UDM will be kingmaker in Nelson Mandela Bay

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Luxolo Namette said the UDM was contesting only 70% of the 60 wards and was aiming to win an outright majority. Photo: Facebook
Luxolo Namette said the UDM was contesting only 70% of the 60 wards and was aiming to win an outright majority. Photo: Facebook

POLITICS


The United Democratic Movement (UDM) will not be making any promises to the residents of Nelson Mandela Bay as it campaigns ahead of the local government elections, but will rather do as they mandate it.

This is according to the UDM’s mayoral candidate for the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, Luxolo Namette, who spoke to the City Press this week about his campaign.

Namette (35), who also serves as a member of the mayoral committee for electricity and energy in the current council, was elected deputy mayor in June and is now vying for the top seat in Gqeberha City Hall.

He said the residents of the bay had already told the party what they needed it to do if it got an outright majority after the November 1 poll.

This included stimulating the local economy, holding regular public meetings with communities for accountability, fighting corruption, providing services to the people, rebuilding and maintaining the infrastructure of the bay, providing a clean environment and building homes.

We sat and discussed that there should be no ‘big brother’ mentality: once we enter a coalition, we’re all equal, regardless of the proportional representative number in the council
UDM’s mayoral candidate for the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality - Luxolo Namette

Since the last local government elections in 2016, the metro council has been plagued with instability and political intolerance. This has also negatively affected service delivery.

Namette said the lesson his party had learnt during the events of previous years in the council was that mixing politics and service delivery issues was a “big problem”.

In the bay, he said, the UDM was contesting only 70% of the 60 wards and was aiming to win an outright majority.

“Unfortunately, we can’t predict the outcome of November 1, but our position’s very clear: for now, we’re gunning for a mayorship. If we fail to get an outright majority, then, after November 1, we’ll have to go back to our branches or the people of Nelson Mandela Bay to receive a new mandate as to what our position is,” he explained.

Unlike the fraught relationship between former mayors Athol Trollip and Mongameli Bobani (who first served as deputy mayor), Namette and current mayor Nqaba Bhanga have seemingly been working well together. Namette said that, even if the party became a coalition partner after the election, it would negotiate its principle of putting residents before politics.

“We sat and discussed that there should be no ‘big brother’ mentality: once we enter a coalition, we’re all equal, regardless of the proportional representative number in the council.

READ: ANC, DA at mercy of UDM

“Transparency and consultation are the keys, so, whatever the mayor is doing, his partners are up to speed regarding the business of the day,” he said.

“Our focus is to take services to the people – it’s not about us as politicians, but about the residents of Nelson Mandela Bay. That’s the recipe that we have as a party.

“Even if it happens that we enter a coalition after the elections, we’ll still put those demands to whoever our coalition is with.”


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