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Danny Jordaan reports on his first 100 days in office

Danny Jordaan reports on his first 100 days in office

While the Democratic Alliance's (DA) Athol Trollip may have sought to preempt Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor, Danny Jordaan's, report on his first 100 days at City Hall,by calling it 'a 100 days of disappointment', what Jordaan presented on Wednesday was a municipality going through a process of revival.

Addressing delegates, who included business, councillors, the media and the public at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Jordaan said that his administration was focused on building a city that the late former President Nelson Mandela, who the Metro is named after, would be proud of.

On the Nelson Mandela Bay's finances

Jordaan highlighted stabilising the Metro's finances as among the major achievements of the past 100 days. He said that when he assumed office, the Metro had a huge budget deficit. In just 30 days, his administration had turned that into a surplus.

"As the budget projected, that this city will have, over the next three years, a R400 million deficit, so that by year three this city will owe R1.2 billion and we said no.

"We cannot do this. We had to re-visit that budget. The second thing we had to do is re-connect the Metro and it's citizens including business and church leaders, education and trade unions," he said.

Crime and safety as well as governance

Jordaan also said that the municipality had also taken a strong stance against gangsterism and crime in the Metro.

He said that when they came into office, they undertook to bring the municipality closer to communities - hence several council meetings have been held at various venues across the Metro.

Investment and economic development 

The Mayor said that the past 100 days had seen investor confidence returning to the city.

He highlighted several projects that are expected in the Metro including a R4.5 billion by VW at their Uitenhage plant and a R1.5 billion investment by Transnet.

Jordaan said his administration was looking at enhancing the township economy.

"Why cant we have a company in Motherwell to make doors, and another one in Gelvandale to make windows for our RDP houses? We need to look at the things that we buy as an institution and see what are the things that we can source locally," the Mayor said.

Jordaan said after Transnet moves the manganese terminal, there were plans to make a modern waterfront on that piece of land starting in 2016.

He also said that rating agency, Moody's, had downgraded all the Metro's in the country except for the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, which should be an indication that things are looking up.

On housing

While Jordaan said the Nelson Mandela Metro was already far ahead of other Metro's in housing delivery, he said that it should be able to speed up the process.

"The Metro must be able to respond within 48hrs with a temp house," Jordaan said.  

He later shrugged off criticism about residents apparently recieving either toilets without houses or houses without toilets saying that while those were minority cases, there were perculiar circumstances why that was so.

Jordaan also said that they were looking at improving homes around the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University's Missionvale campus as the campus could not exist surrounded by poverty.

A massive housing project was also on the cards.

On corruption and the suspension of senior managers

Jordaan said while 17 municipal officials had been suspended on allegations of corruption and misconduct, they are still "innocent until proven guilty".

He said the municipality will hold disciplinary hearings, which will ascertain whether the officials are guilty or not.

"We must provide for that process to continue, without making conclusions. We have also briefed the Hawks on these matters. They also made a lot of grounds in terms of this investigation," he added.

On sport 

Jordaan said that sport was important for the Bay as it brought people of different backgrounds together.

He highlighted how the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium had recently held major cup sporting events as a source of pride for the Bay.

The municipality will also endeavor to support local sports development as evidenced by the recently launched Mayoral Cup.