By Athol Trollip, DA Mayoral Candidate: Nelson Mandela Bay:
More than 200 ANC, COPE and AGANG members who joined the DA today, have endorsed Athol Trollip for Mayor, and have rejected Danny Jordaan’s brand of aloof and inaccessible government.
Many of those present today told me that they have had enough of the ANC-led government and that Mayor Jordaan has made no real changes in their lives. The Uitenhage, KwaNobuhle, Despatch, Daleview and Khayamnandi areas are some of the most neglected in the Metro.
The new DA members applauded loudly to the assertion that the Jordaan-led government has lost touch. Only the most arrogant and uncaring politicians refuse to listen to people with legitimate issues.
Mayor Jordaan’s decision this week, to not respond to anyone who approaches him from outside of council is a disgraceful rejection of the very real concerns of the 1.1 million people living in Nelson Mandela Bay, who do not sit in council. This refusal was revealed on Monday in the media by the Mayor’s spokesperson.
This effectively means that Mayor Jordaan has closed his door to the genuine needs of the people.
The members who crossed to the DA today have had enough of Mayor Jordaan’s closed-door policy, distant governance and arrogant politics before people.
While the Mayor shuts his office door, hundreds of thousands of NMB residents continue to live in poverty without basic service delivery, without access to the government and the Mayor.
The Mayor and his administration have declined to provide information to the SAHRC and to visit Walmer Township with me this week which is pure arrogance, and is ignoring the sanitation needs of this forgotten community.
I will continue to be on the side of residents who live without basic service delivery. I will continue to go from house to house with the people who live without dignified sanitation, housing, jobs and roads, while Jordaan closes his eyes to these problems and cuts the infrastructure maintenance budget by 50%.
Today’s mass-walkover to the DA shows that momentum is building behind the DA toward Election 2016. Nelson Mandela Bay will be the scene of the most highly-contested Metro election and the DA wont rest until we bring change to NMB.
The DA can win Nelson Mandela Bay at next year’s local government elections. It is time for a government that focuses on the needs of the people and works to create jobs and hope, with an open door and a government close to the people.
Under the DA, this will be our reality.