Nelson Mandela Bay deputy executive mayor Mongameli Bobani slated his DA coalition partners at a full council meeting on Thursday, saying the UDM was “never consulted on a secret deal” involving a proposed private partnership between a service provider, Harambee, and the metro.
The proposed private partnership between the metro and Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator aims to provide education hubs in communities so that unemployed youth can become more exposed to the job market, particularly in the private sector.
“The UDM as a coalition partner was not part of this particular item, we must work together.You are giving R10 million to the so called Harambee, but how is this Harambee going to create 32 000 jobs?”
“This item does not even have comment from budget and treasury, I do not even see it in this [draft] budget. These people never submitted the business plans. When you deal with the poor you must ensure that everyone is involved,” said Bobani.
Bobani came out guns blazing in a boisterous address, saying that when it came to matters of the youth the UDM including all other political parties needed to be involved so that processes could be “transparent”.
He also raised questions as to how the procurement process with Harambee was handled.
“How do you form a private partnership with these particular people having its own processes? The chief whip takes the councillors on a tour to Harambee a day before the councillors are going to debate on the matter. Based on procurement processes not being followed this is in contravention of the act and the UDM as a coalition partner is totally not accepting this particular matter,” he said to applause in council.
The metro’s economic development, tourism and agriculture political head Andrew Whitfield, who is spearheading the proposed partnership agreement said that the initiative would create more than 20 000 job opportunities.
“We are talking about R535 per work opportunity which may convert into full time employment.”
“To my knowledge and to what I’ve seen and heard, [Harambee] seeks to pinpoint a mismatch between supply and demand and proactively goes out to find young unemployed people and match them to work in the private sector,” said Whitfield.
Whitfield said that Harambee was on the agenda as an item so that it could be discussed at council as youth unemployment was the metro’s greatest crisis.
“The other critical factor to understand is that the municipality is not the majority funder of this partnership, Harambee is matching our funding and are bringing private sector on board to support this initiative. The municipality does not have that kind of an arrangement with any of its partners,” he said.
-African News Agency