Mcebisi Jonas not aware of move to Nelson Mandela Bay as mayor

06 March 2018 - 15:20 By Ranjeni Munusamy
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Mcebisi Jonas. File photo,
Mcebisi Jonas. File photo,
Image: Gallo Images

Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas says he has received no communication from the ANC on whether he should be deployed to the Nelson Mandela Bay metro as mayor.

Speaking to the media after an anti racism event at the Apartheid Museum on Tuesday‚ Jonas said he was unable to respond to demands by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) that he replace existing Democratic Alliance (DA) mayor Athol Trollip when the party tables a motion of no confidence against him next month.

The EFF said they would only accept an ANC candidate with Jonas’s credibility and stature for the position.

“ANC speaks on the matter not me. I belong to the ANC. I don’t know what the EFF’s analysis has been‚” Jonas said.

Asked about his exclusion from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet‚ Jonas said: “I was not expecting to be considered. I continue to do my work in civil society.”

Jonas told TimesLIVE that the EFF should be credited for their contribution to public discourse “on some of the most complex issues the country is facing”.

“Even though we might not agree all the time on what they are saying‚ they have been exposing the political vulnerabilities of the ANC and the country‚” he said.

He said that challenges faced by municipalities were largely political and a mix of skills was needed to effect a turnaround.

“The myth that you can bring one person to solve the challenges is wrong‚” said Jonas.

He said the “euphoria” following Ramaphosa’s election was justified as it reflected a recovery from the damage that the country had suffered.

“State capture will always be central‚ whether we like it or not‚” said Jonas.

“Out of the euphoria‚ I think we will see more concrete steps to address unemployment‚ inequality and building credibility of the state.”

Asked about the current debate over land expropriation without compensation‚ Jonas said the discourse needed to move beyond slogans.

“We need to look at the package. “[Land expropriation without compensation] remains a slogan in absence of [a] well thought through programme.”

“We need to address social justice‚ also deal with economy‚ create investment.”

All these things‚ he added‚ were interconnected such as the land sector‚ agriculture and manufacturing. “There are implications on rest of the system. So you cannot oversimplify these things.”

“There needs to be discussion on what exactly does this mean and put resources behind it‚” Jonas said. 

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