By: Mlindi Nhanha
Rarely in local government does one see such a drastic turnaround in the management and performance of a city as the people of Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) have seen under the leadership of Mayor Athol Trollip.
Since Mayor Trollip was sworn in as the Mayor of NMB on August 18 last year, the city has undergone a remarkable transformation.
Author Crispian Olver’s recent book, “How To Steal a City” again highlighted the massive corruption that took place in our city under the ANC.
When reading this book, one can hardly believe the rot and corruption and the damage caused to NMB.
Under the ANC, Nelson Mandela Bay was one of the worst performing metros in the country and the second lowest trusted metro in the country.
The city was milked dry by corrupt ANC politicians.
Billions were lost in irregular tender contracts – money that could have been used to build houses and deliver services to the poor.
But hardly a year after the DA and its coalition partners were given a mandate by the people of NMB to take over from the ANC, things started to change rapidly.
After only 12 months of DA governance, the city became the second highest trusted metro in the country.
In its very first budget, the DA administration allocated 90% of the resources to poor communities, ensuring equal access to those left behind.
Just a few of the deliberative initiatives by the DA-led coalition government to turn the city around include connecting 12000 residents to running water and toilets for the first time, creating 4000 much-needed job opportunities, making NMB safer by introducing a metro police department, and award 1800 youth bursaries worth R34-million.
The use of blue light brigades by politicians in the city was stopped and all business class travel for politicians was banned.
An anti-corruption hotline was also launched to root out corruption on government.
It emerged last week that Patriotic Alliance councillor Marlon Daniels had submitted a motion to remove Trollip, while UDM councillor and former deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani had filed a motion to remove council speaker Jonathan Lawack.
The motions are expected to be debated at the council meeting tomorrow and put to a vote.
The motion of no-confidence in Mayor Trollip by former coalition partners will erase all the hard work of the past 15 months and the people of our city will suffer.
Nothing is more important to Trollip than the wellbeing of the people of NMB who have placed their futures in his hands and those of his capable and hardworking team.
We cannot interrupt the recovery process of our city because of political expediency.
The people should always come before politics. There is still a lot of work to be done in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Questionable contracts that abuse public funds are discovered and stopped on a regular basis.
With Operation Buyisa Isidima the city is working hard to fix the housing crisis and to give people title to their homes.
So far more than 2000 title deeds have been handed over in a fair and transparent manner.
Nelson Mandela Bay is not the same place it was 15 months ago.
We live in a safer city.
We live in a city with better service delivery.
We live in a city with more opportunities.
We live in a city where corruption will soon be eradicated.
Our city is a shining example of what can happen when good people turn their backs on bad leaders.
Let us keep making progress in Nelson Mandela Bay and not be deterred by petty politics and opportunism.
Mlindi Nhanha is spokesman for the DA in the Eastern Cape
• The DA and coalition partners COPE and the ACDP make up 59 votes in the council at present.
The ANC has 50, the EFF six, the UDM two, and the PA, UF and AIC each have one seat.