Port Elizabeth - President Jacob Zuma assured the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality that government would continue to provide hands-on support in order to improve governance, the presidency said on Tuesday.

“Nelson Mandela Bay has a long history of turning adversity into success,” Zuma was quoted as saying.

“The city has also done well over the years in rolling out universal access to basic services. We will work closely with the province and the city to help strengthen governance and put Nelson Mandela Bay on a better footing.”

Zuma, accompanied by seven ministers and deputy ministers, visited Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday to assess progress made.

The president underlined the support initiative led by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Co-operative Governance Minister Lechesa Tsenoli.

The intervention entailed a set of short-term support measures agreed to in August last year, the presidency said.

There were seven work-streams: institutional arrangements; financial management; capital project management (infrastructure); governance, administration, forensic investigation and internal audit; strategic planning, local economic development and performance management; security management, and legal and litigations.

The presidency said progress had been made in all these areas from January this year.

“I am very pleased that despite challenges, the city remains resilient and capable of resolving its current governance and administration trap,” said Zuma.

“The city already has some positive and encouraging developments such as the willingness of the business and civil society organisations to work with the municipality to effect change and improve the performance of the city.”

Sapa