R33.9 million Paid to Protesting Housing Contractors

www.MyPE.co.za: The
Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality yesterday (14 October 2010) effected
payments to the
value of R32 974 945 to housing contractors.

This comes after the municipality increased its housing revolving fund
from R 100 million to R 150 million for a 3 month period. A strategy is
being developed in the next seven days to ensure that the revolving
fund is brought back to R100 million after the said period.

The fund was introduced by the municipality to provide bridging finance
to Provincial Housing Board Housing Developments where the municipality
is a developer. It has allowed the municipality to speed up the
delivery of approved integrated human settlements projects without
being delayed by bureaucratic processes. Council policy dictates that
the funds must be managed in a sustainable manner to ensure that it
retains its value in relation to inflation.

The decision to temporarily increase the threshold comes two days after
Executive Mayor, Cllr. Zanoxolo Wayile, his deputy, Cllr Nancy
Sihlwayi, and senior councilors and officials met with contractors this
week and agreed to speed up payments. At the meeting, Mayor Wayile
tasked the Acting Municipal Manager and the Chief Financial Officer to
look at ways in which payment could be made sooner than Monday 18
October 2010, the date by which the mayor undertook to revert to
contractors with concrete plans.

Our priority in the last two days has been to find ways to pay our
service providers so as to address the business and socio-economic
challenges that were increasingly becoming unbearable as payments were
delayed. The knock on effects of workers not being paid, and businesses
that provide much needed employment for people going down would have
been too costly for Nelson Mandela Bay. That’s why we have once again
stretched our resources to ensure that the situation is addressed
speedily while we continue looking for ways to recoup monies payable to
the institution.

Increasing the revolving fund is not ideal but is the best among the
limited options we had.

Roland Williams and
Ongama Mtimka

Mandela Bay Municipality Contacts
(Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage
and Despatch).

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