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Trollip to present Nelson Mandela Bay's 'ground-breaking' 2017/2018 Budget and IDP

MAY 26, 2017
Trollip to present Nelson Mandela Bay's 'ground-breaking' 2017/2018 Budget and IDP

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, is expected on Friday to table what he called 'a ground-breaking Budget and Integrated Development Plan (IDP) that will transform our City' before the Nelson Mandela Bay Council.

Proceedings will kick off at 10am.

In March, Trollip presented the draft of the 2017/2018 Budget and IDP, which he said sets the benchmark for better service delivery in the Metro.

"The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is for the first time tabling a draft budget that speaks to developing one city with one future.

"The draft 2017/18 budget sets a new benchmark for the delivery of better services, the eradication of corruption and the development of the economy to create jobs," the Executive Mayor said then.

"The Municipality is now moving towards expediting long-awaited projects that will unlock our City's potential."

The 2017/2018 Budget and IDP speech comes as the Nelson Mandela Bay region faces challenges on several fronts.

Drought

Among the most pressing ones is water. On Monday, the Mayor was forced to set in motion the process of having the Nelson Manela Bay area declared a drought disaster area following poor rains and dangerously low dam levels.

Addressing journalists on Wednesday, Trollip said that the region will be declared a disaster area when the water crisis is promulgated and gazetted by the provincial and national governments.

The municipality previously said it would initiate the process of declaring the Bay a disaster area once dam levels dropped below 40% - combined capacity in its five dams is currently at 38.5%.

The water situation has also been worsened by the collapse of the Kirkwood canal, which supplies water to the Nooitgedaght scheme - cutting the Metro's water supply by 30%.

Sigficant loss has been at the Churchill dam, which is sitting at 13.10%.

Previously, Trollip said that the last 10% of water in the dams is unusable, which means that, technically, the Metro is sitting at 28.5% of water and the Churchill dam at 3.10%.

The Municipality was forced to implement water restrictions late last year and has threatened heavy water users with punitive tariffs.

Job creation

The Mayor is expected to highlight how the Metro plans to create 17 289 job opportunities in one year - and absorb even those workers, who will have lost their jobs at GM.. 

General Motors South Africa, one of the region's biggest employers, announced last week that it was exiting South Africa.

GM intends to cease local manufacturing and selling Chevrolet vehicles in the domestic market by the end of 2017.

Following the recent announcement of the sale of Opel/Vauxhall to the PSA Group, GM said that it continues to work with PSA to evaluate future opportunity for the Opel brand in South Africa. It said that, existing Chevrolet and Opel customers will continue to be supported in the market.

Read the full GM South Africa announcement here.

Around 2 000 workers were reportedly employed by GM at Struandale - more were employed by companies servicing its value chain. Hence, job losses may go beyond the 600 reported by GM.

Crime and safety also remains a worry for local residents.

Apart from the official proceedings, many will be interested in seeing how Trollip an his Deputy, Mongameli Bobani, will relate at the meeting.

The conflict between the two has become a matter of public knowledge with allegations and counter-allegations thrown around in the media.

Last week, Trollip fired Bobani from the Health Directorate and indicated that he would set in motion a process to have him removed as Nelson Mandela Bay Deputy Executive Mayor, at the next Council Meeting, if the UDDM does not replace him.

After an urgent meeting by their principals, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Mmusi Maimane, and United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader, Bantu Holomisa, on Monday night, it was agreed to let bygones be bygones.

However, at Tuesday's Council Meeting, things degenerated into chaos leading the DA to repeat its previous calls for Holomisa to remove Bobani.

Holomisa last week had said that Bobani was not going anywhere.