DA's Trollip says they have big plans to address Northern Areas challenges

SEPTEMBER 28, 2015

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Nelson Mandela Bay says its vision for the Metro includes building a caring city that can address the needs of neglected communities such as in Port Elizabeth’s Northern Areas.

"This is a community long forgotten by an ANC [African National Congress] that has only served itself," said the DA's Eastern Cape leader and its Mayoral candidate in the 2016 Local Government Elections, Athol Trollip, in a statement.

"A punitive 6% capital budget allocation for the Northern Areas is confirmation of the ANC’s total disregard this region and its people. Just 6% of the budget for this entire community is a scandalous punishment and shows a complete lack of care.
Refuse collection is sporadic at best. Areas like Kleinskool have been without refuse collection for five weeks, forcing residents to burn their waste on pavements."

He said that gangsterism and drugs continue to plague a community that is already struggling under the weight of shocking service delivery.

"Residents are forced away from opportunities by rampant crime, and for this the Metro is to blame.

"Homes such as The Elizabeth Stuurman and Bethelsdorp Old Age Homes have been neglected to such an extent that many buildings are now a danger to residents rather than a place of sanctuary," said Trollip.

"Residents claim that the current administration has promised to revamp the homes, but still they remain dilapidated - this is not a fair treatment of our most vulnerable citizens.

"Municipality-run clinics are a disgrace, with insufficient staffing, regular stock-outs and crumbling infrastructure.

"Corruption is the real enemy of fairness. We need a government that actually deals with this social-ill rather than only suspending officials on full pay or giving them golden handshakes."

He said that the recent suspension of about 17 municipal officials by new Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor, Danny Jordaan, "don't restore service, they just make good headlines".

"A government that is actually committed to fighting corruption will show us the relevant charge sheets and will tell us when prosecution will take place.

"Instead, we are left to guess what might happen to people like Roland Williams and Mpilo Mbambisa, who just slip below the radar, while on full pay. Williams and Mbambisa remain cared for, while the Metro doesn't care for its residents," Trollip argued.

"This paints a picture of a community left to fend for itself. This is not real freedom, considering that our democracy was born over 20 years ago."

He said that the DA's caring city would ensure:

  • Weekly refuse collection for all communities.
  • A dedicated illegal dumping task team that cracks down on 
    illegal dumping.
  • Public-private partnerships that allow for designated 
    recycling and dump sites.
  • Metro law enforcement unit with anti-gang and anti-drug 
    units, as has been successfully and effectively implemented 
    in the City of Cape Town, under the DA.
  • Monthly audits and assessments of municipality-run clinics to 
    monitor stock levels and staffing operations.
  • A review of the indigent database so that those who should 
    be getting free service delivery actually get it.

"In just two short weeks of this campaign, I have already engaged personally with over 1000 residents in Nelson Mandela Bay.

"Residents of the Bay speak at pain about the urgency with which people want change. Change that starts real and reliable delivery. Change that actually stops corruption in its tracks. Change that creates jobs," he claimed.

"This change is now long overdue. The people of this Metro need not feel uncared for anymore – the 2016 elections will present an opportunity to bring change that delivers freedom and fairness for all.

"I want to build a caring Metro that hears its residents, one and all. I want to create a government that is close to the people, accessible to the people, and among the people."