DA officially announces Retief Odendaal as its Mayoral Candidate for Nelson Mandela Bay

Issued by Nqaba Bhanga, MPL – DA EC Provincial Leader
29 Jul 2022 in Press Statements

It gives me great pride to officially announce Retief Odendaal as the DA’s Mayoral Candidate for Nelson Mandela Bay.

Yesterday, 28 July 2022, the DA signed a historic coalition agreement with the Freedom Front Plus, ACDP, AIC, AIM, PAC and UDM to take over the government of Nelson Mandela Bay.

The City has been broken by the ANC and this coalition government’s sole focus will be on saving our Metro and its people.

Retief, a qualified attorney, is born and bred in Nelson Mandela Bay and had his start in politics when he became a member of the Junior City Council. As a student, he became a political activist for the DA and was elected as a Nelson Mandela Bay Councillor in 2009 at the age of 27. In 2014 he was also elected as the DA’s NMB caucus leader and leader of the opposition in the council.

Between 2016 and 2018 Retief served as the Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Budget and Treasury and was instrumental in turning the City’s finances around. All this hard work was undone when the ANC returned to govern the Metro in 2018.

Under Retief’s steady hand, NMB went from being in the red to having a R2 billion surplus, receiving a AAA credit rating. The City achieved some of the highest grant funding expenditure in the country for two consecutive years. Accordingly, National Treasury awarded the Metro additional amounts of R178,8 million and R200 million.

He is currently serving as the DA’s Shadow MEC in the portfolios of Finance and Rural Development and Agrarian Reform in the Eastern Cape Legislature

Retief knows the administration of the Metro like the back of his hand and has a critical understanding of the problems facing Nelson Mandela Bay. He has vast institutional knowledge and understands how municipalities work.

His first point of call will be to meet with our coalition partners to track a way forward and put together a comprehensive turnaround plan for the Metro.

Our decision to appoint Retief as our Mayoral Candidate was the culmination of a thorough and exhaustive programme of applications and interviews to select the very best person for the job.

I have full confidence in Retief and believe that he and our coalition partners will get Nelson Mandela Bay working again.