The Democratic Alliance (DA) is making a strong push for the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality in the upcoming local elections, set to take place in August.
The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality has seen ANC support decline over the years, with the party winning by a small margin of 51.9% against the DA’s 40.1% in 2011.
In the 2014 National the ANC only won 49.2% of the vote, while DA support remained fairly stable around 40.2%.
This week DA Eastern Cape leader, and Nelson Mandela Bay mayoral candidate Athol Trollip, marched to the NMB City Hall to make a case for why the party should lead in the region.
The party highlighted its job creation credentials where it currently governs.
“The DA-led City of Cape Town created 4000 jobs in the first quarter of 2016, reducing unemployment to 21.1% – the lowest of any South African Metro. During the same period, the unemployment figure in NMB rose to 33.2%, with 21,000 additional people added to the growing number of unemployed residents,” Trollip said.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane also accused the ANC of destroying the metro’s economy. Maimane pointed to figures released by the Auditor-General on the state of the country’s municipalities.
“If you ever want to see whether your government is corrupt‚ you go straight to the part of the report that deals with Unauthorised‚ Fruitless and Wasteful Expenditure.
“In the latest report we see that this number for Nelson Mandela Bay Metro was R457 million. For the 2014/2015 financial year. That’s almost half a billion rand that should have gone towards better services‚ better infrastructure and better maintenance‚” Maimane stated.
The metro was also the second highest contributor to a total figure of R14.75-billion for irregular expenditure, at R1.34 billion, after Rustenburg in the North West (R3 billion).
The ANC meanwhile, launched its national manifesto in Port Elizabeth in April. The party expected 110,000 voters to turn out for the manifesto launch, but only 42,000 arrived, according to the ANC, although those figures were disputed.