NMB mayor and coalition have captured city in 100 days

Issued by Cllr Retief Odendaal – DA NMB Caucus Leader
06 Sep 2023 in Press Statements

It has been 104 days since Mayor Gary van Niekerk and his coalition took over government and untold suffering has been unleashed on the people of Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB).

Service delivery failure and financial instability are direct results of Van Niekerk appointing his cronies to senior positions within the municipality. We now understand that this is because of his willingness to facilitate state capture.

The mayor is using the municipality as his own employment agency and the appointment of Anele Qaba as CEO of the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) is the perfect example of this.

National Treasury and the minister of finance are withholding nearly R600 million in grant funding due to Qaba’s appointment. Council also unanimously decided to dissolve the MBDA board, but this board is refusing to go.  Instead of defending council’s decision to set aside the board and reviewing Qaba’s appointment, Mayor Van Niekerk is keeping mum and defending his cronies.

Van Niekerk and his coalition partners are obsessed with fighting for positions and patronage instead of focusing on service delivery.

Since the DA and its coalition partners were removed from government potholes have increased to nearly 15 000, and broken streetlights have increased to more than 10 000. There is a backlog of nearly 5 000 sewerage blockages and 5 000 outstanding water leaks that need to be fixed.

Standing committee meetings are not taking place and the results is that key service delivery decisions cannot be dealt with.

I will now be writing to the leadership of other political parties represented in council to try and identify common ground on issues of service delivery that affect the people of Nelson Mandela Bay, as well as the stability of council. We cannot allow the irresponsible actions of one or two compromised politicians to destroy Nelson Mandela Bay.

If this proves unsuccessful, we will be at the forefront of removing the current coalition government from office to replace it with a working coalition that will rescue Nelson Mandela Bay. Together we can get NMB working again.