MAYOR Danny Jordaan has come under fire from his political rival, the DA’s Athol Trollip, for refusing to entertain his questions about the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s plan to eradicate bucket toilets in the metro.
The city has, meanwhile, failed to respond to questions from the SA Human Rights Commission about the squalor in which Walmer township residents live, according to its acting Eastern Cape manager, Aubrey Mdazana.
After visiting Walmer township last month, Trollip wrote a letter to Jordaan, requesting his commitment to eradicate all bucket toilets in the metro within a year.
He signed the letter as DA mayoral candidate.
In reply to Trollip’s letter, Jordaan’s chief of staff, Mlungisi Ncame, wrote: “Please note that the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro does not have, nor does it recognise, a position of mayoral candidate. We shall therefore not entertain this, or any other correspondence sent in such capacity.”
Trollip said the response was a “show of total disrespect for our people’s dignity”.
“Just as the municipality ducked and dived the South African Human Rights Commission’s investigation into the prolific existence of bucket toilets, so too has the mayor hidden behind his staff members when faced with tough questions.”
Asked why they had not responded to Trollip’s letter, Ncame said: “We treat questions from councillors from all political parties with the utmost respect.
“The executive mayor is on record as having called for council to act in unison and resist temptation to politicise the challenges faced by our people.
“We also have the commitment and plan of action to deal with service delivery challenges. However, we refuse to be drawn into Mr Trollip’s attention-seeking stunts.
“We would rather spend our energy on acceleration of service delivery, investment promotion and the fight against corruption and crime.
“We think this political party must use the established council processes to raise such questions.”
Meanwhile, Mdazana said that after the metro failed to respond to two reminders from the Human Rights Commission about the situation in Walmer township, they had conducted their own inspection.
The commission found “that there are no satisfactory sanitation services provided to the majority of members in Walmer township”.
He also said various areas had insufficient water services, and sewerage pipes were either burst or leaking onto the streets.
Ncame responded that he was not aware of the commission’s letter.
“We will look into it and make it a priority.”