Dismantle gangster state in Bay — Steenhuisen

DA parliamentary leader John Steenhuisen
DA parliamentary leader John Steenhuisen

DA parliamentary leader John Steenhuisen said it was time to dismantle the “gangster state” in Nelson Mandela Bay and restore good governance to the people.

He will thus convene a task team of DA MPs to focus on interventions that can rescue the city from the “coalition of corruption”, Steenhuisen said in a statement.

“The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is on the verge of collapse,”  he said.

“The city has been brought to its knees by the mayor, Mongameli Bobani, and his coalition of corruption consisting of the UDM, ANC, AIC, PA and the United Front.

“Considering the critical situation in NMB, I will be convening a task team of DA MPs to focus on interventions that can rescue NMB from the coalition of corruption.

“Since his [Bobani’s] election as mayor  in September 2018, Nelson Mandela Bay has regressed on all governance, financial and service delivery indicators,” he said.

Steenhuisen said the DA had written to President Cyril Ramaphosa, the co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister,  the Eastern Cape  premier and MECs, yet their pleas had fallen on deaf ears.

DA media officer Azola Mboniswa said the duties of the task team were still to be discussed and deadlines had yet to be set for the team.

“We have not yet finalised the terms of the task team’s work, we are still going to meet and discuss that, and we will communicate it after we have met,” Mboniswa said.

Bobani, in response, said the DA continuously tried to seek relevance as part of its desperate political point-scoring tactics.

“The very same DA that is trying to save the city is the very same DA that doesnt want to appoint a CFO and executive directors in council, putting service delivery to halt as theyre obsessed with smuggling themselves back into government at all costs,” Bobani said.

“We are ready for them.

“Gone are the days when big contracts of the municipality will only benefit the white-owned companies which in turn fund DA programmes.

“We know that all this has nothing to do with the people, but an attempt to protect the interests of their white companies who have been milking this municipality.

“We are unshaken, knowing that we have the support of the majority of the people of this city.

“They must come, we are ready for them,” he said.

Steenhuisen said the present coalition partners had failed to hold mayoral council meetings and that a team from the auditor-general’s office had to withdraw from the audit of the city’s books because of a perceived threat against them.  

“Day zero has arrived in NMB with no drought disaster declaration in place and no plan to deal with the imminent complete water outage.

“The situation in NMB is a national crisis which threatens to destabilise a major metropolitan municipality and the ANC government has failed to provide leadership,” Steenhuisen said.

The municipality’s total combined average level in its dams is at 33.96%.