Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor Benson Fihla, affectionately known as Oom Ben, called for municipal projects to be more focused on poverty alleviation by addressing unemployment, inequality and poverty.
Oom Ben’s statement, presented during a full sitting of Council today, followed after persistent showers in the city earlier this week that led to localized flooding affecting impoverished communities.
“During the floods the Joint Operations Centre reported that several calls were received regarding houses that were flooded due to defects that require rectification and not necessarily due to high water levels.
“Their plight and that of our residents who are still living in shacks serve as a reminder that we must increase the pace of housing delivery.
“On 17 October the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty will be observed after it was declared as such by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993. The intention of this day is to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries.
“In Nelson Mandela Bay, we are fully aware of the high levels of poverty and unemployment in our city and the need to work towards the creation of sustainable and decent jobs. The need to ensure that our people are educated and skilled to become competitive in the market place must remain a major driving force when we decide on the priority programmes for our municipality.
“As our time on this earth is not forever, we need to make a sincere and dedicated contribution while we have the chance as the political leadership of Colchester, Despatch, Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage,” Oom Ben said.
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