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'Walking out of Council Meetings has become a habit, a bad one' Trollip

By Afikile Lugunya - Jun 21, 2018
'Walking out of Council Meetings has become a habit, a bad one' Trollip

It has lately become norm for Nelson Mandela Bay council meetings to collapse amid a political standoff between Councillors from the opposition and those from the Democratic Alliance (DA) coalition government that has been running the Bay since 2016.

The Metro almost failed to pass its 2018/2019 budget and integrated development plan (IDP) after the meetings collapsed each time Councillors and on Wednesday, it happened again.

Among issues that Councillors, were going to debate was the current municipal strike that has brought refuse collection to a standstill in the Bay.

Speaking to reporters, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, on Wednesday said that he knew from the start of the meeting that there were going to be disruptions after apparently over-hearing the leaders of the strike saying that “Trollip will not rule the city”.

He said that his Xhosa skills paid off, because as predicted the meeting, which was the continuation of a meeting held 24th of May, collapsed for the fourth time.

For the continued collapse of the meetings, Trollip blamed African National Congress (ANC) Councillor, Andile Lungisa, as well as former Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Deputy Executive Mayor, Mongameli Bobani, who is also the United Democratic Movement (UDM) Regional Chairperson.

Turning to the strikers' demands for backpay, he said that; "This Council took a decision that there will be no back pay, so there is a existing council resolution."

Trollip added that the unions want the Metro to pay each worker R30 000 in back pay.

"However, the Municipality doesn’t have that.

“I believe that this is a political backlash to counter what happened last week in the [passing of the] budget," he said.

"The walk out of the ANC to me shows that it was planned and they didn’t really want to debate the issue; they just wanted to say that we didn’t want to debate the issue.

“The Speaker had agreed that we would debate the matter, yet they still walked out of council. They simply did not want the Council Meeting to go ahead. They simply walked out and that has become a habit, and a bad one."

Two councillors of the ANC were notably absent at the meeting probably because of the protests that broke out in their Wards.

Bicks Ndoni, the leader of the ANC in the Nelson Mandela Bay, said that the solution for what is going on in the Nelson Mandela Bay council is to strengthen the multi-party whipery.

“What is happening outside is a crisis for everyone - the council and citizens are annoyed. The more we drag this thing there more it will result to violence especially when workers feel that they have to resort to other ways of pressure in order for their demands to be heard,” Ndoni said.