The African National Congress (ANC) in the Nelson Mandela Bay, which is now the official opposition in the region, on Tuesday said that it will lead a march to City Hall on Thursday, with other stakeholders and political parties in the city, to demand better service delivery from the new Democratic Alliance (DA) led administration.
Addressing the media at its Florence Matomela House offices, in Govan Mbeki Avenue, Port nediaElizabeth, the ANC said that the march is meant to voice its displeasure at the way in which the DA-led coalition has been attending to the needs of local residents, in particular basic service delivery, since the DA took office in August.
ANC regional task team convener, Vuyani Limba, said that since the DA-led coalition came into power, the new administration has entrenched racism and abuse of power in various aspects of the municipality.
“The residents of Nelson Mandela Bay have been complaining about the neglecting of key pillars of our democracy, which put people first …. Enhancing and entrenching of dictatorship, autocracy, segregation [were] the pillars of the apartheid past,” said Limba.
He added that, the DA-led coalition has brought more misery and pain inside and outside the municipality, with more nepotism and corruption – and basically violating the basic principles of the Developmental Local Government.
The ANC said that the party, together with its stakeholders and other political parties, do not agree with the way the DA-led coalition has handled issues like switching off the electricity of the residents that are in arrears.
This is after the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality recently announced tough new measures to curb a decline in its revenue collection and recover R2 billion owed to it by households and businesses. Among these new measures, both domestic and commercial consumers owing the Metro will have their power switched off.
Still, Nelson Mandela Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, said that the newly introduced measures are not to strain consumers, but to sustain the municipality to continue to provide basic services to all citizens of the city.
ANC Nelson Mandela Bay leader, Bicks Ndoni, said that the new measures are hurting most black residents.
“We have witnessed situations where residents, in particular black residents, having their electricity switched off for owing R5, R32 or R200. The penalty for reconnection is R350 – that cannot be accepted,” said Ndoni.
He added that on several occasions, the ANC has tried to meet the Executive Mayor to discuss critical issues that are affecting the communities, but, up to now, he has not showed interest.
“We have notified the Provincial and National governments about the march and we urge local residents to join us in the march because they are the most affected,” said Ndoni.
He concluded that at the march, which they said will be huge, they will hand over the memorandum and give the Executive Mayor 14 days to respond to their grievances and come up with a solution.
“We not expecting solution overnight, but if our demands are not met, we have a plan of moving this issue forward,” concluded Ndoni.