Development of Nelson Mandela Bay does not have a meaning without the development of Uitenhage, Despatch and its people.
Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Danny Jordaan said while addressing a People’s Summit organised by his office today (17 May 2016). The summit was organised by the Executive Mayor’s office to give a platform for political leadership, municipal senior administration, stakeholders of Uitenhage and Despatch and the community to interact about key development issues for the area.
Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality is made of Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch. Previously the people and stakeholders of the two towns have complained of what they called a bias development towards Port Elizabeth at the expense of Uitenhage and Despatch.
The summit was organised in a format of formal presentations by municipal senior officials led by the Acting City Manager, Johan Mettler. Uitenhage Despatch Development Initiative, Coega Industrial Development Zone and Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism also made presentations.
The presentations were followed by engagements from the floor where attendees raised critical development issues. Issued ranged from creation of a conducive environment for economic development, improvement of public transport system, focus on youth skills development and SMME development.
Support of urban farming, tarring of gravel roads and support of township economy were some of the issues that were raised sharply by the attendees.
Responding to the issues raised the Executive Mayor Danny Jordaan said the time has come for Uitenhage and Despatch to equally benefit from the development that is happening in Nelson Mandela Bay.
“We are taking the mandate you have given us today. We will be coming back to you with clear implementation plan, with deadlines. It is what people’s democracy is all about, when the people come and speak for themselves, directly to all of us who have the responsibility of responding to you. This metro must respond to your needs and we are here trying to fix all the problems of the past. I want to thank each and every one of you for being here today.”
The Executive Mayor said all the commitment that will be made on issues raised will be supported by capacity and financial commitments. He added that all will be communicated to the people of Uitenhage and Despatch soon in a report back meeting that will be called.