Seems ANC puts party ahead of metro

The disbandment of the ANC regional executive committee and the subsequent appointment of the 32-member strong task team lead by Charles Nqakula have reference.

The DA welcomes the fact that President Jacob Zuma and other members of the ANC national executive committee have at last acknowledged the depth of the challenges facing our metro and heeded the many calls for an intervention.

They have chosen to do so by disbanding a dysfunctional, narcissistic and allegedly corrupt leadership in Nelson Mandela Bay.

While we pray this task team and imminent, third mayoral reshuffle in as many years will bring some stability to our beleaguered administration, one cannot help remaining sceptical that it is highly likely that the ruling party will again put its own interests above the interests of our city and its people.

Given all the talk from ANC leaders with regard to the importance of stopping factionalism and rebuilding ANC branch structures in NMB, it is clear this is a task team created solely to save the ANC, not the metro. It is little more than a desperate last ditch effort to hang onto power in NMB.

The ruling party has once again entirely missed the boat. Surely any intervention by the national structures of the ANC should largely have been aimed at directly addressing the various critical shortcomings in our administration such as corruption, incapacity and political interference.

Nobody outside of the ANC really cares which faction of the party leads from Florence Matomela House.

What the people in NMB really need is a stable, focused and selfless administration that excels in service delivery, and creates an environment in which economic growth and job creation is the number one priority.

Give the people of NMB a task team that will endeavour to undo the massive damage that the regional ANC has caused to our economy and administration over the last number of years, not one that deals with ANC factionalism and power squabbles.

One has only to study the 2014-2015 mid-term budget and performance assessment report to understand the real extent of the problems our administration faces. In terms of the report our administration has only met 60% of its key performance indicator (KPI) targets. Dismal failures include:

The failure to roll out a weekly garbage collection to an additional 12 000 households within the first six months of the financial year, by December 31 last year. Not a single household was added to our weekly collection service, leaving many thousands no alternative but to continue living in areas where they are consumed with uncollected garbage and filth daily;

The failure to reduce the excessive water losses in NMB. Within the first six months of the current financial year there has been a net increase in water losses.

We are heading for yet another cyclical drought but yet a third of all water consumed in NMB remains unaccounted for;

The much heralded electricity loss programme has yet to produce any results with electricity losses too escalating from the previous financial year. Collectively the rand value of water and electricity losses is now running in excess of R300-million annually, money that could be ploughed into service delivery, infrastructure maintenance and economic development;

The failure to make any progress in eradicating the bucket toilet system. More than 10% of all the bucket toilets still in use in the entire country can be found in NMB.

Notwithstanding the fact that DA pressure forced the ANC to commit at least R30-million in the 2014-2015 financial year to this all important project, the ruling party has once again failed dismally in addressing this inhumane system.

Shockingly the ANC administration failed to spend a single cent of the budget allocated for bucket eradication in 2012-2013 (R500 000) and 2013-2014 (R9-million);

Our repeated assertions of irregularities and requests for full forensic audits into both the IPTS and the human settlements department have fallen on deaf ears. Not a single bus is running currently and taxi owners continue to be compensated to the tune of millions while the project has all but ground to a halt.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the challenges our city faces today cannot be overcome by the ruling party. This council, elected in 2011, has proven to be an abject failure.

In its term of office the leadership of the ANC has caused the institution to spiral out of control into an administration that is today inefficient, dysfunctional and riddled with corruption.

A string of ineffective city managers, excluding Dr Lindiwe Msengana-Ndlela who was unceremoniously run out of town, has been unable to break the chains of political interference and pressure.

The consequence of this is yet another qualified audit this year with the accompanying “horror show” of an annual report and auditor-general’s report.

-Retief Odendaal, leader of the opposition, NMB

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