I WOULD like to clarify recent media reports pertaining to the approval of the latest Nelson Mandela Bay IDP by council on June 28, subject to further scrutiny as there were many discrepancies. Projects were allocated to the wrong wards and other matters in question, including the new staff organogram which has not even been discussed at committee level nor in council, are just some of the examples which require refinement.
Our caucus leader, Leon de Villiers objected to the inclusion of the new staff organogram in the IDP as we had not been consulted nor were we in agreement with it. We proposed it must be treated as a separate item in order to follow proper consultation, but these calls were ignored by the ruling party in the metro and we agreed in principle that the IDP might be approved pending further refinement of these inconsistencies.
The DA will not support the new position of deputy municipal manager, as we see this post as wasteful expenditure given our squeezed budget for the current financial year. This would exacerbate already depleted financial resources of the metro.
This move is unwarranted if a competent and qualified municipal manager is appointed by the mayor.
For its part, to ensure proper accountability and transparency of this process, the DA has requested all CVs of aspirant candidates, given that a deadline for applications was May 27. To this day, we have not obtained any response from the metro officials.
Furthermore, in his inaugural speech after the May 18 election, the mayor promised to prioritise the appointment of the municipal manager in June, but there has not been any tangible action forthcoming, including the interviewing of shortlisted candidates, neither any transparency pertaining to this matter from the mayor’s office.
We therefore categorically object to reports that the new staff organogram contained in the IDP was approved. We call on the mayor to exercise transparency and consult with us as an opposition in council.
The DA wants to add much needed positive input for the appointment of a suitable candidate for this vital position of municipal manager. Above all, we would expect to be consulted on the new changes made on the staff organogram of this metro.
As a sizeable and an official opposition in council, the DA is committed to working hand-in-hand with the mayor and his team, to ensure smooth service delivery. But this can only be achieved through mutual respect and efforts on both sides of the council. Our metro needs this co-operation now, more than ever.
Knight Mali, DA caucus spokesperson, Nelson Mandela Bay metro