Senior church leaders in Port Elizabeth held a special meeting today to discuss their grave concern at the repeated disruption of municipal service delivery in Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) as a result of power struggles between local government political coalitions.
The battle for control of City Hall which has frequently overshadowed council business this year, made headlines this week with the controversial ousting of the DA’s Athol Trollip as Mayor of NMB through an EFF-led no-confidence motion on Monday.
The UDM’s Mongameli Bobani was elected Mayor on Monday, but Trollip, who has previously survived repeated attempts to unseat him, maintains he is still Mayor and has said he will challenge his ousting in court.
At today’s special meeting church leaders agreed to convene a lunchtime meeting tomorrow to be attended by church representatives from all of the clusters throughout Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch and the SA Council of Churches, as the next step in achieving a united strategy for dealing with the service delivery crisis which is hurting poor communities the most.
A few leaders would also call on the Municipal Manager tomorrow morning — “because we don’t know who the Mayor is” — to convey that they find the latest disruptions “totally unacceptable”, said Trevor Jennings of Transformation Christian Network who was at today’s leaders’ meeting.
He said it was possible that tomorrow’s Church strategy meeting will be followed by “mass meetings” throughout the metro.
“We really want to take a strong stance, this time. And we have to consult in order to mobilise the Church.
“It looks like the only thing that counts with politicians is losing votes,” he said.