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Protests erupt while Nelson Mandela Bay mayor addresses media

Ward committee members have disputed the termination of their contracts despite their term aligning with the local government elections
NOT HAPPY: Ward committee members have disputed the termination of their contracts despite their term aligning with the local government elections
Image: YOLANDA PALEZWENI

While Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Eugene Johnson hosted a media briefing on Tuesday, a group of disgruntled small business owners and ward committee members protested outside City Hall.

The two groups protested at different entrances to the building, one in the front and the other at the back.

The business owners demanded answers on the progress of payment to Sicelo Kubashe Black Consulting Group (SKBC), an implementing agent hired to facilitate and allocate projects to SMMEs in the metro’s 60 wards.

The fed-up SMMEs said they were informed the payments would be fast-tracked once outstanding documentation was provided by SKBC.

Bay Local Business Committee (LBC) secretary-general Masixole Mashelele, however, said there had been no payments and officials failed to provide feedback.

Corporate service political head Makhi Feni addressed the group of ward committee members.

The members disputed the termination of their five-year contracts, money still owed and that training and cellphones were never provided.

The terms of office of ward committees are aligned to the elections, which means their election lasts five years.

Meetings were held in corporate services constituency services director Dumisani Mbebe’s  office.

Ward 38 committee member Thobani Monza said they had raised the issues with officials several times.

“The cost of living is too high and a stipend never increases.”

HeraldLIVE

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