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'DA must give credit where it's due' ACDP lists its contributions to Bay coalition

By Afikile Lugunya - Aug 30, 2018
'DA must give credit where it's due' ACDP lists its contributions to Bay coalition

While attention seems to revolve around former Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, who, together with the entire Democratic Alliance (DA)-led coalition government, were booted out of office following a dramatic series of events on Monday, former coalition partner, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) on Thursday reminded everyone that "this was not a one-man show".

ACDP National Leader, Kenneth Meshoe, also reminded DA National leader, Mmusi Maimane, of the same fact early this week.

According to ACDP Councillor, Lance Grootboom, who is also the former MMC of Public Health in that DA led-coalition, the DA does not understand that they were in a coalition and the other smaller parties made a contribution to the success of that coalition.

While the DA won the 2016 Local Government Elections, it did not clinch an outright win and entered into coalition agreements with smaller parties such as the ACDP and the Congress of the People (COPE) - and at one time the United Democratic Movement (UDM), so as to keep the defeated African National Congress (ANC) in check.

"They go around claiming that they were running a clean and corruption-free city forgetting that they didn't win the municipal elections fair and square; they were running a coalition government," he told RNEWS.

Grootboom added that they were in a collective coalition where different policies were implemented and the DA did not solely influence any part of his work when he was the MMC of Public Health.

"The issue here is, who gets the credit, because you must remember that the DA didn't win [by a resounding majority] - so they can't say that they did that and that; people must understand that it's not only the DA that made the Nelson Mandela Bay what it is today," he explained.

Grootboom listed what he said he did for the Metro and its residents during his time as an MMC in the DA-led coalition.

"I dealt with corruption, poor internal controls, maladministration, abuse of the municipal fleet, consequence management, unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure by holding the administration to account,” he described.

"In the Portfolio for Public Health, the ACDP turned the Health Directorate around in just six months, by launching the anti-illegal dumping task force, food blitz operations, turning dump sites into play parks, curbing the outbreak of Listeriosis and monitoring the spending of finances and contracts within the Public health directorate.”

Grootboom said that the Metro’s Public Health Directorate was supposed to develop 12 parks in the 2017/18 financial year.

"Under the political leadership of the ACDP, the Directorate managed to upgrade and develop about 55 parks in the entire Metro during that financial year,” he said.

"Out of the 55 parks, 12 parks have been upgraded and developed in the Northern Areas.

"Most of the money used to upgrade and develop the parks came from windfall money that was received from Treasury in April 2018.”

He added that he ensured that the Motherwell and Forest Hill cemeteries are fenced - including the Bethelsdorp cemetery which is currently under construction for the 2018/19 financial year.

"I further ensured that our Environmental Practitioners are able to test water quality and food items in the field by purchasing new water and food testing equipment for the Environmental Health Directorate that will fight the outbreak of Listeriosis in our City,” he said.

"The Public Health Directorate managed to secure the Municipality the second runners-up position at the Greenest Municipality competition - wining R2.5 million for the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.”

In terms of employment opportunities, Grootboom said that the Public Health an Waste Directorate, from December to June 2018, has employed - on a monthly basis, 920 Ward-based cleaners and 430 Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers from March to June 2018.

"The ACDP has contributed so much more to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality coalition in the past two years,” Grootboom said.

"DA would not have been be able to govern this City and contribute to it success without the coalition partners. The success of the city is a contribution of the coalition and not the DA only.”