Trol­lip takes cen­tre stage

Bobani mostly sub­dued as bud­get fi­nally gets ap­proval of ma­jor­ity of coun­cil­lors, Avuy­ile Mngxi­tama-Diko and John­nie Isaac re­port

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - NEWS -

AF­TER a dis­as­trous coun­cil meet­ing on Tuesday where in­sults were hurled be­tween mayor Athol Trol­lip and his deputy Mongameli Bobani, yes­ter­day’s meet­ing was un­usu­ally quiet.

While Bobani sat qui­etly, Trol­lip took cen­tre stage as he took coun­cil through the 2017-18 In­te­grated De­vel­op­ment Plan and bud­get.

The EFF’s Zilindile Vena even quipped that the pres­ence of DA fed­eral coun­cil chair­man James Selfe, who was at yes­ter­day’s coun­cil meet­ing, had an im­pact on Trol­lip’s “show­ing of lead­er­ship”.

The EFF, in pre­vi­ous meet­ings, com­plained that Trol­lip was silent in coun­cil meet­ings while he spoke a lot out­side through the me­dia.

But ten­sions be­tween Bobani and Trol­lip were still pal­pa­ble yes­ter­day.

Af­ter hours of si­lence, dur­ing the de­bate on the bud­get, Bobani took the mi­cro­phone – and the op­por­tu­nity to lec­ture those at­tend­ing.

He said he should not be viewed as a dis­rupter in the coun­cil. “Peo­ple must not tell lies about me in the me­dia,” Bobani said.

“The UDM is part of the coali­tion and I must not be por­trayed as a per­son who mis­be­haves.

“The UDM is a party on its own and is in­de­pen­dent of the DA, that must be made clear. Don’t feed peo­ple lies.”

Speaker Jonathan Lawack pleaded with Bobani not to de­rail the meet­ing and to rather de­bate the IDP and bud­get.

Bobani said voic­ing his views did not mean he was not in­ter­ested in build­ing the city.

“We want this gov­ern­ment to work. We are part of the coali­tion. The UDM ap­proves the IDP and bud­get to show that we want this city to work,” he said.

Selfe and DA deputy leader, Bobby Steven­son, were seated in the gallery dur­ing the first half of the meet­ing.

They left dur­ing the lunch break.

Asked yes­ter­day if his visit had any­thing to do with the ten­sions be­tween Trol­lip and Bobani, Selfe said it was a rou­tine visit.

“I was in Port El­iz­a­beth on a rou­tine visit.

“Then I de­cided to stay and lis­ten to Mr Trol­lip ad­dress­ing the coun­cil be­cause I have never done that be­fore.

“There have been talks among coali­tion part­ners about Mr Bobani’s be­hav­iour on Tuesday, but it’s not the rea­son I came here.”

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa also said Bobani’s si­lence in yes­ter­day’s meet­ing had noth­ing to do with the party’s na- tional lead­ers. “I would be telling lies if I said Mr Bobani did not speak to­day be­cause of this or that,” Holomisa said.

“We have not done any­thing to him di­rectly about what went down in the coun­cil on Tuesday. ”

Asked about his deaf­en­ing si­lence for the most part of yes­ter­day’s meet­ing Bobani said: “I know some peo­ple thought I would not pass the IDP and bud­get, but I just did not do what they ex­pected.”

While par­ties de­bated ex­ten­sively on the two doc­u­ments, the IDP and bud­get were fi­nally ap­proved by 67 coun­cil­lors.

The ANC, AIC and UF did not ap­prove the bud­get, say­ing it was not ad­dress­ing the needs of the poor in the city.

ANC coun­cil­lor Rory Rior­dan said the bud­get in par­tic­u­lar was not speak­ing to the pro-poor prom­ises made by the DA-led coali­tion gov­ern­ment.

“It is plan­less and clue­less. The IPTS [In­te­grated Pub­lic Trans­port Sys­tem] project lunges from one dis­as­ter to an­other,” Rior­dan said.

He said the bud­get also did not make pro­vi­sion for the Red Lo­ca­tion, KwaNobuhle, sports com­plex or build­ing fa­cil­i­ties in He­len­vale.

ANC cau­cus leader Bicks Ndoni ac­cused the coali­tion gov­ern­ment of pla­gia­ris­ing the City of Cape Town’s IDP doc­u­ment.

“This is un­ac­cept­able, the next thing you will have Table

Moun­tain in these doc­u­ments. We re­ject the IDP with the con­tempt it de­serves,” Ndoni said.

Dur­ing the first half of the meet­ing, the EFF re­quested the item to be de­ferred but af­ter a cau­cus they ap­proved the IDP and bud­get.

EFF’s Yoliswa Yako said: “When it comes to speak­ing to

the poor we see that in this bud­get money has been al­lo­cated to ser­vice delivery ar­eas such as hu­man set­tle­ments, elec­tric­ity and en­ergy.

“We want to ap­peal to these direc­torates, please use this money. We are also happy to see erad­i­ca­tion of bucket toi­lets is part of the pri­or­i­ties.”

TAK­ING CEN­TRE STAGE: Athol Trol­lip put Tuesday’s ten­sion aside

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