Danny wants five more years in PE
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.