Frank discussions were at the order of the day at the third IDP session of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.
An atmosphere of constructive suggestions and frank discussions by residents and political leadership alike made for a beneficial third IDP and Budget Participation session at the Newton Park Library on Wednesday evening.
Opening the meeting on behalf of Executive Mayor Athol Trollip, Speaker of Council Jonathan Lawack said redress and delivery must find expression in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s five year Integrated Development Plan.
“Our painful past has resulted in polarisation, disunity and segregation. We need to make a concerted effort to unite our people to ensure social cohesion. Our painful past has resulted in inequalities and imbalances which need to be redressed. The third pillar is part of our strength which needs to be tapped and that is our diversity.
“Our different cultures, languages and backgrounds provide excellent opportunities to augment each other and to complement each other as well.
“The challenges facing us include infrastructure maintenance. The IDP for the next five years will have to address that. A total of 42% of the water from our dams is lost as a result of unaccounted for water before it reaches our houses. Our infrastructure is old and antiquated and needs to be replaced.
“Electrical losses are a huge headache and together with water losses we are annually losing hundreds of millions of rands. Under development, in mostly the black residential areas, needs to be addressed in the IDP.
“Unemployment makes up 36% of which the youth represents a large percentage,” Lawack added.
Suggestions from residents include improved spending in poorer areas, infrastructure development to enhance traffic flow, accelerated human settlements delivery and recycling amongst others.
Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) responsible for Human Settlements Nqaba Banga said the municipality is in the process of computerizing the housing waiting list to ensure that beneficiaries will be able to follow the progress of delivery through a transparent process.
MMC for Budget and Treasury Retief Odendaal presented the Budget at the meeting and MMC for Infrastructure and Engineering Annette Lovemore dealt with issues pertaining to infrastructure and water augmentation.
The last meeting for this week takes place at the Jeff Masemola Hall in Uitenhage tonight (Thursday, 22 September) at 18:00.
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