WATCHING the game between the Boks and England on Saturday and seeing aerial photographs of the Soccer World Cup in our city, got me thinking how infrastructure can leverage us into being a fully- fledged city.
Infrastructure will make us compete with the likes of Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, with their Gallagher Estates (with our ICC at the Boardwalk we will be in the reckoning, and hotels of course, but we have game reserves and other exotic abodes, Chief Luthuli ICC and the Cape ICC).
There is no reason that our stadium should be a white elephant.
We need to position our city with new products to attract activities that will bring benefits for our people in Port Elizabeth and the region.
In achieving this, we need to remove the mentality and excitement to always fly to the above-mentioned cities.
Hubs likes the Coega IDZ should give work and contracts to local people and stop awarding meaningful and profitable contracts to people from Johannesburg, and merely give us here in the Bay bush clearing and grass cutting work.
Skills and know-how do not only reside in Johannesburg. The Eastern Cape already suffers brain drain, thus economic benefits must not be compromised further by self-important leaders of state enterprises, especially who seem to reside at airports on their way to the above-mentioned cities and overseas conferences and other places of more importance than their own Port Elizabeth.
Growth in Port Elizabeth and the Eastern Cape does not need careerists, it needs committed leaders and participators – but most all, empathetic decision makers as our people are suffering needlessly.
South Africa has resources but like in apartheid days, the Eastern Cape is stifled and marginalised, yet the people of this region have made such sacrifices.
It will also boost confidence and the necessary economic benefits if township B&Bs and guest houses are utilised by the very people who laud the plight of the poor at every turn but instead go and sleep at establishments that charge over R4000 a night.
Just taking tourists to shebeens with dancing kids won’t sustain the townships’ economies.
Pat Kondile, New Brighton