Nelson Mandela Bay SMMEs again protest over contracts

AUGUST 7, 2015

A group of people, reportedly representing SMME contractors in the housing, electricity and infrastructure sectors, on Friday protested in front of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality buildings along Govan Mbeki Avenue, in Port Elizabeth. The contractors are demanding more work and contracts from the Metro.

There have been ongoing protests by local small contractors over the past few months over late payments as well as over the awarding contracts by the municipality.

In April, City Manager, Mpilo Mbambisa, said that his office was dealing with the matter with the intention of ensuring a "speedy and positive outcome for all concerned."

"We fully understand their plight as developing contractors, and it is our every intention to ensure that they get paid on time, every time, without any hiccups. Unfortunately, Province has changed the system of releasing funds to municipalities and this, in turn, has meant that we have not yet received the funds (from Province) to pay them."

"But I am taking the bull by the horns on this matter, and am engaging with our ED (Executive Director) for Human Settlements as well as the CFO (Chief Financial Officer), so that we reach a speedy resolution."

Municipal security officials are on site to protect the municipality's buildings, staff and customers.

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality spokesperson, Roland Williams, told Algoa FM; "We want to emphasize the fact that we do understand plights of SMME's.

"They rely on government to provide them to work, but we have to follow processes and work within the budget and resources that we have."