PCB hopeful after talks with administrator

2010-03-26 00:00

THE president of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB), Tinus Havinga, and two board members, Zinhle Sokhela and Kevin Beekrum, have met the city’s new administrator, Johann Mettler.

In a statement yesterday, Havinga said the chamber delegation updated Mettler and his team about a number of issues “that are of great concern to business”.

Havinga described the meeting as “very encouraging”.

“We have confidence in Mettler and his team and believe that it will be a matter of time before the city will be restored to good health.”

Havinga said that for the past 18 months, the chamber has “exhausted all avenues of consultation in order to assist in the resolution of service delivery and other woes within the municipality”.

These covered discussions with the city’s political leaders and senior municipal officials, including the municipal manager.

“The lack of positive response to the various submissions made on behalf of the business community suggested that the municipality was not fully committed to the city’s economic and industrial welfare.

“As early as October 2009, the chamber voiced its concerns over the state of the city’s governance and administration in a communication to the MEC of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs to whom a fuller report was submitted in November. In particular, concern was expressed at the extent to which the internal strife had distracted both its political and administrative leaders to the detriment of service delivery and sound governance and management.”

The chamber offered its help and the expertise of some of its members to the municipality on issues such as electricity tariff restructuring, budget processing and other service delivery issues.

“We appreciated the direct but cordial nature of the discussions with the administrator,” said the PCB president, “and welcomed the agreement that discussions will continue.”

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