Regular community meetings, Mayoral Committee presence and oversight were some of the commitments made by Nelson Mandela Bay’s Executive Mayor, Cllr Mongameli Bobani, when he officially re-opened the Mayoral office in Uitenhage today.
The office which will be manned by municipal officials on a full-time basis. The officials will inter alia attend to the service delivery challenges raised by residents and coordinate Mayoral office stakeholder engagement meetings. The Executive Mayor will spend some of his working days in the Uitenhage office. Where he cannot be personally present, the Deputy Executive Mayor or Mayoral Committee member will substitute for him.
Speaking to stakeholders at the official opening, the Executive Mayor said: “We have noticed that Uitenhage and Despatch have been neglected for far too long. It was time to take action, and as the Executive Mayor I will conduct community visits on a regular basis, and not just listen to the people, but also ensure that their requests are delivered. Working together with other stakeholders, let us unite in utilising the municipal budget in a conducive manner. The current Coalition government has committed to serve the people at all times”.
A number of churches, South African National Civic Organisations (SANCO), sport organisations, business forums and general members of the public were among the stakeholders present at the event. They warmly welcomed the re-opening of the Mayoral Office in Uitenhage, stating that most people had to travel long distances to get access to the Mayor’s Office, and not all residents could afford the travelling costs.
However, the stakeholders emphasised that they wanted to see implementation, not just discussions, and also wanted more regular feedback from the political leadership.
The Chairperson of the Uitenhage Massacre Foundation, Nicholas Malgas, said “We have huge companies that are situated in Uitenhage and they are making a huge contribution to the GDP, but as residents we experience less development in our town. We hope that the Mayor will bring the change we would like to see and clearly state the time-frames for every project.”
Work done at the office will include challenges faced by the residents of Despatch. A reporting system will be implemented to ensure that both Uitenhage and Despatch receive fair attention.