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Bobani does damage control over 'entire budget going to townships' remark

Sep 19, 2018
Bobani does damage control over 'entire budget going to townships' remark

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Mongameli Bobani, was on Wednesday forced to do some damage control after a remark he made that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's entire budget in the next financial year will be allocated to townships went viral.

The Executive Mayor says it was just 'an aside statement'.

Bobani made the remark last week, which was subsequently reported on by local media. He had said that the entire budget for the next financial year would be allocated to the townships and northern areas – and should residents in the more affluent areas report a sewerage problem, the head of infrastructure and engineering will be told to ignore it.

“This was not a policy statement and I want to put the comment in context. It is my considered view that local governments exist for the purpose of providing basic services equally to all residents. Service delivery should always be improving, and excellent service delivery is my administration’s goal,” said Bobani.

“The Democratic Alliance, after it lost the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, has urged suburban residents to stop paying their rates and taxes.

"My comment was merely made to call their bluff. The city needs its ratepayers to be vigilant in paying their dues. I assure ratepayers that their money will be used strictly in accordance with the approved budget.

"I urge all the people of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, all the ratepayers, and all the residents, to unite behind a coalition government of a majority of elected representatives in improving service delivery equally for all, from the poorest communities to the most affluent communities."

He said that the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro’s exco and officials are currently occupied in a strategy session and, if all goes well, they will on Friday announce plans for service delivery, be it in the townships, informal settlements and the suburbs.

“Let us unite, people of our city,” said the Executive Mayor.