Danny Jordaan’s 100 days of broken promises and scandal evasion

By Athol Trollip, Mayoral Candidate: Nelson Mandela Bay:

The following remarks were delivered by Athol Trollip in Nelson Mandela Bay today, in reviewing the first 100 days of Danny Jordaan’s Mayoralty in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

One hundred days into office, Danny Jordaan has disappointed and disserved the people of Nelson Mandela Bay, in the style of all ANC Mayors before him.

Jordaan has spent his first 100 day in office deflecting scandal after scandal, rather than serving the desperate needs of our people.

In just 100 days Jordaan has been tainted by a massive international bribe scandal of US$10 million, the revelation that he bunked paying his residential electricity bill for seven years, the admission that he unethically handed out wads of cash to voters, and the undeniable truth that he is a part-time mayor.

The part-time mayor was forced onto the people of Nelson Mandela Bay, not through election, but through ANC cadre-deployment. Even factions of the ANC threatened to boycott his inauguration.

The Jordaan ANC administration was compromised from the start, and 100 days later it is the people of our Metro who struggle every day to get ahead, that have been left further behind by Jordaan.

Promises made in Jordaan’s first 100 days have been broken, and people in the Metro are further from jobs, further from housing, further from reliable public transport, further from decent sanitation and further from safety and security on our streets.

Jordaan’s lofty promises to modernise the archaic administration, grow the local economy, root out corruption, fix decaying infrastructure, promote social inclusion, cut costs on non-core expenditure, and increase access to decent education, have all been devastatingly broken.

Instead of fixing decaying infrastructure, Jordaan has kept NMB as the highest water-loss Metro in South Africa, 36%, valued at R327 million, without any change on the cards.

Instead of growing the local economy, Jordaan has kept the Metro out of benefitting from the Coega Industrial Development Zone.

Instead of rooting out corruption, Jordaan has protected and befriended Roland Williams who unlawfully and improperly dishes out tenders, bungles contracts and takes paid trips to other provinces with municipal tender bidders.

Instead of cutting costs on non-core expenditure, Jordaan decided to cut ‘special skills allowances’ to critical officials in the electricity and water directorates, causing a wildcat strike and power outages in vast areas of the North, and water cut offs for over a week.

Instead of promoting social cohesion, Jordaan has failed to get the IPTS bus system to run to connect the Metro and bring people together, instead he has overseen some of the most violent and desperate protest action in the Northern Areas by communities who feel unrepresented and uncared for.

Bur Jordaan did cut the capital budget for the Northern Areas, and brought this entire region’s budget down to just 5,9% of the whole Metro budget, while also cutting coloured job seekers out of municipal employment in large numbers through lower employment equity targets. This employment equity decision of Jordaan’s administration had to be taken to Labour Court to be challenged.

Walmer township has erupted in fierce housing protests because the Jordaan ANC government has failed to increasingly deliver houses, and only plans to complete 1293 homes this year, when the waiting list for houses is currently over 38 000.

In Helenvale protesters sick of unsafe school, miseducating our Metro’s children, were fired upon by police as they protested – some say with live ammunition.

The Northern Areas remain in the grip of gangsters and criminals, with tragic cases of bystander shootings. Yet Mayor Jordaan’s promise in early July to attack gangsterism was not the policing of the criminals, but rather the creation of a small fund for Ward Councillors to host activities for young people in their wards – a discretion that depends entirely on the intentions of a councillor.

Jordaan has failed to make Nelson Mandela Bay safer; there is still no Metro Police in our Metro, while the incongruously named Chief of Metro Police, Pinkie Mathabathe, draws a R1 million annual salary with not a single metro cop on the beat.

According to StatsSA, over 80% of residents in Nelson Mandela Bay are afraid to go out after dark – the highest in any Metro. Yet Jordaan has failed to get a Metro Police service up and running, while continuing to pay its Chief of Metro Police for zero outcomes.

Jordaan now sits poised to fire Municipal Manager Mpilo Mbambisa, with a generous golden handshake like three other Municipal Managers before him. In 12 years, the Metro has been through six Municipal Managers, with over R11 million going with them as they parted ways. Jordaan’s latest attempt to sack a Municipal Manager will bring in number seven, in 12 years.

Possibly Jordaan’s greatest failing is the continued rot of the IPTS bus system and its bought and paid-for busses. The IPTS must be implement to connect the Metro, to bring people closer to jobs and to truly entrench freedom of movement.

Yet on the table, in Danny Jordaan’s Municipal Council right now, is a proposal to sell off all of the busses and crap the scheme. The ANC is one vote away from sending the entire system into the annals of history at a R2 billion loss for the people of Nelson Mandela Bay and an incalculable loss to the economy of our Metro.

The story of Danny Jordaan’s broken promises and scandal evasion doesn’t need to be the story of the future of Nelson Mandela Bay.

The DA is set on winning Nelson Mandela Bay in next year’s election and will make our first 100 days a historic period of growth, development and change.

In the first 100 days in office a DA government will bring government closer to the people through direct contact mechanisms, will launch the first of many entrepreneurship centres and job zones, will establish an infrastructure upgrade detection and monitoring team, will launch anti-drug and anti–gangsterism units, in collaboration with other Metros as an interim measure, will launch independent forensic audits of all wrongdoing, will work with other Metros that have efficient Bus Rapid Transport systems, to formally launch the Nelson Mandela Bay IPTS on the best working model.

The DA will launch our complete vision for Nelson Mandela Bay on 12 September 2015 at the iconic Donkin Reserve in Port Elizabeth.

Change is coming to Nelson Mandela Bay.

A photo of the press conference can be found here