A group of angry Helenvale residents have given mayor Athol Trollip until noon tomorrow to respond properly to their grievances, claiming his earlier response was lacklustre and did not indicate the necessary attention.
Fuming that the reply to their 40 complaints was not placed on an official letterhead of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, they accused Trollip of not taking them seriously.
They were referring to Trollip’s response on Friday to their complaints after almost a week of violent protests in the northern areas.
At a media conference yesterday, the group criticised Trollip for not turning up to calm the protest when residents were shot, and one person was killed, on Thursday.
Reading a prepared statement, ANC deputy regional secretary Desira Davids accused Trollip of being arrogant for not addressing protesting residents.
“I am also a resident of this ward and I am a social worker who understands what is happening on the ground,” she said.
Helenvale residents have demanded that Trollip signs off on the planned construction of 50 pilot houses to be built by the Mandela Bay Development Agency.
They also want him to declare Helenvale a poverty area and vow not to cut off the electricity supply of households whose bills are not paid up.
Davids said Trollip had a constitutional obligation to interact with Helenvale residents when they wanted to see him.
“There have been electricity cuts and the people have to pay reconnection fees; people here are poor and are dependent on social grants,” she said.
Trollip’s chief of staff, Kristoff Adelbert, said Trollip had held two large public meetings in Helenvale and Chatty during the height of the protests.
He said Trollip could not place his reply to their grievances on a letterhead due to time constraints.
“Improving service delivery, growing the economy to create jobs and stopping corruption are central to changing the lives of our residents,” Adelbert said.