Organisations unite in bid to end Bay municipality mismanagement

Apostle Neville Goldman says service delivery in the city has been going backwards instead of improving.
Apostle Neville Goldman says service delivery in the city has been going backwards instead of improving.
Image: EUGENE COETZEE

Civil society, churches, unions and business owners have joined hands in a bid to stop the rot in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality.

Groups such as SA Council of Churches, Sanco, Cosatu and the SA NGO Coalition and various other organisations will hold a silent protest outside the Port Elizabeth City Hall on Wednesday to display their unhappiness with the lack of service delivery and instability in the metro.

Apostle Neville Goldman from the metros Christian Leadership Network said the silent protest would be held to show their disapproval of corruption, but also show support for victims of gender-based violence.

“Service delivery in the city has been going backwards instead of improving.

“So well be holding a silent protest until President Cyril Ramaphosa takes notice because the city cant be left the way it is right now,” Goldman said.

In a statement, he said the organisations had recently held a meeting convened by Sangoco where they resolved to reclaim their rightful place in the political, social and economic development of the metro.

“These organs met as motivated and inspired by what has become the anchor of our constitution ‘The People Shall Govern.

“All are concerned by the continued misrule, misgovernance and mismanagement that manifests in the continued and unabated corruption, fraud and malfeasance that characterises our local and provincial governance.

“Our concern is the consequences associated with the indicated features of misrule and the continued shortchanging of the progressive legislation that deals with the current ills,” Goldman said.

In October 2019, Bay church leaders wrote to Ramaphosa and former DA leader Mmusi Maimane expressing concern about the failing state of the city.

At the time, the leaders expressed concern about a decline in service delivery caused by corruption and “petty” political warfare, which they said had reachedalarming proportions.

In Monday’s statement, Goldman said the organisations were united in their resolve to unleash a rolling programme and campaign against malfeasance and corruption.

“Together, our constituencies have a common cause — to demand and recommend immediate intervention by co-operative governance & traditional affairs [Cogta] in collaboration with the National Treasury to bring about stability in our Nelson Mandela Bay metro,” he said.

With this in mind, the group supported Cogta instituting Section 139 of the constitution and intervening in the city, Goldman said.  

Section 139 would see the council dissolved and an administrator appointed to run the municipality until a fresh municipal election is held within three months.

The group is also demanding that the municipality blacklist directors, owners and individuals who have unfairly and fraudulently benefited from the personal protective equipment (PPE) tenders and all Covid-19 pandemic-related intervention.

The Herald recently reported that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) was investigating the city’s PPE spending and that laptops and other devices used by several officials had been confiscated by the SIU.

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