LETTER | New party needed to save the Bay

What has become clear from the latest political shenanigans in the municipality is that the metro needs a new party which is independent of national politics.
At the moment we are merely a proxy playground for national egos and power plays.
There is little or no interest in the people of the metro except as voting fodder.
This is true of all parties.
Not one local leader has stood up publicly and fought for the type of investment that is required to unlock the metro’s potential – a real international airport, a data cable landing point, proper rail links to Gauteng, sufficient water and independent power would each be life-changing for the people of Nelson Mandela Bay.
What makes it worse is that for many of the representatives, Port Elizabeth is seen as a stepping stone to provincial and then national office.
The commitment is to their personal careers and not to the people.
In short, we are a vassal city. It suits the parties at national level to have a metro in a constant state of flux and need.
They do not want us to attract investment and jobs away from Cape Town, Durban or Gauteng.
There is only one solution – it is for the people of the metro to take our future into our own hands by establishing a political party whose sole mandate is the socio-economic development of the metro, a party of individuals who are not scared of upsetting any masters at national level, and who will fight for the metro, and their wards.
It can be done.
There are a few green shoots in South Africa where independent councillors are being voted in, and there is the South African National Civic Organisation, (Sanco), which seems to represent the people rather than a party.
Plus, we have the example of the United Democratic Front in its heyday, and many of those leaders are still in the metro.
It is now time for them to stand up again to ensure their early dreams become a reality rather than a scrap heap of broken promises.

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