Nelson Mandela Bay will lead the way in showing South Africa how to flourish even if the country is relegated to junk status by the investment rating agencies, mayor Athol Trollip said yesterday.
At a Freedom Day rally at Vuyisile Mini Square, Trollip said his administration would focus on the metro ’s unique qualities, particularly the bounty offered in Algoa Bay.
The trick would be to capitalise on marine development opportunities at the same time as protecting the ocean as a sustainable resource, he said.
“We [will] concentrate on tourism . . . energy generation from ocean currents . . . fish to feed our people.”
These initiatives would be explored with the metro ’s huge unemployment burden, including 50% jobless youths, in mind, he said to cheers.
“We are going to bring jobs, not radical economic transformation hogwash, and with jobs will come real freedom.” Trollip hailed the “new spirit of debate” about South Africa’s political future, saying “the sweetest sound to a democrat is when people speak truth to power”.
Nelson Mandela Bay Ward 31 councillor Georgina Faldtman said South Africans needed to guard their democracy jealously.
“To be free isn’t free. We’ve got to stay watchful,” she said. Human settlements political head Nqaba Bhanga slammed “racial stereotyping” and said positive and negative actions should be the focus of public debate.
“So, joining the Zumamust- fall march or arresting those who steal from the poor . . . that is not racist,” he said to cheers.
Hlomela Bucwa, the DA’s youngest MP, got the crowd roaring when she said: “We have the power to remove any government in this country.”
Bobby Stevenson, the DA’s leader in the Eastern Cape legislature, said the ANC had lost its way, its heart and its soul and there was a rising mood for change sweeping South Africa focused on defending freedom and the constitution.