21 December 2017 – The Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) today reflects on challenges and progress made in 2017. This is the year the Agency had billed as a year of transition and consolidation. The MBDA was established fourteen years (14yrs) ago by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) to spearhead the rejuvenation of the inner city of Port Elizabeth. The MBDA which began its operations in 2004, a year after incorporation is synonymous with some of the major developments that have changed the face of Nelson Mandela Bay.
MBDA Spokesperson, Luvuyo Bangazi says “some of the initiatives successfully completed by the Agency since inception include the rehabilitation of the Kings Beach precinct, urban upgrades in Central Port Elizabeth, the establishment of the popular Route 67 and redevelopment of the Donkin Reserve, upgrade of the Uitenhage Market Square, restoration and repurposing of the Tramways building, the upgrading of the historic Campanile monument and the environmental upgrade of the strategically located Singaphi Street in New Brighton”.
“On the social front the MBDA has spearheaded a number of programs that aim to change and improve social conditions like the Schauderville – Korsten Masterplan, the implementation of the Helenvale Safety and Peace through Urban Upgrading (SPUU) initiative, a foreign donor funded programme by KFW Bank of Germany. The MBDA also established an SMME business hub in Veeplaas as well as supporting a number of Creative Industry initiatives and Corporate Social Investment programmes across Nelson Mandela Bay” added Bangazi.
Speaking on strategic issues and challenges that the organization had to overcome in 2017, MBDA Board Chairperson, Mputumi Goduka lists a number of areas the Board prioritized in 2017 in order to take the organization forward into the future:
Stabilizing the organization after senior management changes
The Board with the support of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has had many interactions with NMBMparent Municipality (shareholder) representatives to review the mandate of the Agency and how that fits into the City’s strategic plan. These interactions also served to provide the necessary leadership when the former Chief Executive Officer’s contract expired. As a support package the City made it possible for the secondment of a seasoned municipal executive to assume the reigns in the agency as Acting Chief Executive Officer (ACEO). Ashraf Adam, Executive Director for Economic Development at the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) was seconded to act as the search for a full time CEO ensued.
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium successfully on boarded
As per a decision of the NMBM Council in October 2016, the MBDA was mandated to take responsibility for the management and operation of the NMB Stadium as an agent of the NMBM. This mandate came into effect on the 1st of January 2017 and since then the Agency has successfully executed a number of sport and non-sporting events including a Springboks test match. The Agency also successfully recruited and appointed an experienced Stadium Manager to lead the strategy and sustainability efforts of this facility with the support of a dedicate stadium management team backed by resources at MBDA head office. The NMB Stadium continues to attract mega events and beyond football and rugby. Some of the notable events include the NMB Color Run and Ebubeleni Music Festival scheduled for the 30th of December 2017.
Review of systems and controls
Though the agency has proven its capacity to execute complicated and catalytic programmes, the Board felt that a lot of work needed to be done to bring efficiencies, synergies and to provide a smarter and more logical approach in the acceptance and execution of programmes. The ACEO had this as a top priority during his tenure. We are glad to announce that this process has been completed and ready for implementation. The ensuing January to June 2018 period will be a transitional one and the new systems and controls expected to be fully implemented from July 1 2018.
It is also evident that throughout the 13years the Agency has taken on tasks that maybe weren’t suited but did so out of necessity. Through a mandate review process, the MBDA has now consolidated its focus into four key areas: Area Management, Facilities Management, Knowledge Management and Socio-economic programmes.
NMB Science and Technology Centre on board the MBDA
A decision was taken in July 2017 by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to delegate some of the responsibilities of the former Uitenhage Despatch Development Initiative (UDDI) to the MBDA. The main task for the MBDA is to operate the NMB Science and Technology Centre as well as the development of the adjoining railways sheds in order to revitalize the CBD of Uitenhage.
Organization redesign to suit new mandate
In order to effectively respond to the new and revised mandate and focus areas, the Agency through the ACEO commissioned an organizational and human resources review to identify any gaps and develop strategies to capacitate and resource the Agency accordingly. This process will continue into the new year as a priority item for the Board.
Recruitment of a fulltime Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
The process to recruit a fulltime CEO has been concluded and the Board will officially announce the successful candidate in the new year.
With a revised mandate backed by a capable structure and the support of the NMBM, the MBDA is perfectly positioned to deliver at a much higher and smarter level over the next five years. The MBDA wishes all residents and visitors to Nelson Mandela Bay a happy festive season and a 2018 year full of great opportunities and growth for all.
Holiday operating hours
The MBDA will be on annual shut down from the 27th of December until the 3rd of January. Offices will close on Friday the 22nd at 12 mid-day.