receive good quality service at a reasonably lower cost to our citizens.
In pursuance of all these objectives, we should remain resolute in changing the lives of our people for the better. What we have achieved over the last 9 months, will fuel us to reach even greater heights.
Nelson Mandela taught us, through his infinite wisdom, to embrace the courage of our convictions when he said that, “after climbing one great hill; one only discovers that there are many more hills to climb”.
To members of the Council, let us continue to impact change in the lives of our people as history will judge us if we dare fail to deliver on our mandate.
The time for change has come. The time to change people’s lives comes with this budget.
I thank you.
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