Ricochet News

Mongameli Bobani calls on residents to protect municipal officials

Oct 4, 2018
Mongameli Bobani calls on residents to protect municipal officials

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Mongameli Bobani, on Thursday reiterated the call for local residents to protect municipal officials working in their neighbourhoods.

"A cause for great sadness and unease is the continued attacks on municipal officials performing their duties in different areas across the City," he said.

"In a recent widely-reported incident,a young resident of the Northern Areas ended up being fatally wounded, allegedly by a municipal official.

"This tragic incident is one of many in which officials from the Municipality's core service delivery directorates, namely Electricity and Energy, Infrastructure and Engineering, Human Settlements and Public Health, have been attacked at gunpoint, robbed and sometimes grievously assaulted.

"In the past three months alone, about four incidents have happened in New Brighton, three in Soweto on Sea and two in Govan Mbeki Township."

Bobani said that these core service delivery directorates are the heartbeat of the Municipality where quality service delivery is concerned.

"This pattern of attacks has undoubtedly affected service delivery negatively, leaving some of these officials fearing for their lives when venturing out into local communities to perform their duties," he described.

"The turnaround time to respond to service delivery challenges has been prolonged, as the Municipality now needs to mobilise security resources first before deploying a team to attend to a service delivery problem.

"Although we can never equate people’s lives with financial implications, it must also be said that the current state of affairs is also affecting the Municipality financially. Money that is supposed to be directed at core service delivery functions ends up being spent on safety and security arrangements.

"I would like to reassure the residents and business owners of Nelson Mandela Bay that we are committed to deal with this matter head-on."

Serious discussions on attacks on Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality personnel

Bobani said that he had a serious discussion about this matter with Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Cllr Litho Suka.

"Under the leadership of Cllr Suka, the Safety and Security Directorate is currently developing an integrated strategy that will form part of the solutions to this challenge.

"However, the City cannot win this fight alone: we need to work as a team. Finding a permanent solution is the joint responsibility of the community members themselves, Community Policing Forums, Ward Committees, Community Development Workers, the private sector and community leaders, and the Municipality. We call upon community members and all stakeholders to stand up, reclaim and own their neighbourhoods," Bobani added.

"It is an untenable situation that the Municipality battles to deliver services to our communities because criminals are owning the streets. We as a people need to come together, working with all relevant law enforcement agencies, to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH."

 The Mayor also said that the SAPS, working with the Metro Police, already have established systems and committees, and community members are encouraged to report these incidents immediately.

"Together, we can root out all these criminals from our communities."

Follow more RNEWS articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel and for breaking news LIKE us on Facebook.