The people of Nelson Mandela Bay chose CHANGE

03 Aug 2018 in News

In Nelson Mandela Bay, the coalition government has had all the odds stacked against them from day one. But in the face of adversity, a budget that focused on low-income communities, housing and informal settlement upgrades, roads, lights and community facilities was passed.

The First Metro Police Service

Prudent budgeting enabled the first Metro Police Service in the Eastern Cape to have been launched in Nelson Mandela Bay to tackle the scourge of crime in the City. Working closely with the South African Police Service (SAPS), they have seen to an 11% decrease in gang-related crimes in the City’s most dangerous communities such as Helenvale where a pilot project with Shot Spotter has improved response times and seen a number of critical arrests made.

The service has grown to 135 officers and 38 patrol vehicles with a specialised bicycle unit, ghost squad and bylaw enforcement unit in operation. It has been such a success that the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Police Department’s Annual Police Plan format was adopted as the blueprint to be used by all Metro Police Departments nationwide.

Fighting Corruption

In two years, the rooting out of corrupt senior officials, securing and monitoring of SCM offices and opening up of the Bid Adjudication Committee (BIC) to the public has turned around the City’s finances and SCM and ensured that every penny is accounted for. The City is now liquid with over R2 billion in the bank, has a steadily rising collection rate and achieves some of the best capital expenditure in the country.

NMB recently received a AAA credit rating and a windfall Urban Settlements Development Grant (USDG) allocation of R178.8 million on top of the R911 million received at the beginning of the financial year. The City has succeeded in spending close to R1.1 billion on capital works that has directly improve the lives of the poor and made for better service delivery.

A Pro-People Budget

Services such as the Assistance to the Poor (ATTP) will see recipients receive R2 billion over the medium term, while R1.5 million is going to be spent on informal trading (EDTA) infrastructure. Almost half a billion rand has been apportioned to upgrading housing and informal settlements, human settlement projects, a bucket eradication programme, informal housing and electrification programmes. To date 9 000 of the 16 000 bucket toilets inherited from the previous ANC government have been eradicated.

Delivering Better Services

To ensure the safety of their roads, more than half a billion rand has been put aside for roads and lighting. In addition to this, R150 million has been reserved for the upgrading and development of community facilities like Multi-Purpose Centres, libraries, sports facilities, parks and open public spaces.

One of the greatest privileges one can ever be entrusted with is a mandate from the people to serve and it is these DA-led governments’ past two years of service to the residents of these great cities that we should all be celebrating today.

– DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane