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Concerned Bay Business Chamber pens open letter to Bobani and his MayCo

Sep 12, 2019
Concerned Bay Business Chamber pens open letter to Bobani and his MayCo

Port Elizabeth - In an open letter to Nelson Mandela Mandela Bay Municipality, Mongameli Bobani, and his Mayoral Committee, the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber on Thursday said that local business is dissatisfied with the state of things in the Metro.

Among the concerns raised by the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber is the failure by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to appoint a permanent Chief Financial Officer among other vacancies for Executive Directors of Departments.

In August, the Chamber again highlighted its concerns at the state of the Metro.

READ THE FULL LETTER

Read part of the letter below:

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Dear Executive Mayor and Mayoral Committee

As the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, we view the matter that we have raised with you and your Mayoral Committee as requiring urgent intervention, so as to protect the best interests of Nelson Mandela Bay.

Your reply indicates to us that the matter has not been afforded the seriousness it deserves and we stand firm in our resolution that this issue must be discussed with the full Mayoral Committee.

As such, we are attaching the letter that we wanted to discuss with you and your Mayoral Committee in person, summarised below:

“As organised business, we wish to voice our dissatisfaction with the current dysfunctional state of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. 

We are deeply concerned about the way the environment has deteriorated, making it very difficult for businesses to be sustainable and competitive, and thus able to contribute towards the economic wellbeing of the City.  In fact, the situation should be considered dire with hundreds of jobs currently being shed, while an estimated one in three people are unemployed.

It is the duty of the Municipality to provide basic services to create an enabling environment in which business can operate and grow, ultimately, for the benefit of all citizens. However, when the Municipality is unable to fulfill its executive obligations in terms of the Constitution or legislation due to inefficiencies at local government level, it is stifling the economic growth so desperately needed as businesses are prevented from conducting their normal day to day operations.

Under the circumstances the NMBBC is left with no option but to request publicly for an urgent written undertaking from the municipal council that it will implement immediate, urgent and visible interventions in the following areas:

  • The development and implementation of a sustainable plan aimed at avoiding or overcoming the management paralysis resulting from a hung municipal council.  This should be shared with all municipal stakeholders within the next 30 to 90 days;
  • A permanent (not acting) chief financial officer should be appointed immediately, to avoid the deepening of the NMBM financial crisis, and funds (estimated to be some R600 million) allocated by National Treasury to the NMBM  from being forfeited;
  • The dispute with the suspended Municipal Manager should be resolved and the position filled with a permanent Municipal Manager within the next 30 to 90 days;
  • All vacant executive directorships should be filled within the next 30 to 90 days;
  • A turnaround strategy for the municipal refuse department, aimed at addressing the collapse in municipal garbage collection and refuse removal so as to secure the health and safety of all municipal citizens, must  be developed and shared with all municipal stakeholders for public participation within the next 30 to 90 days;
  • A turnaround strategy for the municipal traffic department, aimed at addressing the unsafe road conditions and complete lack of credible and sustainable traffic policing endangering the health and safety of all road users, must be developed and shared with all municipal stakeholders for public participation within the next 30 to 90 days;
  • A turnaround strategy for the municipal land use planning department, aimed at addressing the ongoing paralysis in municipal zoning applications, should   be developed and shared with all municipal stakeholders for public participation within the next 30 to 90 days;
  • A detailed, coherent proposal regarding the municipal tourism strategy and its future management dealing with both tourism generally and the future of the MBDA must be developed and shared with all municipal stakeholders for public participation within the next 30 to 90 days”

This action has become necessary, due to the very serious nature of the issues.  This represent business across Nelson Mandela Bay, as well as our Civil Society partners.

This is an open letter and will be distributed to our key stakeholders and partners.  Please note that this represents the unanimous views of the entire Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber Board.

We remain willing and open to meet with the Executive Mayor and the entire Mayoral Committee at their earliest convenience.

Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber Board

READ THE FULL LETTER

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