ANC at risk of los­ing Man­dela Bay – Zuma

CityPress - - News - LUBABALO NGCUKANA lubabalo.ngcukana@city­press.co.za

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma has warned that the ANC runs the risk of los­ing the Nel­son Man­dela Bay Metropoli­tan Mu­nic­i­pal­ity if it doesn’t re­con­nect with peo­ple on the ground.

In what sources called “dam­age con­trol” af­ter the ANC lost a cru­cial ward in the city, Zuma and Wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion Min­is­ter Nomvula Mokonyane launched their War on Wa­ter Leaks pro­gramme at the Dan Qeqe Sta­dium in Zwide on Fri­day.

The sta­dium is close to Veeplaas, which is part of the ward the ANC lost to the United Demo­cratic Move­ment last week.

Zuma also walked around the area fix­ing leak­ing taps.

Later in the evening, Zuma took to the podium at a gala din­ner at the Nel­son Man­dela Bay Sta­dium.

He told the largely ANC au­di­ence that if the party did not take dras­tic steps, it would lose the metro.

A coun­cil­lor who at­tended the din­ner, but asked not to be named, told City Press: “He said the party could not af­ford to lose the metro as it was his­tor­i­cally an ANC strong­hold, where the likes of Go­van Mbeki are buried.”

ANC Eastern Cape chair­per­son and Premier Phu­mulo Ma­su­alle and a num­ber of his MECs were at the event. Also there was Charles Nqakula, who chairs the task team that is tem­po­rar­ily run­ning the ANC in the Nel­son Man­dela Bay re­gion.

Four in­de­pen­dent sources said Zuma, who planned to re­main in Port El­iz­a­beth un­til to­day to take stock of the ANC’s prob­lems in the re­gion, was con­cerned, along with the na­tional lead­er­ship of the rul­ing party, about how they would per­form next year.

He has in­structed party op­er­a­tives to re­con­nect with peo­ple in an ef­fort to win them back.

“The pres­i­dent said all ANC mem­bers must de­fend the party and go back to ba­sics.

“They must go door to door and make sure peo­ple vote ANC next year,” said a source, who did not want to be named be­cause he was not au­tho­rised to speak on party mat­ters.

About 15 000 peo­ple, most of them bused in from out­side the area, packed Dan Qeqe Sta­dium in what looked more like an ANC rally than a gov­ern­ment event.

The crowd, some wear­ing ANC colours, sang proZuma songs and chanted ANC slo­gans.

Zuma told the crowd gov­ern­ment would act to speed up ser­vice de­liv­ery in the metro.

“As part of the mea­sures to im­prove ser­vice de­liv­ery in Nel­son Man­dela Bay, na­tional gov­ern­ment, through the min­is­ter of co­op­er­a­tive gov­er­nance and tra­di­tional af­fairs, has pre­sented a sup­port pack­age to coun­cil and this has been for­mally adopted,” said Zuma.

The pres­i­dent said he was con­fi­dent that Port El­iz­a­beth Mayor Danny Jor­daan, with whom he shared the stage, would help to turn the mu­nic­i­pal­ity around. “I want to as­sure you gov­ern­ment will do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to en­sure this city is re­vi­talised and re­turns to its for­mer glory,” he said. Jor­daan has al­ready started to act. Re­ports in­di­cate he is ne­go­ti­at­ing an exit pack­age for the city man­ager.

Gov­ern­ment ef­forts to boost ser­vice de­liv­ery in the Nel­son Man­dela Bay area have in­ten­si­fied over the past few months. In May, Hu­man Set­tle­ments Min­is­ter Lindiwe Sisulu an­nounced that about R1 bil­lion had been set aside to as­sist the city’s hu­man set­tle­ments depart­ment to im­prove the pro­vi­sion of hous­ing to those in need.

ANC Eastern Cape spokesper­son Mlibo Qo­boshiyane said the pres­i­dent and na­tional lead­er­ship of the party were nat­u­rally wor­ried about the pos­si­bil­ity of los­ing the metro to other par­ties.

He said the ANC would soon launch an elec­tion strat­egy specif­i­cally for the Nel­son Man­dela Bay metro re­gion.

PHOTO: GCIS

MR FIX-IT Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma re­places a tap while Wa­ter Af­fairs Min­is­ter Nomvula Mokonyane looks on. This week the pres­i­dent launched the gov­ern­ment’s War on Wa­ter Leaks pro­gramme, de­signed to train 15 000 young peo­ple na­tion­ally. Wa­ter losses cost the coun­try R7 bil­lion each year

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