Mayor delivers SOMA highlighting successes made

2017-08-23 06:01

THE Nelson Mandela Executive Mayor Athol Trollip delivered his State of the Metro Address (SOMA) last week, highlighting the progress of his Democratic Alliance-led coalition administration over the past year since it has been in power.

The SOMA was delivered at the Ernest Swanepoel Hall in Despatch.

In his speech, the mayor admitted that the coalition government had not been without challenges.

“No one said that it would be easy, and it hasn’t been.

“However, we have persevered and our efforts have been seen and felt by many across the city and beyond,” he said.

He added that upon his appointment he had promised to do three things – stop corruption, create jobs and deliver better service.

“We have adopted a zero tolerance approach to corruption, fraud and dishonesty.”

Trollip said they had initiated an audit of the Housing Revolving Fund, which they believe owes the municipality multiple millions of rands.

“We have suspended five senior officials and concluded several disciplinary cases, where officials have been suspended indefinitely, with a 100% success rate to date,” he said.

He added that they have opened the mayoral committee meetings to the media, established an anti-corruption hotline which has received hundreds of tip-offs, and banned business class travel and the use of blue lights on municipal vehicles.

“We are doing things differently, because we promised change.”

Trollip said under the new administration unemployment had come down by 2.2% in the last quarter of the last year, adding that more than 2000 people were afforded work opportunities under the Expanded Works Programme.

He said the city however needs to attract more investment from local, national, and international investors. “We have had very constructive meetings with Transnet and Prasa and are beginning to improve our relations with the Coega Development Corporation.”

Trollip said the service delivery sector was the most difficult promise to fulfil, “considering the state of the administration and the backlogs that we inherited”.

However, he said, the municipality was able to reduce water losses from 37% to 25%.

He added that a number of new roads had been surfaced and the metro had done more work in cleaning storm water drains in the past year.

The mayor said that cable theft, crime, illegal dumping, and housing delivery remained a serious challenge.

“The theft of electricity is an even greater risk and can only be combatted with the necessary funds.

We continue to battle with the National Department of Energy to get the R150 million promised to eradicate illegal electricity connections,” he explained.

He said the results of the recent Businesstech Report on the “Best and Worst Municipalities in South Africa 2017” have been a source of pride for the government.

“In the customer satisfaction index, the Nelson Mandela Metro came third on the overall average score at 59%.

“The category of most trusted municipality saw the Nelson Mandela Metro going from second last to second most trusted.”

Trollip said they are determined in filling their vision of a “One City with One Future”, where everyone is treated equally and where no one is more equal than anyone else.

“This new government has only been in office for one year and we have managed to overcome so much to achieve this and many other successes that I haven’t mentioned.

“My appeal, though, is that ward councillors must also serve all the people in their wards without favour or prejudice,” Trollip said.

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