The future of the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) hangs in the balance as the city’s new leadership plans to appoint an economic advisory committee which will decide how the prized entity should be run and who should be at the helm.
Four months after the council chose a new board – following a power struggle between members of the former board and the ex-political leadership – there is a chance the board could be reconfigured.
Mayor Athol Trollip and his deputy, Mongameli Bobani, said they did not want to be forced into accepting the status quo, nor did they want to be pressured into making sweeping changes.
They are, therefore, planning to get some of the Bay’s best minds around a table to advise on the way forward.
While decisions over matters such as chief executive Pierre Voges’s monthto-month contract are vested with the MBDA board, the board should ultimately represent the interests of the shareholder, which is the municipality.
Asked how it planned to proceed with Voges’s contract, Trollip said he did not want to rush.
“I know the MBDA has done some good work and I’ve spoken to people who have served on the MBDA before, when it was still at its height.
“And I’ve spoken to some who’ve left because of what had started to happen in the MBDA,” Trollip said.
He said the MBDA should develop Nelson Mandela Bay, not fill the pockets of cadres of a political party.
Asked if there was a possibility that the MBDA could be reconfigured, Trollip said: “Absolutely, there’s a possibility for anything. It’s a new government here.
“We’re not simply going to carry on with the status quo. “We’re not going to simply throw it out. “We’re going to assess everything and re-assess.
“There is political intervention and meddling in the MBDA that has brought it to a grinding halt.
“And there’s infighting and there’s self-interest, so there will be changes.”
Bobani believes there should be changes, but echoed Trollip’s sentiments that a decision should not be rushed.
“We are first going to scrutinise exactly what is happening, what has happened and then we’ll be able to say, ‘This is the best way to go’.
“No one is going to influence us,” Bobani said.