ANC changes ball game with Jordaan

19 May 2015 - 02:07 By Zine George and Kingdom Mabuza

The ANC pulled a rabbit out of the hat and yesterday named soccer boss Danny Jordaan as the new mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality. It is believed that yesterday's announcement was designed to thwart the DA's bid to take over the troubled metro from the ANC.Jordaan will replace the 83-year-old Ben Fihla.Jordaan will be the municipality's fourth mayor in six years.Safa said Jordaan's appointment as mayor would not affect his duties as the president of the football association."There is no contradiction at all," Safa spokesman Dominic Chimhavi said.The ANC narrowly held onto the municipality in the 2011 local elections, securing only 51.9% of the vote while the DA support grew from 24% in 2006 to 40% in 2011.The DA's mayoral candidate for Nelson Mandela Bay, Athol Trollip,said the ANC was running scared.He said: "Our strategy to govern the metro will not change. It is the ANC's strategy that has changed and the party is in panic mode."Trollip said Jordaan would not be able to succeed as his support staff would be the same officials who were responsible for the dysfunctional administration of the region.Said Trollip: "No matter the public face of the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay, it will still be the same party that has dragged the city to its knees."ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane said the ANC wants Jordaan to "speed up service delivery in the metro".He added: "People want houses. People want to have access to proper sanitation facilities, water and all. We have to lead by example."Bicks Ndoni, a well-known ANC activist, will be made the deputy mayor and ANC MP Litho Suka will serve as chief whip.The latest developments follow months of groundwork by the ANC's top brass.President Jacob Zuma announced late last year that the municipality's regional executive committee would be disbanded and replaced with a task team led by ANC stalwart Charles Nqakula.The ANC in the region has been plagued by infighting and lost a by-election in Uitenhage last November to independent candidate Andile Gqabi.Political analyst Elvis Masoga said the appointment of Jordaan would scupper DA plans to take over the metro.Said Masoga: "Jordaan is a highly accomplished administrator with exceptional achievements, and given that opposition strategy is based on capitalising on the weaknesses and failures of the ruling party, it will have to dig deeper to find those weaknesses."The deployment of incompetent cadres in key positions has been a factor that contributes to the paralysis of municipalities," he said.

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