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Notice Board:

Kindly be informed IPTS Bus Service will not be operating tomorrow due to the taxi industry strike action. The decision has been taken as a precautionary measure.

The municipality would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused. For schedules and more information -click here or call 0800 47 87 87.

Executive Mayor Bobani's poignant address to Council

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning. There is one message I would like to pertinently share here today. It consists of only two words. It is MOVE ON.

Last Monday, we strategically replaced the coalition government led by Councillor Athol Trollip with a new coalition government. A government that presided over the successful hosting of the 2018 Isuzu Ironman 70.3 World Championship. We MOVED ON from what happened in council and immediately focused on the commitments of this municipality.

The eyes of the world were on us and despite being called names by those focusing on news headlines, we MOVED ON in the interest of the residents and key stakeholders of this municipality.

Former Mayor Trollip admitted on national TV that he never expected to be ousted. Although we MOVED ON from that historic council meeting, I would like to offer a friendly word of advice. If you are not strategic enough to judge the political environment before walking into council chambers, please do not blame others for taking that gap. Political strategy and awareness are promised when you make yourself available for election to political office.

While others made press statements, calling us names and pose on scooters with placards, we MOVED ON. We MOVED ON to focus on a strategy to improve the lives of our people during our first 100 days in office. We owe the residents of this city honesty, integrity and transparency. No longer can we have a situation where residents read how their lives are changed, while it is not their reality at home.

While some pretended to be Mayor, we hosted the Premier of the Eastern Cape, Phumulo Masualle, and his cabinet as part of Public Service Month. We MOVED ON by visiting the informal settlements in Wards 53 and 54. We were welcomed with open arms as the genuine Mayor and Premier, implementing government’s plan of action.

When we call press conferences and tell them that overseas flights will no longer be allowed to save the ratepayers money, we will act on it. The previous coalition government made that promise and yet they were jetsetters. Numerous overseas trips by politicians and officials took place, yet we are called names.

I want us to MOVE ON to a place where residents can be confident that their government will speak the truth and deliver transparently. I commit the coalition government under my leadership to fight corruption at all levels, critically look at the R8.18 billion unauthorised expenditure, improve our revenue collection rate and to strengthen our workforce through insourcing.

However, Councillor Trollip [in absentia], I think it is especially important that we MOVE ON to a point of political maturity where we allow a court of law to decide on issues, before we pronounce on the legitimacy of this government. You must MOVE ON to a point where strategic political moves are not incorrectly labelled, as it impacts on our city.

Last week we had thousands of international visitors in our city and due to the negative news headlines, I issued two statements to reassure our visitors and had to convene a meeting with the political leadership, Ironman International and their local counterparts in the Council Chamber. The officials, led by Noxolo Nqwazi (Executive Director: Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture) stayed the course and did an excellent job. I am eternally grateful for their efforts and the accolades their hard work brought to Nelson Mandela Bay.

Speaker, we MOVED ON by having a crucial meeting with Safety and Security officials to discuss serious challenges faced by them. We had successful meetings with both Imatu and Samwu, while others are deliberately creating divisions in our communities by spreading untested rumours. Rumours with no merit that are at best spiteful and hateful.

While others were making shadow statements from their shadow offices, we MOVED ON with the public participation meetings for the Integrated Development Plan. Residents must have their say in how we run the municipality on their behalf. We are calling on them to come to the meetings in their droves. They now have a government that truly listens to them. A government that considers their plight when decisions are made in Council and the corridors of City Hall.

Speaker, I would like us to MOVE ON by seriously considering the items on our agenda for today. I trust that we will continue to fulfil our duties as councillors of this municipality thoroughly.

I saw the headlines of a crisis in the municipality. Those fuelling these headlines must know that our residents are not confused. You cannot claim that a municipality lost track within days of a new government being installed. This is simply not possible. This coalition government is firmly in charge of running this city and we will interrogate news headlines that are engineered to create panic, distrust and aim to undermine our administration.

Most importantly when you were unseated, the heavens opened and we are now receiving welcome rain. Councillors, I think this must be a sign to those clinging to power that does not belong to them. MOVE ON. Our people are getting what is due to them. While we encourage residents to continue to use water sparingly, it seems that we are now in a better position since you left.

However, I would like to request all councillors to work towards unity within council and that our main objective will always be the improved functioning of our institution and the services to all.

Councillors, I want us to MOVE ON from this point and create a city that uplifts the poor and encourages an environment of hope and goodwill.

I thank you.

*Delivered at a sitting of Council on Friday, 7 September 2018.

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