Port Elizabeth - Despite polls saying the opposite, naysayers and recent election results, Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Danny Jordaan believes he will remain in control of the Eastern Cape’s richest metro in the August 3 municipal election.
Election polls, however, suggest that the DA has a real chance of winning the metro comprising Port Elizabeth, Despatch and Uitenhage.
The ANC has also been losing support in the metro, a matter that has been attributed to political infighting in the party. In the 2011 municipal election the ruling party retained control of the metro with 51.9 percent of the votes; and it received less than 50 percent during the 2014 national polls.
But mayor and ANC mayoral candidate Jordaan seemed unperturbed by these facts, and instead took the fight to the DA’s doorstep when he addressed residents of Korsten in the Northern Areas.
The Northern Areas is a known DA stronghold, where former DA councillors Isaac Adams, Brian Kivedo, Penny Naidoo and Nico du Plessis recently dumped the party to join the ANC.
Speaking to Independent Media, Jordaan was keen to speak about his successes since taking over the metro just over a year ago: how he has attracted big investments worth billions; the expertise in financial management; and how he’d addressed corruption, among other things plaguing the city.
He also dismissed the narrative that the Northern Areas were a DA stronghold.
“I didn’t come to anyone’s stronghold, I came to my area where I grew up. I grew up in this Korsten, I walked the streets,” he said.
Jordaan cited as challenges crime, unemployment, and gangsterism in the area, social ills which he said he planned to address.
“It is wonderful to be here (in Korsten). We have done a lot for this metro over one year. And we are going to do so much more over the next five years. We must walk this road together,” the mayor said.
When asked what he would do differently should he be re-elected on August 3, Jordaan said: “Well, I’ve already been doing things differently. We have dealt with corruption. We have established a good financial base of the metro. We have more than R2 billion in the bank in the metro. We have attracted investment in this metro ... more than R20 billion of investment.”
He revealed that R603 million had been set aside for housing, and that the Northern Areas alone had a budget of R244 million, adding: “This place (Northern Areas) will be a different place.”
Adams told Independent Media how he was poached to swap his blue DA T-shirt for the ANC’s yellow one. “Danny explained his vision for the metro to me. He told me that he needs people like me to help take the metro forward. Look, I was outside criticising the ANC, only to find that we share the same principles. I said, ‘Oh well Danny needs my support and the only way is to resign from the DA’.”
Adams, who spent a decade as a ward councillor for the official opposition party, does not regret his decision.
“I made the right decision. The bottom line is I have got the full support of my family and the community,” he said.@luyolomkentane