Nelson Mandela Bay metro executive mayor Zanoxolo Wayile said recent service delivery protests in the city have taught the city a lesson to coordinate better and to conduct themselves in a different manner.
Speaking on Monday during the handover of a R1m incentive cheque to Discovery Health, which will be used for training of new job seekers by the medical aid giant, Wayile said the protests were justified because the city was not immune to challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality facing the country.
There has been a spate of service delivery protests in the Nelson Mandela Bay area, particularly in townships like Walmer, kwaZakhele, Zwide and kwaNobuhle. Residents in the areas complained of a lack of houses, decent jobs and proper sanitation among others.
The protests even prompted Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Richard Baloyi to intervene.
Baloyi’s recent visit to Walmer on Wednesday last week.
Wayile said the majority of the protesters came from the youth.
“I believe if these people were employed, they would not engage in such violent protests,” Wayile said.
“People are in dire need of services, but more than anything, they are in need of jobs to better their lives.
“The recent service delivery protests have taught us to conduct some unusual business tactics,” he said.
South African National NGO Coalition convener Mongameli Peter said: “The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality is a developmental metro and therefore cannot unleash its developmental plans and programmes in a monotonous or typical manner that only focuses on the provision of water and sanitation, roads maintenance and construction, and fire and disaster management.”
Wayile said the city was not immune to poverty, unemployment and inequality. He said for this to be dealt with, committed and focused leadership, coupled with credible institutions, was needed.
“I have observed that the majority of the young people who were part of these protests were so energetic, they could not be controlled by the police. These young people woke up at 2am when they went to these protests and police would arrive at 7am.
“We will do everything in our power to attract as many investors as possible, so that these people can find work,” said Wayile.
Article source: http://www.thenewage.co.za/65498-1016-53-Metro_learnt_its_lesson