Mayor unveils his new team

Rochelle de Kock

NEW Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Ben Fihla implemented a major reshuffle of his mayoral committee yesterday, adding a new member and moving some of the members of the executive body to different portfolios.

The new member, councillor Mbuyiseli Mkavu, will head the human settlements portfolio committee, a position that requires a strong, energetic person as the majority of service delivery protests stem from housing complaints.

A new member had to be added to the nine-member mayoral committee after former economic development and tourism committee chairman Chippa Ngcolomba was elected deputy mayor last week.

Before announcing the members at a mayoral committee meeting yesterday, Fihla said he had met with a number of relevant stakeholders who had raised serious issues that the municipality had to deal with, and to do that he needed people with the necessary skills

“Knowing very well that a lot more needs to be done, I hereby present to you a team that we will be working with and that will advise and ensure – together with me and the deputy executive mayor [Ngcolomba] – business as usual is over,” Fihla said.

The members of the committee now in new roles are:

Babalwa Lobishe – economic development and tourism. She used to head the sports, arts and culture committee;

Fikile Desi – constituency coordinator. He used to chair human settlements;

Thembinkosi Mafana – safety and security. He was the

constituency coordinator;

Wandisile Jikeka – corporate services. He was the head of safety and security; and

Nomamerika Magopeni – sports, recreation, arts and culture. She was the head of corporate services.

Councillors Patricia Ndlovu (public health), Andile Mfunda (infrastructure, energy and electricity) and Balu Naran (budget and treasury) will remain chairpersons of their committees.

Opposition councillors congratulated the team, but speaker Maria Hermans expressed concern that there were only three women on the committee.

She said she would have liked to have seen a more equitable number of women on the mayoral committee.

Meanwhile, Fihla has asked Local Government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane for a seven-day extension before tabling the draft Budget and Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the 2013-14 financial year.

The council was supposed to table the draft budget yesterday in order to comply with the law, which requires that it be tabled 90 days before the new budget year.

Fihla said: “Having acknowledged the challenges that the municipality is facing, it is my considered opinion that the municipality should seek an extension . . . to allow all the stakeholders to make their inputs into the necessary documents.

is a version of an article that appeared in the print edition of the Weekend
Post on Saturday, March 29, 2013.

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