NELSON Mandela Bay Metro mayoral committee meetings would be open to the public and media, mayor Athol Trollip announced on Monday. The move is meant to promote transparency and accountability.
The first open meeting was held in September and the next is scheduled to take place on October 12 in the City Hall council chambers, with subsequent meetings taking place every second Wednesday in the same venue.
Trollip said that under ANC-led administrations, these meetings were closed, “meaning that residents and the media were locked out of holding the mayoral committee and government to account”.
“It was this closed-door policy that allowed the former administration under Danny Jordaan and his mayoral committee member for budget and treasury to claim that all was well in financial administration, when in actual fact they had plunged the municipality into financial insecurity with growing creditor and debtor lists, more and more write-offs of bad debt, and diminishing revenue returns,” said Trollip.
“We won’t make the same mistakes as our predecessors and we are well on our way to solving these issues. In line with our manifesto promise, this new administration is delivering change by making sure that this government is entirely accountable to all residents and to the media at all levels of decision making.”
Trollip said the mayoral committee was appointed by the mayor and acted as a local cabinet, providing political leadership in all directorates. Therefore, decisions made by this committee must be open to scrutiny by the public and the media so that the local administration was answerable to its residents. “We remain committed to ensuring that this administration works for the people, ensuring that better services are delivered, the economy is grown to create jobs, and corruption is stopped.”
The DA gained control of Nelson Mandela Bay after entering into coalition agreements with smaller parties. The outcome of the August 3 election saw the DA getting close to 47% of the vote in the metro, followed by the ANC with 41% and the EFF with just more than 5%.