Mandela Bay Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Development, Tourism and Urban Agriculture, Councillor Andrew Whitfield said today:
In just 6 months, this DA-led coalition government has rolled out numerous employment programmes, restored business’s trust in the administration and finalised a partnership with a cutting edge organisation that will accelerate job creation through a dedicated desk in the Mayor’s Office.
So determined are we to grow this economy and change the face of this Metro that we have taken the issue of the manganese ore facility and fuel tank farm directly to the CEO of Transnet, Mr Siyabonga Gama. The Mayor, in collaboration with my office, wrote Mr Gama a letter requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the proposed waterfront precinct, cooperation between the Municipality and Transnet, and timelines for relocation.
It is this level of forward-thinking and responsive governance that has brought unemployment in Nelson Mandela Bay down to below 30%, as outlined in today’s release of the fourth quarter labour force stats.
With unemployment in the Metro now standing at 29.6%, it is clear that our City’s fortunes are changing. For the first time, government and residents have a common goal which sees Nelson Mandela Bay as one of the country’s leading municipalities.
Investor confidence is steadily rising and tourism is beginning to flourish, evidenced by the recent summer season which saw unprecedented numbers of people visit our City. As a result of flawless inter-departmental coordination, there were no major incidents or drownings, making it the most successful summer season yet.
By engaging with business, particularly through the Mandela Bay Business Chamber and various other forums, we are restoring trust in the administration after decades of rampant corruption and fraud. In so doing, a number of businesses are choosing to expand, with some even relocating their headquarters to our City.
Our Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) is well underway with approximately 1000 residents employed in various jobs across the City since August. By June, we would like to have employed an additional 2000 residents in the EPWP.
The Municipality is fast becoming a world sporting destination of choice, with internationally and nationally recognised events taking place on an increasing basis, most notably the 2018 70.3 Ironman World Championship. Sportsmen and -women come from across the world to take advantage of our favourable topography and climate, and beautiful beaches, which is precisely why sports tourism is a catalyst for massive growth in our City.
In real terms, between October and December 2016, the number of unemployed residents reduced by 4000, despite a stagnating national economy.
Our promise to the people of this Metro is to deliver change that develops the economy, creates jobs, improves service delivery and stops corruption.
We are well on our way to achieving this.