Senior Port Elizabeth church leaders in Nelson Mandela Bay this week called on the metro’s newly elected councillors to turn voters’ faith in them into action.
In an open letter issued yesterday on the eve of today’s first meeting of the new council headed by the DA’s Athol Trollip as mayor and the UDM’s Mongameli Bobani as deputy mayor, the church leaders assure the elected civic leaders that they will call on them regularly to pray with them and to contribute actively towards building a prosperous city.
The full text of the letter reads:
Two weeks ago, thousands upon thousands of Nelson Mandela Bay citizens stood in the wet and the cold, braving the winds to make a cross on a piece of paper. Those crosses carried with them a faith in those being elected and a hope that this city will become a better place for all. Our call is that our newly elected councillors now turn that faith into action.
We wish to thank the people of the city for ensuring that the voting process worked, that their patience held and that it was a peaceful contestation. We mourn the loss of Nceba Dywili and extend condolences to his family and friends. We pray that justice will be served in finding and bringing those responsible to account.
We also wish to thank the IEC for a job well done in our city. Under the leadership of Crosby Bacela, their NMB team of over 3,000 persons staffed the 254 voting stations in very difficult conditions. It was a mammoth logistical task and the team delivered a robust result despite days with little sleep. Our thanks also to the SAPS, the NMBM and others who went beyond the call of duty in making sure the election took place without any major incidents.
Our call is now to those who have been elected. As the parties negotiate with one another to form the local government, we ask that you prioritise the interests of ordinary citizens in your deliberations. Poverty, inequality and unemployment are challenges that require our politicians to work together and to work closely with the city’s administration.
We are a city that delivers below its potential; we are known for our divisions, not for our strengths. It is time to change this. The city and its people are capable of much more.
We will therefore be knocking on your door regularly, both to pray with you and to do our bit as active citizens in building this city into a prosperous place. Our vision is of a city that nurtures the African child, a resilient city that tackles our challenges with determination and wisdom, and a city that displays the love around which our faith is centred.
We pray that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all.
Issued by the SACC on behalf of: Bishop Lunga ka Siboto – Ethiopian Episcopal Church, Bishop Vincent Zungu – Catholic Diocese of Port Elizabeth, Bishop Bethlehem Nopece – Anglican Church of South Africa (PE Diocese), Bishop Andile Mbete – Methodist Church of SA (Grahamstown District), Apostle Neville Goldman – Ebenezer International – Assemblies of God, Pastor Patrick Douglas-Henry – Regional Leader EC Apostolic Faith Mission, Ds Danie Mouton Direkteur Sinode – NG Kerk Oos-Kaap, Rev. Rory Spence – Moderator Presbyterian Church (Central & Southern Cape), Pastor Daan Botha – Harvest Christian Church, Archdeacon Zwelidumile Tom of the Anglican Church & Chairperson NMB CCC/ Sect-Gen SACC (NMB Metro)