ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Trollip sees immense potential in township economy
Following a well attended launch of his 2016 Nelson Mandela Bay Mayoral campaign at Donkin Park, Port Elizabeth on Saturday, Democratic Alliance (DA) Eastern Cape leader, Athol Trollip, hit the streets of KwaZakhele on Monday and met with small business owners and vendors.
"I am filled with hope when I walk the streets of Kwazakhele because I sense such immense potential here. From the hawkers of Njoli Square to the fruit sellers on Daku Street, there is an unconditional commitment to make the most of often difficult circumstances," Trollip said in a statement after his tour.
"The one thing missing is the glue that binds a community together, and that is a clean government of action. A government of honour.
"Despite a severe lack of housing, shocking living conditions, joblessness, crumbling roads, failing water infrastructure, erratic or non-existent electricity supply and rampant crime, the people of this township continue to forge on with their lives, making ends meet in the most industrious of ways."
He said that if those living in the township were given real opportunities "from a government that delivered on its promises and prioritised the dignity of every NMB resident" great things would come out of them.
"This doesn’t need to be a pipe dream anymore, imagined only in our minds, emphasising a vastly different and often devastating reality. I am humbled to be here in Kwazakhele at our Ngqura Constituency Office to offer the residents of this entire Metro our vision for an opportunity city.
"The DA is set on winning Nelson Mandela Bay at next year’s elections, ushering in a government that will be devoted to starting delivery, fighting corruption and creating jobs," Trollip said.
"Access to opportunity provides people with a chance to improve their lives. In order to provide opportunity for all people, there must be an environment where businesses want to invest, where entrepreneurship can thrive and where government is supportive and enabling.
"A DA government in NMB will be committed to creating enabling business environments where there will be freedom to innovate - skills development and facilitating access to opportunities for people seeking employment is an important feature of this environment."
He said that the opportunity centres will be established, as one-stop-shops, to provide information on investment opportunities, licensing, land use, planning approval procedures, investor information and business start-up advice.
"Red tape reduction services will be provided to identify and eliminate the biggest hurdles to doing business in the city. Streamlining regulations across all departments will be central to reducing business-inhibiting factors.
"Job zones will be created in strategic urban nodes across the Metro to ensure a more balanced geographic spread for access to opportunities. These job zones will be built around opportunity centres and will provide entrepreneurs with a safe and clean environment to conduct business while providing incentives, such as reduced rates, to give them a hand up," Trollip said.
"Broadband and Wi-Fi zones will be established in designated areas to ensure that residents are connected to opportunities.
Nelson Mandela Bay will be made into a business-friendly Metro where entrepreneurs are given the lifeline required to turn their commercial dreams into realities.
"This is an opportunity city – a Nelson Mandela Bay of hope and promise. This week will take me to various wards in the Metro where this type of opportunity city would change the lives of so many people. These are forgotten communities in need of new hope and a refined vision."
On Monday, he also announced the launch of an entrepreneurship competition for all young aspirant entrepreneurs.
"Seed capital has been donated and a business mentor selected – the chosen candidate will be guided by this mentor so that they can reach their entrepreneurship goals.
"This is the sort of opportunity and hope that the people of NMB have needed for so long," Trollip said.
Over the next 60 days, he is expected to visit every ward in Nelson Mandela Bay to "listen to the people of this Metro and build a comprehensive database of community issues, which will form the blueprint for change after the 2016 elections".
Image: Athol Trollip and Nqaba Bhanga enjoying some chicken in Kwazakhlele. Photo DA via Facebook.
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