Eastern Cape Port Elizabeth stan blumberg
Nelson Mandela Bay Metro is dysfunctional says Business Chamber

The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber says that current dysfunctional state of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro is affecting the economic stability of the City.

“We are deeply concerned about the way the environment has deteriorated, making it very difficult for businesses to be sustainable and competitive, and thus able to contribute towards the economic well being of the Metro.

In fact, the situation should be considered dire with hundreds of jobs currently being shed, while an estimated one in three people are unemployed,” says the Chamber in an open letter issued to the Metro.

The chances of National Treasury approving the roll over of unspent national government grants is slim as the Metro still does not have a permanent Chief Financial Officer.

It is the duty of the Municipality to provide basic services to create an enabling environment in which business can operate and grow, ultimately, for the benefit of all citizens.

However, when the Municipality is unable to fulfill its executive obligations in terms of the Constitution or legislation due to inefficiencies at local government level, it is stifling the economic growth so desperately needed as businesses are prevented from conducting their normal day to day operations.

“Under the circumstances the NMBBC is left with no option but to request publicly for an urgent written undertaking from the municipal council that it will implement immediate, urgent and visible interventions in the following areas:

  • The development and implementation of a sustainable plan aimed at avoiding or overcoming the management paralysis resulting from a hung municipal council. This should be shared with all municipal stakeholders within the next 30 to 90 days;
  • A permanent (not acting) chief financial officer should be appointed immediately, to avoid the deepening of the NMBM financial crisis, and funds (estimated to be some R600 million) allocated by National Treasury to the NMBM from being forfeited;
  • The dispute with the suspended Municipal Manager should be resolved and the position filled with a permanent Municipal Manager within the next 30 to 90 days;
  • All vacant executive directorships should be filled within the next 30 to 90 days;
  • A turnaround strategy for the municipal refuse department, aimed at addressing the collapse in municipal garbage collection and refuse removal so as to secure the health and safety of all municipal citizens, must be developed and shared with all municipal stakeholders for public participation within the next 30 to 90 days;
  • A turnaround strategy for the municipal traffic department, aimed at addressing the unsafe road conditions and complete lack of credible and sustainable traffic policing endangering the health and safety of all road users, must be developed and shared with all municipal stakeholders for public participation within the next 30 to 90 days;
  • A turnaround strategy for the municipal land use planning department, aimed at addressing the ongoing paralysis in municipal zoning applications, should be developed and shared with all municipal stakeholders for public participation within the next 30 to 90 days;
  • A detailed, coherent proposal regarding the municipal tourism strategy and its future management dealing with both tourism generally and the future of the MBDA must be developed and shared with all municipal stakeholders for public participation within the next 30 to 90 days, ”the Chamber said in the letter.

Photo: Stan Blumberg

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