Danny wants five more years in PE

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

Af­ter a year in charge of the Nel­son Mandela Bay Metro, Danny Jor­daan has pat­ted him­self on the back for bring­ing po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity and eco­nomic growth to the area – so why not give him another five years?

“You can­not ar­gue against suc­cess and progress,” was what he said when he started his state of the metro ad­dress this week. He said he had im­proved the city’s fi­nances, and it now had R2 bil­lion in the bank, and he had made and im­ple­mented de­ci­sions to en­sure good gov­er­nance, cracked down on cor­rup­tion, di­ver­si­fied the econ­omy, launched the metro po­lice, pro­moted in­vest­ment and ac­cel­er­ated ser­vice de­liv­ery.

All th­ese things, he said, con­trib­uted to rat­ings agency Moody’s de­cid­ing to im­prove the city’s credit rat­ing by three notches.

“It has not been easy,” he said, ad­ding that he had in­her­ited a po­ten­tial R439 mil­lion bud­get deficit.

In his speech, Jor­daan said he had pri­ori­tised pub­lic trans­port and the fight against cor­rup­tion. He was also proud of the free metro Wi-Fi net­work the city pro­vided.

Cor­rup­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tions had led to dis­ci­plinary cases that saw 29 of­fi­cials “taken out of the sys­tem”.

On the list of his “five golden years plan” is to spend R8 mil­lion on a net­work of old-age homes, R15 mil­lion for spe­cial op­er­a­tions in crime-rid­den He­len­vale, R20 mil­lion on ex­tend­ing elec­tric­ity in­fra­struc­ture and R25 mil­lion to erad­i­cate the bucket toi­let sys­tem. He also prom­ises cul­tural hubs, which will see per­form­ing arts com­plexes built in town­ships across the city.

But DA cau­cus leader Retief Oden­daal was not so op­ti­mistic. He said Jor­daan had “not dealt with cor­rup­tion suf­fi­ciently”.

“Un­der his lead­er­ship, not a sin­gle per­son has landed in jail, and not a sin­gle cent was re­cov­ered from the peo­ple who de­frauded the metro.”

Oden­daal said this was why the DA had called for an in­de­pen­dent foren­sic au­dit into the metro’s fi­nances.

“A mas­sive amount was lost in terms of ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture [more than R1.3 bil­lion waste­ful ex­pen­di­ture in 2014/15 fi­nan­cial year],” Oden­daal said.

And while it was good to have R2 bil­lion in the bank, it was detri­men­tal to res­i­dents.

“We have more than 1 000 va­can­cies. That is a third of the work­force, which has a di­rect ef­fect on ser­vice de­liv­ery. Con­trac­tors have not been ap­pointed, ten­ders have not been awarded. He [Jor­daan] saved money by ac­tu­ally not spend­ing it,” Oden­daal said.

Danny Jor­daan

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.