New role for Ravi Pillay

2011-11-16 00:00

KZN’s new Human Settlements and Public Works MEC Ravi Pillay was still coming to terms with his appointment yesterday afternoon.

He said he was mindful of the challenge and responsibilities involved in running government departments and being part of the premier’s cabinet.

He paid tribute to his predecessor, Maggie Govender, saying she is a woman of outstanding integrity and principles and that he hoped he did justice to the foundation she has laid.

Pillay grew up in Port Shepstone on the South Coast.

He matriculated in 1975 and went to the University of Durban-Westville in turbulent 1976. He says of that period that you could not be a student without becoming an activist.

He graduated with a BA LlB, practised law on the South Coast and was involved in several activist forums. He was a member of the Natal Indian Congress (NIC) and was part of the United Democratic Front (UDF). He was an underground operative for the ANC since the 1980s and was active in building up civic structures.

After the unbanning of the ANC he was asked by the party to be involved in local government structures. He was a member of the local negotiating forum on the South Coast and a member of the executive committee of the Port Shepstone Transitional Local Authority.

In 2000 he was elected speaker on the Hibiscus Coast Municipality. This was followed by a stint as speaker in the Ugu Municipality until 2009 when he became a member of the provincial legislature and was appointed chief whip.

Since the 1990s he has been involved in building the ANC on the South Coast and has served the party in various capacities at branch and regional level, including being chairperson, deputy chairperson and secretary.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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