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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

DA minds own business as EFF, PA bicker over ‘frivolous’ Trollip motion

The DA has reacted with hubris to the concerted attempt by opposition parties, mainly the ANC, EFF, PA and the UDM, to oust the Nelson Mandela Bay mayor.

Amid heightened pressure from the opposition parties that want to grab the Nelson Mandela Bay metro municipality from the ruling DA-led coalition, the party says it is not worried about the “frivolous” motion of no confidence going ahead against mayor Athol Trollip on Thursday morning.

Instead of being worried, DA Eastern Cape provincial leader Nqaba Bhanga has announced progress made by the coalition government at the metro in the last two years. Bhanga said the coalition, comprising the DA, Cope, African Christian Democratic Party and the Patriotic Alliance, had made good on its promise to make the delivery of houses a priority.

“During our term in government we have worked with the Housing Development Agency [HDA] to deliver 2 188 RDP houses and relocated 898 households from stressed informal settlements to Greenfield project areas,” he said.

Bhanga, who is MMC for human settlements, said informal settlements had been upgraded and thousands of title deeds handed out. “A title deed provides legal ownership of a home, an asset which can turn the tide on poverty.

“Under the governance of the ANC no significant progress was made in providing home ownership to the poor and suffering residents of the metro. Between 2013 and 2015 under former ANC administrations, not a single title deed was handed out in NMB,” Bhanga said.

“The coalition government has done a lot of work to make home ownership a reality for residents,” he added.

Reacting to the concerted attempt by opposition parties to oust Trollip, Bhanga described the move as “frivolous”.

“The latest frivolous motion of no confidence against Executive Mayor Athol Trollip, to be debated on Thursday, August 16, during a full council meeting, is not deterring the Metro from focusing on the delivery of houses,” he said.

Last week a coalition of the opposition, comprising the ANC, EFF, United Democratic Movement, African Independent Congress, Patriotic Alliance and United Front, agreed to put aside their differences and work to oust Trollip via a motion of no confidence. But the pending action is threatened by a spat between the EFF and the PA, after the EFF national leadership refused to accept a PA candidate to replace Trollip as mayor, should he be removed successfully.

READ MORE: Trollip ‘will survive’ yet again on Thursday

EFF called PA members “unrepentant fraudsters” and “thugs” a move that angered PA national leader Gayton McKenzie, who decided to withdraw his party’s candidate from the race. In the previous motion, Trollip was saved from the axe when the PA supported him.

Now it is unclear which side the PA, which holds the kingmaker vote in the council, would vote for as it has not resolved its dispute with the EFF. But indications were that it may support Trollip once more if the EFF failed to come forward to ensure the two parties resolved their differences. The DA has 57 seats and its coalition partners, Cope and ACDP, have one each against the ANC’s 50 seats, EFF 6, UDM (2), AIC (1) and UF (1).

The PA holds the balance of power with its single seat, and the two opposing sides have to entice the party and win it over to their sides if they are to rule the metro. Julius Malema’s decision to fight with the PA appeared to have spoilt the opposition chances to take over the council.

Meanwhile Bhanga said the metro was busy hosting a Human Settlements Indaba at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium to discuss the strategies and priorities of human settlements development in NMB.

The indaba was expected to come up with solutions regarding dealing with challenges of land invasions.

“This Indaba seeks to come up with solutions to address all housing issues facing the residents of the City. The living conditions of our residents are important and its high priority can be seen in the City’s spending,” he said.

Among the delivery successes the MMC cited were the fact that the NMB had spent 100% of its USDG funding for the 2016/17 financial year and that it spent 96 percent of the USDG budget for the 2017/18 financial year.

“Our USDG grant has been used to deliver services to the City’s vulnerable communities, including making progress eradicating bucket toilets,  the provision of serviced sites, the upgrade of five informal settlements and the tarring of roads.  The DA-led coalition remains focused on service delivery and will not be derailed by the ANC’s efforts to steal back this City, we are making progress in Nelson Mandela Bay,” Bhanga said.

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