Note to editors: You can download a sound clip in English from Nqaba Bhanga, MPL
Today, 4 August 2022, former Member of the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature, Retief Odendaal, was officially sworn in as a member of the Nelson Mandela Bay council and rejoined the DA’s Nelson Mandela Bay caucus to stand as the mayoral candidate.
He has taken up the Proportional Representative position, formerly held by Kobus Botha, who has since returned to serve on the Provincial Legislature. Botha was also sworn in as a Member of the Provincial Legislature yesterday.
Cllr Odendaal’s swearing-in took place earlier this morning at City Hall in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Last week 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. Cllr Odendaal was announced as the DA’s mayoral candidate and he was endorsed by all parties forming part of the coalition.
This is a return to NMB’s council for Cllr Odendaal, as he was first elected as a councillor in 2009 and served as the leader of the DA Caucus between 2014 and 2016.
Between 2016 and 2018 he served as the Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Budget and Treasury and was instrumental in turning the City’s finances around.
During this time 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.
This is the first step in the process of the coalition partners taking over government in the Metro and getting Nelson Mandela Bay working again.