New city manager ‘cornerstone’ of 2016 campaign

2015-10-07 06:00

THE city manager could soon be sent packing, but his replacement could become a cornerstone of the political battle for Nelson Mandela Bay in 2016.

According to Prof. Joleen Steyn-Kotze, political analyst from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), the ruling party will face a lot of pressure if they replace Mpilo Mbambisa. Mbambisa, who has been on sick leave since the start of September, is facing a string of fraud and corruption charges. The municipality is still in the final negotiations of a settlement agreement, after which Mbambisa is expected to vacate his post.Negotiations are expected to be finalised this month.

The metro will then have to choose his successor carefully, said Steyn-Kotze. “It is a highly contested position because of the authority that comes with it,” she pointed out.

“A lot of allegations of political interference have surfaced in the past, though it is meant to be an administrative position only. The next city manager will have to be one that is impervious to political influence.”

This decision could be an important factor in the municipal elections in 2016, Steyn-Kotze added.

“The DA is coming on quite strong in their campaign. If the candidate for city manager comes from within the ANC, the focus should rather be on skills and leadership, as opposed to political background.

“The city will need a manager who can rise above corruption and lead the metro forward.”

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