Newly elected Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Gary van Niekerk told Polity on Monday that he is confident that he is the right mayor for the metro, “with a heart of servanthood”.
The Northern Alliance councillor was elected on Friday during a Special Council Meeting and replaces the Democratic Alliance's (DA's) Retief Odendaal who was removed in a motion of no confidence, alongside his deputy Mkhuseli Jack, by the African National Congress (ANC) and the Economic Freedom Fighters.
The new Deputy Mayor is Babalwa Lobishe, the new Speaker is Eugene Johnson, and Chief Whip is Wandisile Jikeka.
“I am fully confident that I am the right mayor to shift the compass of our metro and give our people relevant service delivery in all our regions... Odendaal did not prioritise the northern parts of the metro where there are real issues of crime and gang-related violence,” Van Niekerk said.
He said his main priority is to stabilise the metro and tackle rising crime.
ANC Eastern Cape spokesperson Gift Ngqondi said the safety and security of the metro were under threat.
“… and Odendaal did not seem to mind to that and this after being given numerous chances in his short term, his ship isn’t sailing in the direction to quickly fixing that,” he said.
Ngqondi also mentioned that the state of the metro’s infrastructure and engineering would need immediate attention.