Nelson Mandela Bay coalition is failing, says Ramaphosa

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PORT ELIZABETH, April 14 – The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality coalition government – which is led by mayor Mongameli Bobani of the United Democratic Movement, but is mainly made up by African National Congress councillors – is “not working” and is failing, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.

Speaking while on the campaign trail in Nelson Mandela Bay, Ramaphosa was scathing of the municipality and said the metro had a failing coalition government. “The municipality has made the area here to be very dirty.”

At local government level, specifically in Nelson Mandela Bay, there were a lot of problems. “The metro needs our attention and the services meant for people are not there. Government is meant to serve the community,” he said.

“Here in this metro we are locked in a coalition that is not working. This coalition government is not working and you know why? Coalition governments never really work well. You only need one political party to run the affairs of government. We have to get to the point where we have one boss and in our case that’s the ANC,” said Ramaphosa.

While on the campaign trail, people had told him they would vote for the ANC because the party had owned up to its mistakes. People “trusted” the ANC because it was the best alternative to take South Africa forward.

“The government is going to serve the interests of the people and not the interests of people in government. We are going to clean up and root out corruption,” he said.

An investor summit last year had raised R300 billion and he wanted a portion of that money to go to the Eastern Cape for job creation and businesses.

Ramaphosa was welcomed by hundreds of supporters at the George Botha Hall in Kleinskool, an area he described as “filthy”. Local Khoi-San leaders praised Ramaphosa before gifting him with handmade fur attire while endorsing the ANC. “This is the only place where our people can feel at home. In terms of the ANC’s character it is non-racial. The ANC is the home of all the people in our country,“ he said.

Ramaphosa also referred to concerns raised over violence spreading across the country and promised that the ANC had a clear plan to train and hire more police officials to arrest criminals. “We are going to focus on training police officials so that the criminal justice system works for our people. We are on our way to correct things that need to be put right.”

Ramaphosa also paid his respects to the family of 12-year-old Alvineesha Brooke, who was killed last month when she was caught up in gang crossfire in Port Elizabeth’s northern areas. “This is not electioneering, this is about showing compassion,” he said.

Concerned Citizens of PE Metro community leader Farouk Jeptha was at the meeting and said it was time to see implementation of the plans promised. “We want to see more police, and gang violence brought down. I think most people want to vote ANC, but they want to see change and progress,“ Jeptha said, echoing Ramaphosa’s sentiments that the coalition government in Nelson Mandela Bay was not working.

“The coalition is definitely not working, they spend most of their time putting votes of no confidence against mayors instead of doing the work of council,” he said.

Ramaphosa urged people to get out of bed on May 8 and go straight to the polls to vote ANC. “Wake up, you don’t need to brush. Forget about your lipstick because that day you have a date with me, Ramaphosa said to the cheering crowd. (ANA)