The Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan council took three years to appoint a permanent Municipal Manager – in that time the city lost many Municipal Directors and competent staff along with becoming the laughing stock of every city in South Africa.
In less than three months after the appointment of Dr Lindiwe Msengana-Ndlela as Municipal Manager in late February 2013 we have seen the political infighting lead to calls for the removal of Dr Lindiwe Msengana-Ndlela who has been threatened with harm. These thuggery tactics, calculated to ‘scare’ Dr Lindiwe Msengana-Ndlela off, are indicative of an administration rife with corruption.
On Friday 31 May (See: Business and Civil Society lay down the law to Council) a unique grouping of business and civil society in the form of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, the South African NGO Coalition (Sangoco), the Ratepayers Association of Nelson Mandela Bay and Cosatu presented their concerns in Council and drew their line in the sand saying “Enough is Enough”.
The initial demands from this group is that the Municipality immediately desist with their destabilising and threatening manner towards the duly appointed Municipal Manager. In the words of NMBBC Board Member, Neil Hart, a realistic time frame would be within 30 days. The next step would be to ensure that permanent and competent municipal directors be appointed.
All members of the group agree that they have lost trust in the local politicians, that in all their interventions all they have ever received is; “A lot of nothings”. There is also the realisation that politicians are not showing any leadership at all and are playing with the lives of the people within the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.
Business and Civil Society are predicting that the dithering and infighting in Council will ultimately lead to the loss of 12 000 jobs in our Metro. Residents with long memories will remember the huge economic blow that Port Elizabeth suffered when Ford left our fair city in the 1980?s. The question is if those 12 000 jobs represent an average individual salary of R10 000.00 per month whether Nelson Mandela Bay can afford to see R120 Million rand per month leave our city economy.
I am sure that the alliance partners of the ANC are also a bit bewildered as their actions seem to be playing right into the hands of opposition parties who, presented with this ‘gift’, will certainly also benefit from a destabilised institution.
The message to Council is clear – “Enough is Enough, the citizens of Nelson Mandela Bay demand that you take urgent steps to stabilise our city or, you are OUT”