Nelson Mandela Bay church leaders have sent an open letter to Danny Jordaan, congratulating the South African Football Association President on his recent appointment as Mayor of Port Elizabeth and requesting a meeting with him to discuss challenges facing the metro.
In recent years the church leaders have on several occasions spoken out about poor service delivery and political abuse in the metro and have sought to engage with civic leadership in search of solutions to the problems. Jordaan’s appointment is widely seen as a move by the ANC to strengthen its position in the fiercely contested municipality.
The letter to Jordaan states that “Nelson Mandela Bay is in crisis!” and lists extreme poverty of the majority of citizens, divided communities, violence and crime, dysfunctional schools, unemployed youth, business restrictions due to “unnecessary red tape”, poor service delivery and corrupt, incompetent city administrators as problems that need to be addressed by the metro leadership in partnership with citizens.
“It is our prayer that you will be a leader who is both able and allowed to rise above the confines of narrow political and self-serving agendas. We pray that God will guide and bless you as we walk alongside you in building a great place to live. Welcome back to Nelson Mandela Bay,” says the letter.
The letter is signed by Bishop Lunga ka Siboto, Bishop Bethelem Nopece, Pastor Neville Goldman, Reverend Danie Mouton, Archdeacon Zweli Tom, Pastor Patrick Douglas-Henry and Pastor Mvusi Gwam.
The full text of the letter can be read here.