ANC party officers. (News24)
Port Elizabeth - It was very important for the African National Congress to retain power in the highly contested Nelson Mandela Bay, its treasurer general, Zweli Mkhize, said on Wednesday.
This, he said, was because there was no other party at the moment that possessed the capacity to help stabilise the municipality, other than the ANC.
He was speaking at an interactive session with media on Wednesday, accompanied by ANC bigwigs, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas, mayoral candidate Danny Jordaan and Regional Task Team co-ordinator Beza Ntshona.
"Having corrected a lot of weaknesses that we identified in this area, the ANC remains very confident of winning Nelson Mandela Bay," he said.
He said their manifesto was geared toward rebuilding the economy and their mayoral candidate selection list was aimed at identifying people who were champions of service delivery.
He used Nelson Mandela Bay as an example, where the ANC had brought in Jordaan to stabilise the city.
"Over the years, our approach to the selection of a mayoral candidate was largely about popular democracy. The person who had the highest number of votes.
“This time around, after listening to our people and looking at how the ANC has successfully delivered, and has certain weaknesses and mistakes committed in the process, you will see that when we identify mayors, we are looking for people who are going to be champions of service delivery and catalysts of economic growth," he said.
Mkhize, Gordhan and Jordaan stressed the importance of economic growth and job creation in the metro.
Jordaan said around R30bn had been invested in Nelson Mandela Bay in the 14 months since he took office.
He stressed the importance of the township economy, which was geared toward creating more jobs in the area.
Gordhan detailed examples of how the government and the city were working toward economic growth.
He praised Jordaan’s work in Nelson Mandela Bay, saying what he had already achieved was nothing short of phenomenal.
'No political party creates jobs'
The finance minister slammed opposition parties for misleading voters about jobs.
"The idea that government alone can create all of the jobs required is not true. Opposition parties who use jobs as a way of attracting unemployed people to wear their colour T-shirt are misleading those people. No political party creates jobs,” he said.
And no government could create all the jobs that are required, especially in an economy where 70% of the economy was in the control of the private sector, Gordhan said.
"So the truth must be told."
The support of small businesses was crucial, he said, and better ways of accessing financial opportunities were necessary.
Mayoral candidate Jordaan said throughout his campaign, he had been well received in Nelson Mandela Bay.
This showed that people loved the ANC, and they would not lose at the polls, he said.
“People really love the ANC, and they hate corruption,” he said.
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