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Maimane says DA still waiting for court papers from UDM over Bobani ouster

Aug 30, 2017
Maimane says DA still waiting for court papers from UDM over Bobani ouster

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Mmusi Maimane, on Tuesday said that the DA were still to receive court papers from the United Democratic Movement (UDM), which indicated that it would seek a legal reversal after its Councillor, Mongameli Bobani, was removed as the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Deputy Executive Mayor in a dramatic vote of no confidence last week.

Maimane was addressing a press conference in Johannesburg after meeting with the Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia De Lille, the Mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, the Mayor of Tshwane, Solly Msimanga, and the Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, Athol Trollip, to discuss job creation in the DA-led Metros.

The UDM on Friday had indicated that it would quit the coalition if Bobani was not reinstated by Monday, but later backed down on the ultimatum. However, it said it was seeking the courts to nullify the vote of no confidence where 60 votes were cast against Bobani.

The DA leader told reporters that while the party was prepared to continue working with the UDM, they could not accept Bobani back and were hoping that UDM leader, Bantu Holomisa, who has demanded evidence of Bobani's misconduct, to appoint someone else to work with the DA.

He repeated some of the allegations labelled against Bobani, including that he allegedly voted with the African National Congress (ANC), which was booted out of power in the 2016 Local Government Elections by the DA-UDM alliance.

Concerning job creation

"Today, I met with the mayors of the four DA-led metros of Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay in order to discuss our nation’s current economic crisis and how best DA-led cities can respond to this crisis, ignite economic growth and provide access to jobs in such challenging conditions," he added.

"In the meeting, we reflected and discussed DA economic policy and how it translates into city governance; shared best practice between metros; and defined core elements of city-led economic growth and development. Each mayor was given an opportunity to present their successes, challenges, and plans going forward to ignite economic growth."

He said that they all agreed on a set of core principles to guide DA-led cities in the economic space.

They are as follows:

  • Infrastructure led growth;
  • Zero tolerance for corruption;
  • Fair access to opportunities;
  • Policy certainty and fiscal responsibility;
  • Reducing regulation and red tape;
  • Speeding up ease of doing business;
  • Investing in transport;
  • Investment facilitation including the introduction of incentives;
  • Private sector collaboration;
  • Investment in ICT;
  • Training and educational support through apprenticeships; and
  • Tackling with the legacy of apartheid spatial planning.

"These principles guide all DA-led cities, and are already being implemented in various forms.  The mayors also reflected on the urgent need to ensure that parastatals and State Owned Entities (SOEs) fulfil their role as required. Metrorail, Eskom, Transnet, and our ports and harbours are essential to the proper functioning of governments at city level. All mayors committed to engage these SOEs in order to ensure that they do not hinder the development and functioning of our cities," said Maimane.

"It is no secret that South Africa faces its worst economic crisis in recent times. Under the ANC-led national government, our country’s future – and the future of the poorest and most vulnerable - is being undermined at every juncture.

"Our nation’s unemployment rate is currently at 27.7 % - the highest level since March 2003 – a 14 year high. This leaves a massive 9.3 million South Africans without work. They are joined by over 17 million South Africans who are trapped, dependent on social grants for survival and with little hope of supporting their families, and experiencing true freedom."

Just last week, StatsSA released a new report on poverty in South Africa. According to this report, over 55% of South Africans live in poverty.

"That’s more than 30 million people, and the graph is heading in the wrong direction.

"Our economy has been relegated to junk status, and has entered a formal recession, now offering virtually no hope to the millions of our people left out, and left behind," Maimane said.

"The ANC continues to spew out economic mistruths about the jobs crisis in our nation. They continue to blame our problems on 'global trends' and 'external influences'. Yet 'global trends' and 'external influences' are not affecting fellow emerging economies nor BRICS nations - all of which have lower unemployment rates than South Africa.

"Our economic crisis is a home-grown problem, which requires a home-grown solution."

The DA leader said that DA-led cities ought to be running lean, efficient administrations that extend all the way to the day-to-day details – answer emails, return phone calls, follow up on complaints.

"Often dealing with our governments as a small entrepreneur is an endless nightmare of unanswered calls and emails, with endless trips to sort out admin issues. All of this chases away entrepreneurs and makes it more difficult to run a business. I have asked our mayors to set this ambitious goal: let DA-led cities be known for their ease of doing business. Let us be the friendliest, simplest, most conducive places in South Africa to start and run a small business.

"What we do in DA-led cities to revive economic activity is going to be key to our country’s future. National government doesn’t speak enough about city-led growth, but I believe this will be the make-or-break factor if we want create job opportunities for the millions of South Africans without work. Yes, national policy is important too, but the scale of employment we require can only be achieved through city-led growth," he said

"In fact, our largest cities already punch way above the national average when it comes to economic activity, and average income in the cities is around 60% higher than in rural areas. This is why people are flocking to our metropolitan centres in large numbers. Instead of urbanisation being a problem to overcome, it is actually key to bringing more people into our economy.

"The DA now governs for almost 16 million people, in some form or another. What we do in these metros will have a significant impact on the lives of these people and, ultimately, the lives of all South Africans. And so it is crucial that we go about re-energising our cities in the right way."

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality

"When the DA-led government took control of Nelson Mandela Bay, it was in financially precarious position following decades of ANC corruption and maladministration. The most immediate task was to put in place a system to restore financial stability. After less than a year in government, the City’s Capex rate is at 93%, and boasts a 93.7% revenue collection rate – the best financial position the metro has been in for over 7 years," the DA leader said.

"Thus far, the City has created 4000 new job opportunities, and has committed to provide bursaries to 1800 students – to the total value of R34 million. Moreover 300 young people have already this year gone through learnerships in the City, to ensure that they have the requisite skills to provide them access to better jobs."

He said that Mayor Trollip will also be establishing a dedicated 'Jobs Desk' in his office to facilitate the municipal bursary process, and will expand incentives for business to employ first time job seekers – particularly the youth.

"Going forward, the City will establish a professional Trade and Investment Promotion entity, focusing particularly on attracting new investments on Nelson Mandela Bay.

"The City also plans to revitalize the EPWP programme, in order to focus on skills development that empower beneficiaries to access further employment opportunities. This will include a skills database of all residents who have gone through the EPWP programme so that businesses can access people with relevant skills," Maimane said.

"Lastly a localised 'Ease of Doing Business' task team will be established to monitor key indicators of business and slash unnecessary regulation and red tape.

"Nelson Mandela Bay is the leading light in the Eastern Cape when it comes to growth and opportunity, and will continue as such for years to come under DA-led governance."