Mayor Ben Fihla Meets With Parliamentary Committees

APRIL 20, 2015

Parliament’s Select Committees on Trade and International Relations, and Economic Development are currently meeting with the Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro (NMBM), Ben Fihla.

The Chairperson of the Committee on Economic Development, Litho Suka, said MPs were in the metro to monitor the impact of economic programmes aimed at alleviating the plight of the poor.

“This is in line with the Committee’s mandate of conducting oversight on the municipality’s programmes. Parliament allocates funding and now we are following that to see if there is value for money,” Suka said.

He said the Committees were not in the metro to criticise or police, but rather to see if the issue of poverty is being addressed.

The Committees are on a week-long oversight visit to see if NMBM’s economic growth opportunities are being adequately exploited. The Committees will visit various projects including Coega, the VW manufacturing plant in Uitenhage and the Aspen factory plant.

Councillor Fihla said earlier that the metro is working towards consolidating service delivery programmes, despite the challenges it faces. He informed the committees that the NMBM had adopted a proactive approach to deal with outbreaks of xenophobic violence.

“The Bay Metro will never tolerate xenophobic attacks, especially in a metro named after a man of peace [Nelson Mandela],” Fihla said.

The meeting was also attended by members of the provincial legislature, and officials from the provincial and national departments of Economic Development and Energy.