DANNY Jordaan has been sworn in as mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay at a ceremony in New Brighton.
Mr Jordaan is the head of the South African Football Association‚ which has been accused of paying a $10m bribe to Fifa’s Jack Warner to secure the 2010 World Cup tournament for South Africa.
The US indictment does not name the South African ‘co-conspirator #15″‚ but says the person was on the bid committee and on the local organising committee for the 2010 World Cup.
The indictment alleges that Mr Warner was paid by diverting money from Fifa intended for South Africa‚ which avoided a South African paper trail.
Mr Jordaan has made no comment on the scandal‚ saying only that this was not the appropriate time to talk about the events.
Mr Jordaan replaced 82-year-old Ben Fihla‚ who was widely criticised for his inability to unite the region and focus on service delivery.
The ANC-led metro has been hamstrung by factional battles and is widely believed to be heading for an electoral defeat by the opposition DA in next year’s local government elections.
Among Mr Jordaan’s first tasks will be to study the city’s budget‚ which was supposed to be tabled on Thursday. Instead‚ The Herald tweeted‚ Mr Jordaan will “peruse and give political direction” on the budget‚ and council will reconvene in seven days to debate it.
The budget must be geared towards an investment in infrastructure‚ said Mr Jordaan‚ and he vowed to work “towards a budget of surpluses”.
Mr Jordaan told the council sitting that he was “standing in front of you today as a son of the city”. It was a city in which‚ he said‚ he learnt his politics‚ and a city in which he watched his house being “bulldozed”.
Mr Jordaan acknowledged that there were tough challenges ahead‚ amongst them a rampant crime problem‚ and some places in the city were “no-go areas”. Justice‚ Jordaan said‚ means safety from gangs‚ and pledged that peace would be restored to the city.
“In coming weeks‚ we will announce concrete plans and interventions on how to deal with these‚” he added.
Mr Jordaan said that things “will not be business as usual”‚ and hinted that the metro may introduce some austerity measures‚ including cutting back on international travel.
This‚ The Herald tweeted‚ was thus received: “Crowd claps. Officials sit still‚ no reaction.”
Mr Jordaan also raised concerns about a brain-drain when he claimed that only 12% of people in the metro have higher education‚ the lowest level in the country‚ and that what was “more concerning is that those 12% then leave our city”.
“Today is a homecoming for me‚” Mr Jordaan concluded.
Bicks Ndoni was sworn in as the metro’s new deputy mayor.
RDM News Wire