I was at the Boardwalk Convention Centre on Friday evening .
The room was buzzing with some of Nelson Mandela Bay ’s most prominent business figures poised in glitzy evening gowns and tailored suits.
Much to our delight, the Hollywood-acclaimed Ndlovu youth choir kicked off the celebrations.
The crowd was ecstatic, clapping and dancing to the beautiful, authentic sounds of SA’s latest rising stars.
By all accounts, the event was the most impressive of the Mandela Bay Business Chamber banquets in recent years.
Shortly after the fish starter, MC Ian Von Memerty called Andrew Muir to deliver the chamber’s annual presidential address.
A stutterer, Muir broke the ice with witty banter about his stammer. And then came the sobering moment.
“Like me, I am sure you care deeply about our city and are fully aware of the potential it has to become a truly great place to work, live and do business, ” Muir said.
“But, sadly, we are gathered here at a time when our city is facing its most critical period in recent history.”The room fell silent.
“To be blunt, our city has become dysfunctional. This has happened over a cumulative period of time.“In fact [it happened] over a good number of years and different political administrations.”
At the front row, a few metres away from the stage, sat mayor Mongameli Bobani, ANC chief whip Bicks Ndoni, former mayor Nceba Faku, businessman Saki Macozoma and the chamber’s CEO, Nomkhitha Mona.
Muir detailed the business community ’s frustration with the municipality’s poor services and the political chaos which has in