1. Tell us a bit about your background, childhood, family and schooling.
My parents are Ex-Zimbabwean and came to SA in 1980. Family all live up in Ballito. I’m in Pinetown in order to best do my job as Ward 18 councillor.
2. How did you get involved in local politics, and what motivated and inspired you to do so.
I used to be a supporter of the ANC. During the 2000′s that waned to the extent that I joined the DA in 2007 out of the blue. Fortunately I made it onto their excellent Young Leaders programme for 2008 and that set the tone for the years to come. In 2009 after the General Election, I took an opportunity to stand in a ward where the councillor had moved to Province and was elected in June 2009.
3. Who are your role-models.
My parents are examples of the sort of people that make the world a better place. Mandela would never have been able achieve what he did if there wasn’t a significant number of reasonable people out there willing to choose the middle road. So on the one hand, my parents inspire me to be good, wholesome and to cherish family. And leaders like Madiba inspire me to have conviction, believe in the prosperous South Africa we want become, and fight for the balance our democracy requires before we will see that.
4. What did you do before you became a councillor.
I ran at IT business for 10 years. I am a bona fide geek turned politician.
5. Tell us a bit about your family.
My brothers are both younger than me, though there’s only 3.5 years between Barry, the youngest, and myself. My parents were both deeply affected by the Rohdesian Civil War, my mother losing her legs as a teenager from a landmine blast and my father being the victim of a few blasts while on service. Much of my motivation comes from not wanting to see that sort of violence happening in South Africa as it has over most of post-Independence Africa. We can and must be different.
6. Do you enjoy your job.
I find my job both infuriatingly frustrating and very rewarding. I am frustrated at the crippled state of our local government, the low quality of services which result and the wastage of money which occurs through poor management and corruption. I am infuriated regularly by the cheap politics employed in the face of severe poverty and suffering, and I am regularly incensed by the liberal use of the race-card. However, there are so many people out there both in need of help and willing to help. Many city officials do everything they can to do the best job they can, and many people can be helped by me directly. The knowledge that I can directly make a difference for people who really need it as well as the desire to see the gradual improvement in the quality of our City government provide me with all the motivation I need to counter the negatives.
7. Have there been moments in your career when you thought you were going to fail at what you were doing.
I have failed. I failed to ensure that Pinetown SAPS was provided with the sort of quality senior leadership it needs to fight the significant crime wave in the area. The tradeoff was that several significant operational improvements have taken place as a result of the pressure and focus. I still maintain that Pinetown SAPS needs a station commander who is passionate about the morale and performance of his/her officers in the significant fight against crime in the area.
That is my biggest failure so far. I am certain I will fail again. Will I fail in my bigger mission to help make South Africa the prosperous Rainbow Nation which Madiba helped us dream about? Perhaps, but I sincerely doubt that. Our democracy will see the balance it so desperately needs in the coming decade and through that will come the good governance required to service the needs of the people and create the opportunities people need to make their lives better.
8. What was the proudest moment in your career.
I couldn’t say really. I’ll be proud when I know the future of our country is secure.
9. What was the most embarrassing moment in your career.
I really messed my first interview as a potential council candidate. As my MP says, I really screwed it up. Thank goodness they chose to give me a bash anyway.
10. Tell us something about you the public doesn’t know.
I attend the KZN Philharmonic at the City Hall as often as my calendar permits. I find the performances liberating in the same way that doing a hard workout in gym is – you need to sit still, be quiet, listen and take it in until its finished.
11. What are your goals, ambitions, and future plans.
Have a family. Inspire people to live a life of peace and love (Yes, I am an Amakhosi fan). Be a major contributor to securing our democracy and ensuring our government is the first truly good government South Africa has ever known.
12. What are your likes, interests and hobbies.
I rowed a lot at university and after. I enjoy overlanding (4×4) especially north of South Africa. I have a 1990 Land Cruiser and am about to buy a 1980 Mercedes, so I guess I have a thing for old cars. I am a genuine geek, and administer several Linux servers and applications for projects within the party.
13. What message would you like to give to the people in your Ward for the upcoming election.
If you are not yet registered to vote or if you have moved since the last election, please register 5/6 March. Then on election day, please vote on who you think will govern eThekwini best. Leave the rest of the issues for dinner-table debates. We need good governance – vote for the party you believe has a proven track record in delivery.