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28/07/2016

This article appeared in The Herald of 28 July 2016.

Audience also vocal as four parties outline plans for metro in live broadcast

JOBS, the economy, corruption and service delivery topped the list of things debated by political parties during a heated discussion in Port Elizabeth last night on the upcoming local government elections. 

At a live broadcast of the eNCA political debate in partnership with The Herald and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, parties laid out their plans to create jobs that would reduce Nelson Mandela Bay’s 33% unemployment rate, promising to fill vacancies within the state and create not only low-level jobs but quality employment for residents.

The audience in the NMMU north campus auditorium became rowdy at times, drowning out the voices of the speakers. The parties were represented by Rory Riordan (ANC), Nqaba Bhanga (DA), Dali Mpofu (EFF) and Mongameli Bobani (UDM), and the debate was facilitated by eNCA presenter Siki Mgabadeli.

Riordan spoke about the ANC’s “five golden years” plan to take Nelson Mandela Bay forward, saying other political parties did not have any plans.

He sang the praises of ANC mayoral candidate Danny Jordaan – who did not attend the debate – saying he was an “absolutely outstanding man” with a stellar CV.

“The core things listed in the ‘five golden years’ is growth in the economy and job creation,” Riordan said.

Holding two T-shirts – one ANC, one DA – Riordan said the difference was that the ANC’s was made in South Africa and the DA’s was manufactured in China.

Bhanga used examples of good governance in the Western Cape, saying the DA governed nine of the top 10 municipalities in the country.

He criticised the ANC, saying its only plan was to destroy and steal in this metro.

“We have two ports here and the ANC failed to create work, when there’s potential in those two ports,” he said.

“What we want to do is create work and . . . to eradicate and stop corruption.

“We will support SMMEs and ensure the youth get employment opportunities here,” Bhanga said.

Bobani said people’s interests were at the heart of the UDM and if the party should take over the running of the municipality, it would eradicate corruption.

“The ANC failed to build proper houses and failed to eradicate bucket toilets.

“All those [matters] would be dealt with when the UDM takes over,” Bobani said.

He also indicated that the UDM would fight to ensure clinics again fell under the administration of the municipality rather than the provincial government.

Mpofu said it was a disgrace for the ANC to speak of a plan when it needed to report back on what it had achieved.

He said the EFF would abolish the tender system as it was currently open to abuse.

Mpofu also said drug abuse and gangsterism stemmed from a lack of jobs.

Speaking about alleged corruption within the ANC, Mpofu said: “A fish rots from the head. If the president is accused number one, we won’t resolve corruption until we remove the ANC.”

He said that during his visit around the Bay, he had seen that the housing and sanitation needs of residents were urgent and dire.

Contact information
Mr Ongama Mtimka
Next Generation Initiative Scholar (PhD Candidate and Lecturer)
Tel: 0415042212
ongama.mtimka2@mandela.ac.za