Walmer: mayor to talk

Luyolo Mkentane

NELSON Mandela Bay mayor Zanoxolo Wayile is expected to address Walmer township residents at 10am today after spending several hours yesterday locked in a meeting with community members.

For a second time in as many months, residents blockaded streets with burning tyres and rubble yesterday – leading to the arrest of eight people for public violence – as residents waited for a report back from the municipality.

Last month’s chaotic housing delivery protest lasted two days. The municipality promised then it would come back to the community with a report back on how they were addressing the issues in the first week of this month.

The meeting between the metro officials and community leaders was held at the Port Elizabeth City Hall and lasted for about seven hours.

Community leader Mbulelo Tulumani would not divulge what the meeting had agreed on, only saying: “The public will be addressed [today].”

Wayile’s spokesman, Luncedo Njezula, said: “The format of the programme was that we would hold a report back session with the community leaders first, before addressing the broader community.”

The rapid response team of senior municipal managers, including Andile Mfunda (infrastructure and engineering portfolio head) and Fikile Desi (human settlements portfolio head), was formed last month to look at the Walmer issue and other service delivery hotspots.

Walmer ward councillor Nomajama Benya could not be reached for comment.

Police spokesman Captain Stanley Jonas said the eight people arrested would appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court today.

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