Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip. Picture: BRIAN WITBOOI
Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip. Picture: BRIAN WITBOOI

THE new DA administration got off to a bumpy start in Nelson Mandela Bay, as it clashed with the ANC in its new role as the opposition party in the metro.

New mayor Athol Trollip listed a number of priorities for his first days in office at a heated council meeting at which the ANC and DA butted heads over water restrictions‚ the rules of council and finger-pointing.

Trollip’s priorities include hiring a permanent municipal manager and executive directors for safety and security and electricity and energy‚ as well as making a decision over the city’s beleaguered bus system.

“In terms of the IPTS [integrated public transport system], we must make decisions on its continuation,” Trollip said.

“We will need to source budget through roll-over allocations‚ identify routes‚ finalise a memorandum of understanding with stakeholders to ensure the currency of mandates and routes.

“With increasing traffic pressures and issues around access to public transport‚ transport continues to be a significant challenge for our community and this metro.”

Trollip also spoke about the city’s water leaks crisis‚ which causes losses of hundreds of millions of rand annually, saying more money had to be allocated towards constructing new infrastructure as opposed to repairing infrastructure.

Residents had to reduce their water usage by at least 15%‚ he said, with softer restrictions — which means that watering gardens‚ plants‚ golf greens and sports fields, and washing vehicles with a hose pipe are banned — coming into effect.

“Continued over-extraction of this precious resource will have a huge impact on jobs in neighbouring rural areas and compound already grave unemployment in the platteland‚” Trollip said.

In Ekurhuleni, new mayor Mzwandile Masina revealed his committee on Wednesday, following the August local government elections, which resulted in a hung council. The ANC joined forces with smaller parties in the council to get the four seats needed for a majority.

“Special gratitude goes to our coalition partners — the African Independent Congress, the Patriotic Alliance, the Pan Africanist Congress and the Industrial Relations Association of SA — for agreeing to work with the ANC to ensure that there is a stable government in the city and that delivery takes place in communities,” Masina said.

The administration has set itself the goal of a 24-hour turnaround time on service delivery interruptions such as water leaks and faulty street lights and traffic lights.

Other issues it will focus on include electrification of informal settlements, construction of 100,000 housing units, upscaling services in informal settlements, establishing a university and a power station, and increasing the number of clinics.