Man­dela Bay on knife-edge over po­si­tions

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - LUY­OLO MKEN­TANE luy­olo.mken­ @luy­olomken­tane

A DEAD­LOCK on the hir­ing and fir­ing of two mu­nic­i­pal ex­ec­u­tives has put the DA-led coali­tion gov­ern­ing the Eastern Cape’s big­gest metro of Nelson Man­dela Bay on a knife-edge.

This comes barely four months into its five-year term.

Yes­ter­day, cracks be­gan to show be­tween the coali­tion part­ners af­ter the UDM and other smaller op­po­si­tion po­lit­i­cal par­ties ap­par­ently staged a walk­out dur­ing the first coun­cil meet­ing in Port El­iz­a­beth.

This spurred the ANC re­gional struc­ture to is­sue an in­vite to brief the me­dia on the “col­lapse of the coali­tion gov­ern­ment”.

DA mayor Athol Trol­lip told The Star that the coun­cil meet­ing was called to ta­ble two re­ports on the ter­mi­na­tion of ser­vices of cor­po­rate ser­vices boss Mod Ndoy­ana, and the ap­point­ment of re­puted ad­min­is­tra­tor and busi­ness­woman Vuyo Zi­tu­mane to act in the po­si­tion.

The meet­ing couldn’t pro­ceed as the smaller op­po­si­tion par­ties failed to pitch up, ac­cord­ing to Trol­lip.

Trol­lip’s deputy, Mongameli Bobani, of the United Demo­cratic Move­ment (UDM), said they dis­agreed with pro­cesses fol­lowed to ap­point city man­ager Jo­hann Met­tler and Zi­tu­mane.

He said their dis­agree­ments did not sig­nal the end of the coali­tion gov­ern­ment, say­ing they needed to find each other.

“The UDM will not sup­port any­thing that has cor­rup­tion… We are a party that is trans­par­ent, that is ac­ces­si­ble and that is cor­rup­tion-free,” Bobani added.

Trol­lip said the coali­tion gov­ern­ment re­mained com­mit­ted to its of­fer of “good gov­er­nance, grow­ing our econ­omy to cre­ate jobs and to stop cor­rup­tion”.

He said coun­cil records showed Bobani sup­ported Met­tler’s ap­point­ment in coun­cil and there was no op­po­si­tion to his ap­point­ment.

“Coali­tion gov­ern­ments are not al­ways the eas­i­est gov­ern­ments. We will have dif­fer­ences from time to time but we will al­ways re­solve them,” Trol­lip in­sisted.

When ru­mours sur­faced that the mayor and his deputy butted heads over key de­ci­sions, Trol­lip said both of them had de­nied it.

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