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DA-UDM coalition talks: DA says Nelson Mandela Bay residents a priority

Jan 20, 2020
DA-UDM coalition talks: DA says Nelson Mandela Bay residents a priority

Port Elizabeth - Following outrage from some quarters after the posting of a photo on social media showing representatives of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the United Democratic Movement (UDM) discussing a possible coalition in Nelson Mandela Bay, the DA has sought to set the record straight.

The outrage stems from the DA engaging the UDM after it successfully helped to oust former Mayor, Mongameli Bobani, of the UDM accusing him of mismanaging the Bay.



Bobani was Mayor after the UDM managed to get the ANC's votes to oust the then DA-led coalition of Athol Trollip from office. Bobani basically led an ANC-dominated administration since the UDM does not have enough seats to go it alone.

Since his ouster, which was supported by the ANC, the ANC are now running things until a new Mayor is elected. The DA, which previously took over the Bay after defeating the ANC in the 2016 Local government, without a doubt wants to take reins in the Bay again.

But it needs numbers on its side, hence engagements with the UDM and other smaller parties.

"The Democratic Alliance will only ever make decisions based on what is in the best interests of the people of Nelson Mandela Bay," explained DA Eastern Cape leader, Nqaba Bhanga.

"In the past, during our tenure in government as part of a coalition government, the DA has proven our commitment to serving the people. After taking over in 2016, we were able to turn a broken Nelson Mandela Bay around and save it from collapse."

He said that some of the successes achieved during the two years that the DA was part of the governing coalition government include:

  • NMB went from being in the red to having a R2 billion surplus, receiving a AAA credit rating;
  • The City established a new metro police service;
  • We stopped R615-million of corrupt contracts;
  • The City achieved the best Urban Settlement Development Grants spending in the country;
  • We instituted Shot-spotter technology to help curb gang violence;
  • Almost 10 000 bucket toilets were eradicated; and
  • We put the IPTS buses on the road for the first time.

"This would not have been possible had the DA not formed a coalition government and worked with the other parties who, at their core, wanted to put the people of Nelson Mandela Bay first and ensure that they received the services to which they are entitled," Bhanga said.

"But all of these achievements came to nought after the government, in August 2018, was taken over by a corrupt cabal intent on serving their own best interests, even if it meant running Nelson Mandela Bay into the ground."

Bhanga added that some of the failures include:

  • The politically linked killings of more than 18 people involved in SMMEs doing business with the municipality;
  • Cessation of the shotspotter technology in the Northerns Areas which had previously reduced gang related shootings;
  • Collapse of the IPTS bus system leading to National Treasury threatening to recall a R3 Billion grant which would bankrupt the municipality:
  • Chronic under expenditure of the budget leading to a deterioration of basic services;
  • The escalation of the water crisis due to Mayor Bobani’s refusal to sign the drought declaration; and
  • Failure of Council to fulfill its basic legislative responsibilities.

"As a result, all the hard work in ensuring good, clean governance and effective service delivery by the DA and its coalition partners, has been undone and Nelson Mandela Bay is now worse off than it was in 2016.

"The upcoming council meeting could be a critical turning point for the City and, as such, we have again entered into talks with all political parties, who would like to see the City returned to a path of prosperity, based on the values of doing what is best for the people of Nelson Mandela Bay," he described.

"The DA has made it abundantly clear that we will never work with corrupt individuals who put themselves ahead of the people of Nelson Mandela Bay, and that has not changed. We are not prepared to govern at all costs.

"At the heart of all our negotiations is the will to serve the people of Nelson Mandela Bay, to bring an end to the political instability that is crippling service delivery and get the City back on track."

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