One hundred days into office, Danny Jordaan has let down the people of Nelson Mandela Bay, says Athol Trollip.
Johannesburg – One hundred days into office, Danny Jordaan has disappointed and disserved the people of Nelson Mandela Bay, in the style of all ANC mayors before him.
In just 100 days, Jordaan has been tainted by a massive international bribe scandal involving $10 million, the revelation that he bunked paying his residential electricity bill for seven years, the admission that he unethically handed out wads of cash to voters and the undeniable truth that he is a part-time mayor.
Jordaan’s lofty promises to modernise the archaic administration, grow the local economy, root out corruption, fix decaying infrastructure, promote social inclusion, cut costs on non-core expenditure and increase access to decent education have all been broken.
Instead of fixing decaying infrastructure, Jordaan has kept NMB as the metro with the highest water loss in South Africa, at 36 percent, at a cost of R327m, without any change on the cards.
Instead of rooting out corruption, Jordaan has protected and befriended Roland Williams, who unlawfully and improperly dishes out tenders, bungles contracts and takes paid trips with municipal tender bidders.
Instead of cutting costs on non-core expenditure, Jordaan decided to cut “special skills allowances” to critical officials in the electricity and water directorates, causing a wildcat strike and power outages in vast areas of the north and water cut-offs for over a week.
Instead of promoting social cohesion, Jordaan has failed to get the IPTS bus system running to connect the metro and bring people together, he has overseen some of the most violent and desperate protest action by communities in the northern areas who feel unrepresented and uncared for.
But Jordaan did cut the capital budget for the northern areas, and has brought this entire region’s budget down to just 5,9 percent of the whole metro budget, while also cutting coloured job seekers out of municipal employment in large numbers through lower employment equity targets. This employment equity decision by Jordaan’s administration had to be taken to Labour Court to be challenged.
Walmer township has erupted in fierce housing protests because the Jordaan-ANC government has failed to increase delivery houses of and only plans to complete 1 293 homes this year, when the waiting list for houses is over 38 000.
Jordaan has failed to make Nelson Mandela Bay safer; there is still no metro police force in our metro, while the incongruously titled chief of metro police, Pinkie Mathabathe, draws a R1m annual salary with not a single metro cop on the beat.
Jordaan is poised to fire municipal manager Mpilo Mbambisa, with a generous golden handshake like three managers before him. In 12 years, the metro has been through six municipal managers, with over R11m going with them as they parted ways. Jordaan’s latest attempt to sack a municipal manager will bring in number seven in 12 years.
The story of Danny Jordaan’s broken promises and scandal evasion doesn’t need to be the story of the future of Nelson Mandela Bay.
The DA is set on winning Nelson Mandela Bay in next year’s election and will make our first 100 days a historic period of growth, development and change.
In the first 100 days in office, a DA government will bring government closer to the people through direct contact mechanisms; will launch the first of many entrepreneurship centres and job zones and will establish an infrastructure upgrade detection and monitoring team.
We will launch anti-drug and anti-gangsterism units, in collaboration with other metros as an interim measure; will launch independent forensic audits of all wrongdoing and will work with other metros which have efficient bus rapid transport systems to formally launch the Nelson Mandela Bay IPTS on the best working model.
The DA will launch our complete vision for Nelson Mandela Bay on September 12 at the Donkin Reserve in Port Elizabeth. Change is coming to Nelson Mandela Bay.
* Athol Trollip is the DA’s mayoral candidate for Nelson Mandela Bay.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.
The Sunday Independent