Bay’s political, business leaders meet to plot strategy for growth
The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber and the city’s political bosses met on Thursday to discuss measures that are necessary to create an environment conducive to economic growth.
A range of issues were discussed, including the water crisis, load-shedding and red tape around land zoning applications.
Acting mayor Thsonono Buyeye was accompanied by some members of the mayoral committee as well as acting municipal manager Noxolo Nqwazi.
The meeting was held at the business chamber’s offices and was attended by its CEO, Nomkhita Mona, and president, Andrew Muir.
At the meeting, Buyeye said improving relations and transparency with the business sector was critical in building a sustainable economy in the metro.
“Some of the solutions to our challenges can be addressed by business through the skills they possess.
“These sessions will be ongoing so that we can sing from the same hymn book. Our main focus is to grow our economy and create jobs,” Buyeye said.
Municipal spokesperson Kupido Baron said the meeting had focused on the city’s plans to deal with the water shortages, technical electricity outages, load-shedding, land zoning and other issues relating to economic development.
Baron said the business chamber had indicated its willingness to assist the metro in a number of areas, particularly in mitigating the effects of the water challenges.
In recent months, the chamber has been vocal about the challenges arising from political instability in the metro, calling on the political leadership to get its house in order.
While speaking at the chamber’s annual banquet in November, Muir said the city was dysfunctional and this was evident in the scale of the breakdown in basic service delivery.
At the time, he said the metro needed business leaders and the city’s administration to turn the situation around.
On Thursday, Muir said the stronger the relationship between the municipality and business, the more jobs would be created.
“As business we are prepared to assist the municipality to overcome its challenges.
“Discussing issues in an honest and transparent manner, we will be in a position to diagnose the problems and implement solutions as a team,” Muir said.