Mayor-elect ready to turn NMB into “world class” city


Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Mayor-elect Athol Trollip has said the Democratic Alliance (DA) will set about its task immediately to turn the city into a world class and internally recognised area within the next five to ten years.

He made the announcement to a large media contingent and supporters at the Donkin Reserve in Port Elizabeth on Friday afternoon, hours after the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) had confirmed the party’s victory over the African National Congress (ANC) by 46.71% to 40.92%.

“The significance [of this victory] reinforces the fact that, in a constitutional democracy, the voters have the power. The people of Nelson Mandela Bay have given us a mandate because they have become disillusioned with the government before,” Trollip said while also confirming that the party would align with another to gain the majority needed to control the Metro.

“As this a Mandela monument, it is fitting that we have to cooperate with other parties to achieve our objects as we need reconciliation to redress the past”.

Describing the ruling party’s loss of the Metro as “a big blow”, Trollip said he remains humbled about being chosen as Mayor, but that he has no illusions about the task at hand.

“Change is something I don’t take lightly. We are going to roll up our sleeves up and work hard. We won’t let the people down who voted for change, we will work with opposition parties in our partnership and those not in our partnership to make Nelson Mandela Bay a great city,” he said.

“We have to create jobs, bring dignity to the poor and I promise you that this place will never the look same again, in five years’ time you will not recognise it and after ten years in government it will be an internationally recognised city”.

Trollip also confirmed previous rumours that the party had been talks with the United Democratic Movement (UDM) about the aforementioned coalition, saying discussions with its councillor Mongameli Bobani had been taking place.

“I have identified who I want to speak to; it would be premature to tell you exactly who the others are, and we need two other councillors. There are seven other opposition parties and then the EFF with six seats and the ANC with 50,” Trollip said, adding he also plans to include the former “as they are going to be a very effective opposition to keep me and my team on our toes”.

Asked about claims of him having posted letters to councillor accused of corruption, Trollip said he has no regrets about it, as those “irregularly appointed” and “implicated in corruption cannot work for the city”.

He however stated that those “who work hard and help us achieve our manifesto, change people’s lives and make the city work better will be recognised and rewarded regardless of your race, language or political affiliation”.

Although unconfirmed, Trollip is expected to be inaugurated as Mayor next week.