ANC destroyed Nelson Mandela Bay, says newly elected mayor

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Nqaba Bhanga.
Nqaba Bhanga.
PHOTO: Luvuyo Mehlwana
  • Under the previous ANC-led government, Nelson Mandela Bay Metro only met 32% of its key performance areas - the worst performance in the history of the municipality.
  • Mayor Nqaba Bhanga said during its tenure, more than 6 000 water leaks had been left unattended and 15 000 potholes littered streets.
  • Bhanga was re-elected as mayor on Thursday after defeating EFF councillor Amandlangawethu Madaka.

Under the previous ANC-led government, the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro only met 32% of its key performance areas - the worst performance in the history of the municipality.

This according to the metro's newly elected mayor, Nqaba Bhanga.

He was speaking at a press conference in Port Elizabeth on Friday.  

Bhanga said during the ANC's tenure, more than 6 000 water leaks had been left unattended, 15 000 potholes have littered the streets, light bulbs for streetlights were not purchased, water and electricity outages happened daily and the city was left in a filthy state. 

He added this was contained in a mid-term performance report, which was set to be tabled in the council soon.

Bhanga, who was elected mayor on Thursday at a special council meeting ordered by the Port Elizabeth High Court, said the most accurate reflection of the state of the metro over the last six months was contained in the report.

READ | Nqaba Bhanga to give up NMB mayoral chain, court orders re-election of new mayor

"This report provides an overview of the municipality's performance by evaluating specific key performance indicators for the first six months of the financial year.

"We are busy putting a plan together to address the significant backlogs and ensure that there is accelerated service delivery across the board by all directorates.

"Yesterday's election was a reaffirmation that the Coalition of Good Governance has been rightfully appointed. This has cleared the way for us to focus on our residents and make progress in Nelson Mandela Bay," he added.

"There is no doubt that the administration we inherited last year has been broken down, become dysfunctional and was in a state of paralysis."

Bhanga said before the DA took over in December, the municipality had had no less than 10 acting municipal managers in just over two years.

His election on 4 December as mayor was challenged by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Xolile Nqatha but the two settled the case out of court and agreed to a re-election.  

ALSO READ | Election of Nqaba Bhanga as Nelson Mandela Bay mayor null and void - Eastern Cape Cogta MEC

"Most of these acting administrators were either not qualified to act in the position or were too inexperienced," said Bhanga.

Before he was elected, the metro had been without a mayor for a year after late UDM leader Mongameli Bobani was booted out via a motion of no confidence.

This resulted in a stand-off between National Treasury and the municipality.

Treasury withheld some R1.4 billion in conditional grant funding from the city partly because it had no mayor to table its budget.

Bhanga said the shortfall in funding was the leading cause of capital expenditure for the financial year, as at December 2020, standing at only 16.29% of the total budget.

"The past two months, under the Coalition of Good Governance, have seen Nelson Mandela Bay's fortunes start to turn around.

"We will do whatever is in our power to ensure that budget is made available to directorates to deliver services."  

He added he had commenced with signing off on budget virements where core service delivery programmes required additional funding.

"The most basic function of local government is to deliver services. Water leaks, potholes, blocked drains, and streetlights are being repaired, and need to be repaired faster," said Bhanga.  

Eastern Cape ANC secretary Lulama Ngcukayithobi was contacted to respond to the allegations made by Bhanga.

His comment will be added once received.

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