Newly appointed Nelson Mandela Bay municipal manager, Lindiwe Msengana-Ndlela, said she will spend the next three months studying the nature of the challenges facing the city.
Msengana-Ndlela, who started her duties on Friday, addressed the media on Monday following her recent appointment to the post which had been vacant for more than three years.
She said the city needed a collective leadership based on values and work ethics for it to attain its place in the economy of the country.
The former director-general at the department of local government called for a work ethic of selflessness and dedication from municipal management, general employees and the political leadership to take the city forward.
“I am not under any illusion that the challenges faced by the Nelson Mandela Bay will just disappear now that I am here. Cooperation, collective leadership and a good work ethic will be the key factors.
“We need to collectively create a culture and values that will be reflective of who we are and what we want to be in the future,” Msengana-Ndlela said.
She said metropolitan cities were an important part of the country’s economy. “We have got a task as a collective to work with speed in bringing normality to this institution.
“We need to set ourselves goals, over the short, medium and long term. Local government is about service to the people and requires commitment from all of us, whether as managers, politicians or employees of the municipality,” she said.
Earlier on Monday, Msengana-Ndlela met with political parties and unions, introducing herself to them.
“We have had positive interaction with unions and also the opposition. The indication is that we all share a common goal of making this city a city that works and benefits ratepayers and citizens,” she said.
Executive mayor Zanoxolo Wayile said the appointment of a permanent city manager had not been an easy task.
“The journey has been painful and long, with many challenges. We remained focused, because we knew that it was never about us. It has always been about the people who have trust in us.
“We humbly apologise to the people of the city for the mistakes that we might have made while on this journey. From now onwards, let us start a new chapter in taking this city forward to become an economically vibrant global city,” Wayile said.