Residents commend mayor after clean-ups around city

2017-10-19 13:45
Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo at the Chatterton substation during a previous crisis.

Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo at the Chatterton substation during a previous crisis. (File)

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Someone in the council is reading The Witness and taking note.

Following a rash of stories about service delivery complaints, it appears Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo is doing his bit to try and set things right.

Njilo has been spotted at several problematic areas, often personally supervising municipal employees and ensuring that some of the issues highlighted in The Witness are resolved.

Locals and those who have featured in articles have been calling The Witness with stories of how Njilo has showed up and rectified the situations they had complained about.

Owner of Viv’s Auto Electrical, Laurie Maybery, said after an article this week about vagrants and whoonga addicts camping outside his business, Njilo and a team of municipal employees visited the site early the next morning.

“You can see he is a good guy who is trying to turn this city around. He came here and made the employees clean up the sidewalk and drains and I even took him to the substation where the vagrants were sleeping,” said Maybery.

He said Njilo stayed until the workers completed their cleaning and called the electricity department to also visit the damaged substation on Victoria Road.

Following an article published in Witness Warriors this week about rubbish dumped on the banks of a river along the N3, the mayor and his team were spotted there the next day.

Debby Lucke, who initially reported the ghastly sight of mountains of rubbish being dumped, reported back to The Witness telling her tale of the clean-up that took place this week.

Lucke said that a few days after the article was published, she purposely drove past the area and was pleasantly surprised to find a group of municipal workers in orange overalls and with black plastic bags cleaning the area.

“The municipality may not have the manners to reply to you, but at least they have taken note and cleaned up,” Lucke told The Witness.

Njilo also took time out to visit a group of Facebook friends who cleaned up an area in the CBD after their story featured in The Witness.

‘We are trying hard to make a difference’ — Njilo

Speaking to The Witness on Wednesday, Njilo said he tries his “level best” to be a good leader in the city.

“I don’t ever switch my phone off and I take people’s calls late into the night. I have to try and I have to show our people that we are trying,” he said.

Each morning, Njilo said, he reads The Witness to “see where the gaps are in the municipality”.

He immediately informs the managers of the various municipal departments that he will take workers to the sites of the problems highlighted.

“I go out with the workers and I do not move until I see the difference. I want to show residents that there is hope and I want businesses to reconsider leaving the city,” the mayor said.

“We are trying but I just need a little time. I am fighting for the good of this city and although I do not do it for praise, I am humbled that people are noticing my efforts.”

He added that municipal employees also needed to play their part in the revival of the city, calling on them to add “oomph” to their work.

“They need that oomph when they are doing their jobs. They need encouragement. I understand that we have limited resources at times but we must use what we have to make the change,” said Njilo.

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