NEW ERA: Athol Trollip sworn in as new Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor despite ANC disruptions

BY YOLANDA PALEZWENI - AUGUST 18, 2016

The Democratic Alliance’s (DA), Athol Trollip, was on Thursday elected unopposed as the new Executive Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay at a council meeting  held at the Feather Market Centre in Port Elizabeth.

The inauguration was not without hiccups as it was almost postponed as the African National Congress (ANC), which is now the official opposition in the Bay, arrived late and constantly disturbed the proceedings, with points of order.

Reports had alsso surfaced of the ANC instructing their lawyers to try and postpone the council meeting, an allegation the party denied. 

At the inauguration, Andile Lungisa, formerly of the ANC Youth League and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) kept on interrupting the newly elected Municipal Speaker, Jonathan Lawack, demanding that the proceedings stop so that the ANC Nelson Mandela Bay caucus, which arrived late, can be allowed inside. 

The ANC members were later allowed in before they again demanded that the proceedings be adjourned for 10 minutes until every one of their councillors is seated.

Still, former Executive Mayor, Danny Jordaan, was not allowed in.

“The meeting was scheduled to start at 10:00, they went to court to try and interdict the meeting on reasons that don’t exist now they are late for the meeting and busy disrupting the meeting. This is a ridiculous behaviour of a dying horse wanting to undermine the will of the people,” DA leader, Mmusi  Maimane, who was in the Bay to witness the historic inauguration, told RNEWS.

The proceedings later continued with Trollip elected as the new Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor after the ANC was out-voted by the four political parties in the DA-led coalition as well as other minority parties.

That was when the ANC caucus staged a walk out.

The meeting eventually elected the United Democratic Movement’s (UDM) Mongameli Bobani as the new Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Deputy Executive Mayor while the DA’s Werner Senekel was elected as the new Chief Whip.

Undeterred, Trollip delivered his inauguration speech as new Executive Mayor – promising to fight corruption, racism, create jobs and curb wasteful expenditure.

“The people of Nelson Mandela Bay voted for change. They have endorsed our offer of stopping corruption, growing our economy to create jobs and for better service delivery. This will be the lodestar and mandate of this new Multiparty DA-led administration,” he said.

The new Mayor also promised to do away with the Metro's huge bucket system burden by 2017.

Trollip added that he will not let down Nelson Mandela Bay and that days of costly and duplicate mayoral satellite offices are over, as this new government will be in touch with communities through their elected councillors and their funded ward offices.

The was hall filled with supporters of the UDM, African Christaian Democratic party (ACDP), DA and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), who celebrated Trollip’s inauguration and the change they hope he will bring.

Trollip thanked the people of the Bay, who voted for him and promised to deliver on his campaign promises.

Speaking at a media briefing after the inauguration,  the newly appointed Deputy Mayor, Bobani, said that the new multi-party government will work together and make a Nelson Mandela Bay a better city.

“We look forward to work with other parties. We appeal to the opposition party that lets work together in order to improve the lives of our people, let’s not have the opposition party that will tear the council apart,” said Bonani.

Even though the ANC lost the victory, they do not see this as defeat but as a learning curve for the party and to rectify their mistakes.

“In this time we need to reflect on  why people didn’t vote for the  ANC, It must also develop a plan  to build a base on the bases of the wards that the ANC has won and work in those wards, all in all the ANC needs to go back to the drawing board,” the ANC’s Nceba Faku told RNEWS.

A special council meeting regarding the new administration’s 100-day plan will be held next week on Thursday.