The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality has finally passed the 2018/19 budget on Wednesday morning‚ with the help of the African Independent Congress (AIC).
It was the council’s fourth attempt to pass the budget.
Earlier‚ the action was clouded by uncertainty when AIC councillor Thsonono Buyeye arrived more than an hour late for the meeting‚ which was scheduled for 9am. After voting‚ Buyeye quickly left the chamber.
On Tuesday the meeting was adjourned after Buyeye‚ who initially indicated he would support the budget‚ made an about-turn based on discussions with the ANC around the decision to incorporate the town of Matatiele in the KwaZulu-Natal administration.
Meanwhile ANC councillors arrived at the venue on Military Road in Port Elizabeth‚ but left without attending the meeting. The EFF was also in the building but did not attend.
UF councillor Mkuseli Mtsila however attended the meeting‚ although he did not support the budget.
Mayor Athol Trollip thanked the two councillors Mtsila and Buyeye for attending the meeting.
“We have put the people of the city first‚ with cooperation of Buyeye and Mtsila – who was at his post on time to make the meeting quorate‚ even though he opposed the budget for his reasons given.
“That is fine: we don’t always have to agree with each other in politics. But you need to be at work‚ if you are serious about service delivery‚” Trollip said. “We are elated that we can get on with the business of putting the people first.”
Council will reconvene next Wednesday to discuss other critical items on the agenda.