Njilo ready to hand over mayoral baton

2019-08-21 06:01
Outgoing mayor Themba Njilo supervises cleaning work on Dr Chota Motala road. PHOTOS: Ian Carbutt (File)

Outgoing mayor Themba Njilo supervises cleaning work on Dr Chota Motala road. PHOTOS: Ian Carbutt (File)

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OUTGOING mayor Themba Njilo is still in limbo about his future as he awaits the ANC’s decision on whether he would be redeployed to another position.

Yesterday he said the ruling party told him and other Msunduzi former exco members that it would be communicating its plans for them in writing soon.

“Once I know what is expected from me I will then make my decision whether I think I have the capacity to take on that responsibility.

“If the organisation decided not to redeploy me I will go back to running my businesses and do the work of the ANC on the side because there are plenty of organisational programmes that I can get involved in.”

Njilo said the only way to deal with the ANC’s decision to recall him was to accept it, because the mayoral position was never his to begin with, it was the ANC’s.

“I’m grateful to the ANC for giving me the responsibility to be mayor of the province’s capital city, because it shows the leadership and people’s faith in me. I ran my race the best way I knew how. There is still a lot more that I still wanted to do to change the lives of the citizens of Msunduzi but I’m ready to hand over the baton to the next mayor who will take this City forward.”

He said his three years in local government taught him a lot about working in a politicised environment, compromise and soldiering on even when the odds were against him.

“What helped me is that I knew what I stood for when I came in so I was able to stand strong and not sway with the winds even when times were hard.

“I also had a lot of support from the ANC, councillors from other political parties and the administration.

“I would not have been able to do the work I did if everyone — from the senior management to the general workers and even those sweeping our streets — did not support the vision I had for Msunduzi so I would like to thank each and everyone for all their hard work.” He said his cellphone was flooded with messages of support from across the country since the news of his recall broke. “I would like to thank the people of Msunduzi for allowing me an opportunity to serve them. Even when they were unhappy about something, they always listened to my pleas for their patience.

“I trust that they will show the incoming mayor the same love, respect and support that they showed me.”

A humanitarian at heart, Njilo said he would continue with his charity work.

These include working with people living on the street and building homes for the destitute. Some of the projects he planned on embarking on will be in partnership with Msunduzi. “My passion is helping people. I’ve been blessed that I’m in a position lend a helping hand to the less fortunate. I’ve been doing this since the 1980s and will continue doing it.”

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