Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) IDP and Budget meetings that were held at the City Hall today were an empowering experience for the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality political leadership and officials to deliver on the mandate. The first session was held at 10 am with the religious sector while the second session was held at 2pm with other special sectors.
Tuesday’s meetings were held to accommodate different sectors like, people with disability, religious sector, traditional leadership, traditional healers association representatives and Non Governmental Organisations looking after vulnerable children. The meetings were characterised by robust and honest discussions on a number of issues. Representatives from the disability sector called on the municipality to be more inclusive to people with disabilities on areas of job and business opportunities. They also called upon the leadership present to improve the municipality building’s accessibility to people with disabilities. They said that the 2% minimum percentage for consideration of people with disabilities was not enough. They challenged the NMBM to take the lead in employing and doing business people with disabilities.
The Executive Mayor, Benson Fihla and the Mayoral Committee were represented by Chief Whip, Councillor Joy Seale, Portfolio Chairman for Constituency Services, Councillor Fikile Desi, Portfolio Chairman for Budget and Treasury, Councillor Balu Naran and Municipal Public Account Committee Chairman, Councillor Jimmy Tutu. Traditional Healers expressed their frustrations at what they called, ‘not enough support by government’. They also called upon the municipality to assist them by giving them access to rivers, forests and the beach for them to be able to perform their traditional healing programmes. They said government was creating space and giving support to the western culture healers and doctors while leaving behind traditional healers. Church representatives said lack of land to build churches was their main frustration.
Responding to contributions made by the representatives from sectors, Chief Whip, Councillor Joy Seale said the sectors meetings held on Tuesday were an eye opener and empowering to them as leadership. She said the meetings were a true reflection of what IDP and Budget Public Participation meetings stand for. She said: “When the ANC said the people shall govern, they actually meant every sector of society, inclusive of all sectors. Today’s meeting has empowered us to deliver on that mandate,” said Councillor Seale. She called upon the special sectors of society to use the platforms that have been created by the municipality, through the Constituency office, led by Councillor Fikile Desi.
“We have noted the issues you have raised, they will definitely find expression in the IDP and Budget. It is the commitment of this government to create better communities so that we can move South Africa forward,” said Councillor Seale.
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