Njilo to run for mayor

2016-06-20 11:40
Current Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela and ANC 2016 mayoral candidate Themba Njilo.

Current Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela and ANC 2016 mayoral candidate Themba Njilo. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - Well-known local businessman Themba Njilo (57) has been named the ANC’s Msunduzi mayoral candidate for this year’s local government elections.

The ANC announced its list of candidates for metropolitan and other strategic municipalities at a special National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Gauteng on Saturday evening.

Njilo is the CEO of the Themba Njilo Foundation and owner of Nduduzo Funeral Services in Edendale.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, Njilo said he was not eager to be mayor, but “eager to change Msunduzi around and make the citizens’ lives better”.

He said he was notified of his nomination early yesterday, and felt confident about taking the baton forward from Mayor Chris Ndlela, should he be named mayor after the elections.

Social media was abuzz yesterday when the announcement was made, with many questioning Njilo’s political background.

“I have not been so active in politics as I am in business. I am in the business of changing people’s lives and building our community,” he said.

The Themba Njilo Foundation drives social and cultural development in rural areas — aspects that Njilo said he holds close to his heart.

Born and raised in Vulindlela, Njilo said he started in business as a street vendor in Church Street, selling grass mats. He had since built his business acumen and began investing in community upliftment.

“I have built houses and offered numerous bursaries to deserving students. I offer many programmes for the youth, prisoners and ex-offenders,” he said.

Passionate about community development, Njilo said he was grateful to be named the ANC mayoral candidate for Msunduzi and is eager to help all communities in the city.

“I want to thank the ANC leadership for the nomination and I promise the people of Msunduzi that I will assist in every way possible to make the city better,” Njilo said.

In a press statement issued on the My ANC Facebook page, the party said it was satisfied and confident that the mayoral candidates consist of some of the best comrades among its ranks.

“The ANC calls on all its structures and our communities to support them as they lead us to an overwhelming victory for the ANC in the local government elections.

“We extend our gratitude to many of our comrades who are currently serving as mayors for their loyal service to the movement and the people of South Africa,” read the statement.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

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