NELSON Mandela Bay mayor Zanoxolo Wayile has lashed out at those who disrupt service delivery, dubbing them “fake ANC members” and “devils hiding behind the cross”.
“We’ve got a problem of Satans who hide behind the cross. That’s the problem in the ANC,” Wayile said.
Addressing residents in Motherwell yesterday, he said political infighting in the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay was flowing over to society, which was not supposed to happen.
Wayile’s visit to ward 54 followed threats by warring factions – one supporting him and the other behind ANC regional chairman Nceba Faku – that they would resort to violence should rival members be found on the other’s turf.
The two groups were divided by Tyinira Road in Motherwell, with those supporting Faku staying in NU11 and Wayile’s supporters in NU29.
Faku supporters closed down an infrastructure development project site in NU29 last week, allegedly in protest against ward 54 councillor Aaron Nyikilana’s slow housing delivery.
The group also closed down three offices of ward councillors seen to be close to Wayile.
Declaring the infrastructure development project site open yesterday, Wayile said there could be no better birthday for the ANC to celebrate its centenary than to deliver services to the people faster.
“From today, the community projects will continue. Closing infrastructure projects is like saying the church must be closed [down]. How can a church be closed when Satan is so rife out there? Let’s be united in rebuilding the walls of ward 54. Our people must be united, be it the youth or the elderly.”
He said a rapid response team had been formed to deal with service delivery issues in the metro.
“I’m the convener of that team. [Infrastructure and engineering portfolio committee chairman Andile] Mfunda and [human settlements portfolio committee head Fikile] Desi are also part of the response team.
“We said in all the hotspots of service delivery protests we need to establish what the real issues are. We work with community structures. We want to plan together with people. We don’t want to impose [our ideas].”
Recent service delivery protests in Port Elizabeth saw ANC ward councillor Mbongeni Bungane’s office in Booysen Park torched. This was said to be politically instigated as Bungane was seen to be aligned to Wayile.
“Let’s not ride on the bandwagon that says there is a third force, or fourth force or fifth force. But a protest action needs to be constructive. How can you destroy an office? Hooliganism is very rife.
“Those who start wars must rethink this move. People have perished in such wars,” Wayile said.
“People must get access to housing, water and electricity. People must be organised because development is not about housing only. But there needs to be a conducive climate in order for development to flourish. Government also has got a duty to listen to those who say these projects must be closed.
“I will engage with [Eastern Cape Local Government MEC Mlibo] Qoboshiyane, [premier Noxolo] Kiviet and [Cooperative Governance Minister] Richard Baloyi. I will sensitise them about the deliberations of this [community] meeting.”
He said he would hold a meeting with Nyikilana to decide when to come back to residents with proper feedback on service delivery issues.