Port Elizabeth - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) deputy president Floyd Shivambu on Friday referred to Nelson Mandela Bay executive Mayor Mongameli Bobani as a "caretaker mayor", put in power by EFF councillors.
Shivambu was in Ward 35 at Chatty Community Hall to engage with residents of Port Elizabeth's northern areas. The meeting saw only around 100 supporters pitch up in a bus and taxi.
Local EFF councillor Zilindile Vena insisted that a headcount be conducted before Shivambu arrived. Ward 35 in Bloemendal is a Democratic Alliance (DA) stronghold.
Shivambu, who arrived two hours after the meeting was meant to get underway, said that the EFF had taken a decision to put "caretaker" Bobani in a position as a mayor for now. He alluded to a post-election scenario in which the EFF could remove Bobani as they did former DA mayor Athol Trollip.
"We are going to assess properly to say maybe, as the EFF, we must take over this [Nelson Mandela Bay] government," said Shivambu, adding that the EFF would take over in Tshwane immediately after elections.
"The EFF gave power on condition the interests of the poor are a priority. So the DA's days are numbered in all municipalities where they were given power by the EFF."
He also criticised the African National Congress (ANC) in Nelson Mandela and referred to them as "thugs who don't even report to their own structures".
Resident John Van Vuuren raised ongoing issues of crime and gangsterism in the city's northern areas. He said parents were burying their young children when children should be the ones burying their elderly parents.
Shivambu responded that under the EFF, gangsterism would be a thing of the past and illegal guns would be taken off the streets.
Other issues raised were poor healthcare services and corruption. Shivambu said that under the EFF, with a clear plan, the country could have a healthcare facility in each and every ward. "The EFF is not on the side for ourselves, we are about a better quality of life for all our people. We are going to fight corruption. Let us give the EFF the power to conduct daily affairs," he said.
Shivambu also took a swipe at President Cyril Ramaphosa and accused him of being caught up in "white supremacy".
"White national media favour him because they know he will protect the interests of a white minority. He is a billionaire because of that white minority, he doesn't care about our people."
On land ownership, Shivambu said that the majority of land was owned by a white minority and not owned by blacks, Coloureds or Indians. He said that only a progressive government could give back land and create opportunities and jobs for its people.
"The ANC can't provide jobs, that is why they failed for the past 25 years. They failed repeatedly, how can they asked for another five years?"
Shivambu then led a delegation of EFF supporters to Nelson Mandela Bay City Hall where they presented a memorandum of demands to Bobani. The EFF's demands relate to issues of electrification of informal settlements, the offloading of land for service sites and urban agricultural purposes, as well as the insourcing of all workers linked to the municipality.
African News Agency (ANA)