Newly elected Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor Dr Danny Jordaan has committed to addressing challenges of education, unemployment, economic development and drug abuse in the metropolitan municipality.
“Within the next few weeks I will spell out a comprehensive support plan to turn around the fortunes of this city,” Executive Mayor Jordaan said.
Addressing a council meeting on Thursday, he said a team will be deployed to identify and implement operationally appropriate interventions for the municipality under the guidance of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
“In the coming weeks the Support Package and Action Plan will be presented, detailing and announcing concrete programmes and interventions as the new administration unfolds.
“And central to the Plan is the Back to Basics Programme (B2B), which will be looking at ways of creating effective institutions of local governance that will strengthen the operationalisation of municipal performance,” Executive Mayor Jordaan said.
Some of the challenges faced by the municipality were of an economic growth rate which was at 1.4 percent in 2011 which was well below the national average.
Only 12 percent of the people in the Nelson Mandela Metro have higher education and that was the worst in the country.
Youth unemployment is the highest of all the metros at 47 percent.
“Our inability to provide jobs for the citizens of this metro not only stifles economic development, but further creates debilitating social conditions,” Executive Mayor Jordaan said.
He said some of the schools were in a near state of collapse, certain areas in the townships had become no-go areas and the drug abuse was on the rise.
“I firmly believe that we can turn this situation around through collective effort and fixing the way our municipality functions,” Executive Mayor Jordaan said.
He said the municipality had to develop a tourism strategy as about 10 million foreign visitors came to South Africa but only a fraction visited the Nelson Mandela Bay.
“I will further seek to break the deadlock that have seemed to paralyse the development of the much valued beachfront, removing the container depot that is much of an eyesore, to truly establish a waterfront that we all can be proud off,” Executive Mayor Jordaan said.
He said the city had an aantage of two ports, namely the Port Elizabeth Harbour and Ngqura which creates an opportunity for the city to establish a g and vibrant maritime sector.
Executive Mayor Jordaan said he aims to ensure the quality of life is enhanced through the provision of leisure and sport facilities.
“Today, more than ever, we need that spirit of unity and cooperation to realize our plans
“Our current challenges represent an opportunity to present an alternative, and a creativity to resolve issues by posing the difficult questions and searching for solutions through common sense and common ground,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za
Source : SAnews.gov.za