FRONT page news on Monday morning was the DA being called racists because they wanted lunch well after the normally worldwide accepted time ("Hunger spurs DA walkout at council meeting"). The article is reminiscent of a bunch of children squabbling over marbles.
So, to hell with service delivery, let's squabble, call each other names and walk around with the lower lip dragging on the floor.
No wonder it took the company I work for 14 months to get a rezoning. Why did we want to be rezoned?
We are fortunate to be in the green energy manufacturing business and we are the only company of its kind in South Africa, based in Port Elizabeth, and business is very, very good.
We need to expand and double the size of our existing building. We need to hire more personnel, at least 15 to 20 new personnel.
Our company has a history of hiring, training and uplifting members of the previously disadvantaged communities. In fact our 22-year-old company has around 90% previously disadvantaged personnel, the majority of whom have been with the company since its inception.
So, while the DA and ANC battered heads and sulked with each other, 15 to 20 people remained unemployed.
Now, we have our rezoning and are forging ahead with our expansion plans despite the warring councillors. We live in hope that we too will be given a huge sum of money, much like Discovery's R1-million just for reducing the unemployment rate.
We are a Port Elizabeth-based company, not a national conglomerate, and PE companies should receive the big bucks for contributing to the economy. Of course, the question should be asked: where did the R1-million come from within the metro, considering the need for that ghastly term, service delivery?
We need R1-billion to repair the recent flood damage, but our wonderful groot koppe (eminent people) have decided to give a large chunk of money to Afcon at the expense of service delivery, only because we would look bad in the eyes of the soccer world if we cancelled our hosting of Afcon. Why not tell Afcon that we cannot be a city host as we need to use all the money available for service delivery projects as a result of the devastating floods.
After all, thousands were left homeless, and couldn't give a hoot about a soccer match. So the metro can actually save face in the eyes of its own ratepayers and the rest of the world by saying, "We need to look after our people first".
An Afcon with impassable roads, no street lights, potholes, a lack of sanitation, drinking water...the list is endless and will do nothing for our future tourism if our city looks like – and I've been there – Harare.
Gordon Upton, Port Elizabeth