Nelson Mandela Bay council finally passes budget after yet another chaotic week

2019-06-21 16:30
Marlon Daniels with Mayor Mongameli Bobani. (Supplied)

Marlon Daniels with Mayor Mongameli Bobani. (Supplied)

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It's fifth time lucky for the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, as it finally turned the corner to adopt its budget, nine days before the deadline.

The much debated and anticipated 2019/2020 budget finally passed in the closely contested council, by 61 votes to 59.

Two days ago, the R12bn budget’s status was uncertain for the minority coalition, and would have ended up provincial administration had it not passed by the end of June.

Following a tedious and frustrating series of attempts, and a lot of deal-making and bargaining, it would seem that reason has finally set in.

The Patriotic Alliance's Marlon Daniels eventually came through for the ANC-led coalition by voting in their favour – his party’s one seat made the difference needed by the coalition.

On Wednesday he had said he would never vote for their budget, after receiving death threats the night before if he did not support it.

READ: NMB council: PA's Marlon Daniels becomes MMC after bizarre council sitting

Later that evening, Daniels was appointed mayoral committee member for economic development, tourism and agriculture by Mayor Mongameli Bobani.

He said his about-turn on the budget was done for the coloured communities he represented.

"There have been other coalition governments that don’t have an appetite to address the imbalances of the past," he claimed. "The PA is in favour of this budget."

'I didn't want to, but they pleaded'

Speaking to News24, Daniels said, "I didn't want to, but they pleaded with me and so eventually I gave in."

He said the threats against him were unwelcome.

"I was enraged by the threats against my family and I was willing to walk away from all this nonsense," said Daniels.

He said after consideration and a post-council meeting on Wednesday, he succumbed to the pleas of his fellow councillors.

"This is what led to the announcement that I would be made Mayoral Committee member for the Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture cluster of the Bay," he said.

Chuckling, he said his political principal, Gayton McKenzie, had said he was very disappointed by his conduct in council on Wednesday.

"He said I am a shame to the coloured community – he said he had expected that after I had taken off my jacket, I would have ended up 'moering' [beating] someone," he said.

The brief council meeting was attended by provincial big guns like Education MEC Mlungisi Mvoko and Cogta MEC Xolile Nqata.

A relieved Bobani said they were now ready to get back to work.

"The people of the metro will now get the services they have been waiting for," he claimed.

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