The Nelson Mandela Bay Metro elected its council during the first council meeting on Thursday, following the recent Local Government Elections.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) Mayoral candidate Athol Trollip has been elected as the city’s Executive Mayor, while Mongameli Bobani of the United Democratic Movement (UDM) was elected as Deputy Mayor.
The DA’s Werner Senekel was also appointed as the council’s chief whip.
Tabling his speech after being elected, Mayor Trollip said one of the metro’s urgent priorities was to turn around the unemployment rate.
He said the total unemployment rate in the city is currently at 33%, which is 7% above the national average.
“Our metro is filled with abandoned and untapped economic potential that can be converted into job creating and economic growth activity. We need a new bold and dynamic vision for our economy, a vision that provides for infrastructure investment,” said Mayor Trollip.
He said thousands of new jobs will be created through other sectors such as tourism and agriculture.
He said tourism will be the major focus of the new administration, as the city has not exploited its full potential as a tourism destination.
“I will prioritise this part of our economic growth plan” he said, adding that this will attract new investment.
To monitor the progress of job creation under the new administration, the Mayor said he will be establishing a Job’s Desk in the Mayor’s office to ensure that jobs become his daily agenda.
He said the Job’s Desk will facilitate queries and applications for municipal bursaries, and first time job seekers will also get assistance.
“Our youth are our future, we must take care of them now,” he said.
The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) said Municipal Managers of all municipalities across the country have until 24 August within which to call the first council meetings.
They have 14 days which began when the election results were gazetted.