Nine months after the Local Government Elections in November 2021, the people of Nelson Mandela Bay still have no voice in government due to the municipality’s inability to establish ward committees.
The establishment of ward committees encourages public participation in municipalities in a bid to take government closer to the people. It gives ordinary people a formal channel to voice concerns, raise service delivery issues and be consulted on developmental issues in their wards.
While most municipalities in the country have already established ward committees for the new term of office, Nelson Mandela Bay seems to fumble from one bureaucratic crisis to the next – with no end in sight.
The DA will write to the City Manager, Dr Noxolo Nqwazi, to demand an urgent briefing session to all political parties on the reason for the continued delays and possible interventions to fast-track the process of formalising ward committees. The DA will also ask for a formal update on the process followed to update the public on the latest developments regarding the establishment of these committees.
What makes the delay even worse is the fact that the Metro has recorded its worst service delivery indicators on record. According to the mid-year performance management report, the municipality managed to meet only 25% (4/16) of its Key Performance Indicators (KPI) within the Basic Service Delivery Key Performance Area (KPA).
These indicators are a statistical expression of the lack of service delivery ordinary people are experiencing. Broken streetlights, dirty neighbourhoods and unsafe communities are part of our daily lives.
It is clear that the ANC-led administration is not committed to participatory government. The DA will continue to fight for the Constitutional right of the people to have a voice in demanding better service delivery, so that we can get Nelson Mandela Bay working again.