Decaying CBD, traffic problems take centre stage at public IDP meetings
Economic stagnation and infrastructure decay in the Port Elizabeth city centre, water leaks, and inadequate communication between the Nelson Mandela Bay administration and residents topped the list of concerns raised at last week’s public Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and Budget meetings – the first under the metro’s new administration.
Residents from Wards 1, 2, 3 and 5, which include suburbs such as Summerstrand, Humewood and Central, were among the first in the city to convey their concerns to the new DA-led coalition government when they gathered for the meeting at the Port Elizabeth City Hall on Tuesday evening.
The administration also outlined its service delivery plans for the city.
Tackling conditions in the city centre, Unathi Mnotoza, of Ward 5, said the municipality needed to do something about the state of the inner city.
“Govan Mbeki from the city hall to the bottom is a mess. It is difficult to drive or walk here. Traffic congestion by taxis is too much. What are you going to do about that?” Mnotoza said.
“There are buildings here in this inner city which are in a terrible condition, no one is supposed to stay inside them.“Businesses are closing down, and the inner city is meant to be a hub for job creation.
What is your plan to develop this inner city in terms of business?”
Political head of the municipality’s human settlements department Nqaba Bhanga said the authority was devising plans to develop the inner city.
“We are going to transform the inner city. We are planning to develop the old buildings into social housing. We are going to pass a bylaw on problem buildings.
“You have seen how beautiful the social housing projects are in Walmer Links and Fairview Links. That is what we want to do with the old buildings,” Bhanga said.
He said the development of the inner city and the creation of more accommodation offerings there would reduce the number of people forced to travel long distances to get to work.
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