AN economic development committee meeting meant to discuss ways to boost small businesses in Nelson Mandela Bay yesterday became the sixth to eventually be postponed in a month after the DA did not arrive.
The party has decided to boycott committee and council meetings until the safety of its members can be guaranteed by the municipality.
The decision was made after striking traffic department administrators and library workers held councillors hostage and disrupted council meetings, demanding money owed to them last week.
The meeting was scheduled for 2pm and 10 minutes later committee chairwoman Babalwa Lobishe gave Absa and Coega the go-ahead to present their proposals on how to assist small businesses.
Coega programme director Sicelo Kubashe presented its enterprise development programme proposal to mentor and train small businesses in the metro.
The proposal would have to be debated and approved by council.
"We have estimated that it would take about three months to determine what businesses are in Nelson Mandela Bay. This includes mobilisation and recruitment of appropriate beneficiaries," he said. Kubashe said phase two – the small business developmental phase – would include training and mentoring business.
Absa retail and business banking enterprise development centre manager Gcinashe Vambe said the municipality could have a branded portal at the bank, where small businesses would have access to business support, funding and support.
After the meeting was posponed an hour later, Lobishe said the presentations would not be heard again as no DA apology had been forthcoming.