National 25.8.2016 04:17 pm

60% white = diverse, says DA

The front page of Thursday's Herald newspaper. Picture: Facebook

The front page of Thursday's Herald newspaper. Picture: Facebook

Nelson Mandela Bay’s new mayor announced his executive team this week, and it features majority males and white people. The DA isn’t saying what definition of ‘diverse’ it’s using.

National spokesperson of the DA Phumzile van Damme has dismissed allegations that the race and gender representation of the party in Nelson Mandela Bay is “too white”.

The DA won the metro from the ANC and is run by a coalition government led by the DA, with Athol Trollip as mayor. Besides Nelson Mandela Bay, the DA also dislodged Tshwane and Johannesburg from the 20-year grip of the ANC.

DA MP Phumzile Van Damme. Picture: Gallo Images

DA MP Phumzile Van Damme. Picture: Gallo Images

Van Damme, who clearly showed unhappiness with the criticism when asked about it, told The Citizen that race and gender representation in Nelson Mandela Bay was “diverse”, despite the fact that Trollip’s mayoral committee is majority male and 60% white.

Here are the names of the city’s executive, as published this week:

  • Budget and Treasury – Retief Odendaal
  • Public Health – Mongameli Bobani (Deputy Executive Mayor)
  • Infrastructure and Engineering – Annette Lovemore
  • Roads and Transport and Integrated Transport System (IPTS) – Rano Kayser
  • Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture – Andrew Whitfield
  • Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture – Siyasanqa Sijadu
  • Corporate Services – Dean Biddulph
  • Constituency Services – Shirley Sauls
  • Safety and Security – John Best
  • Human Settlements – Nqaba Bhanga
  • Municipal Public Accounts (MPAC) – Lance Grootboom
Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor Athol Trollip with his mayoral committee team on Wednesday at the Uitenhage Town Hall. Photo: ANA

Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor Athol Trollip with his mayoral committee team on Wednesday at the Uitenhage Town Hall. Photo: ANA

“The representation is diverse,” said Van Damme, who was not willing to elaborate on the matter. “We can agree to disagree, but the representation is diverse,” Van Damme insisted, without explaining what definition of “diverse” she was using.

The party’s spokesperson added that a list of executive DA leaders in Tshwane and Johannesburg was not available yet, and declined to comment on how “diverse” the MMCs in the Gauteng metros would be.

Earlier this week, leader of Black First Land First (BLF) Andile Mngxitama bemoaned the alleged race representation of the City of Tshwane’s new executives. This was based on a list that was circulating on Twitter showing an alleged lack of black representation.

Mngxitama said the DA was “consistent” in ensuring that white people were well represented. This, he said, needed to be blamed on “Majuju [Julius Malema]”, whose party, the EFF, voted the DA into power in Tshwane. In Gauteng, the only metro the ANC was able to retain was Ekurhuleni.

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