Meet the Executive mayor of City of Tshwane Cilliers Brink

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By Dimakatso Modipa

City of Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink
City of Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink

1. Where and when were you born?

Answer: I was born in Springs and I grew up in Phalaborwa in the Limpopo Province.

2. Which university did you attend and what did you study there?

Answer: University of Pretoria where I obtained an Llb degree.

3.Did you practice as a lawyer or did you go straight into politics after your studies?

Answer: I completed my candidate attorneyship, but I was elected as Councillor during that period.

I then went into business. I never practiced law for my own account, but I have no regrets, because my legal education and training have been invaluable in every job I’ve done.

At present I am an admitted non-practicing attorney.

4. Were you involved in student politics at university?

I was a founding member of the DA Students Organisation ( DASO) at the University of Pretoria. But party-politics, which entailed getting young people to vote and raising awareness about critical national issues was always my more interesting to me than institutional politics of the university.

5. Are there any other people involved in politics in your family or are you the only one who is a politician?

Answer: I have been told that about distant relatives who were involved in politics at some time, but I never got to meet them.

6.What got you interested in politics?

Answer: I was in grade 1 in 1994 and my father was very conscious about the political changes in the country at the time.

So at the dinner table we spoke about Codesa, constitutional negotiations, and the challenges of transition to democracy. This is probably what sparked my interest in politics. By the agae of 12 I was writing letters for publication to newspapers.

At school I excelled in public speaking and debate…the excitement of competition and rivalry that people get from observing sport, I got from politics.

7. When did you join the DA?

Answer: I joined the DA in 2004 at the age of 16. Before then I was really not a fan of the party. This as many of my letters to newspapets were directed against the party’s then leader Tony Lein and several other leaders of the party.

As a school boy I met Leon, but by then I had already been converted. I had become convinced that as I still am today, that the DA’s liberal democratic offer was the only alternative to the ABC’s one-party dominance.

I also came to understand that leaders like Leon genuinely cared about building a movement based on values shared by most South Africans.

8. What position do you hold at DA?

Answer: I am the regional chair of the DA in Gauteng, but given the pressure of being mayor of the City of Tshwane I’ll be handing that position to someone else at our next regional congress.

9. Do u see yourself exist politics?

Answer: I am able to work in business or as a lawyer, but when it comes to making a contribution to society, shaping the future, and serving commonly-held values, nothing compares to politics. Serving in government is exhilarating as the difficult days are many.

I regard my work as a public representative as a calling, and I will make the most of it while I have the time to serve.

I don’t take this privilege for grante, and so of course I accept that one day I will have to move on from politics ( hopefully not soon).

10.What are your esponsibilities in Tshwane?

Answer: As the mayor my job is to implement the instruction we received from the people in the 2021 local government elections, which entail making sure that budgets and plans reflect our policy and programme of action, and that these plans are then implemented.

Our manifesto in the City of Tshwane government is based on the agreement reached among our coalition partners, including the DA, ActionSA, FF Plus, ACDP and IFP. And I have a responsibility to keep the coalition together, and to show people that we can fix the mess left by the ANC. We must also be clear and candid, and admit our own mistakes, and see through the difficult decisions needed to build a capital city that works for all it’s people.

11. What difference do you want to make in the lives of the people of Tshwane?

Answer: My team and I are working at three critical priorities. First, making sure that residents get value for money they pay for rates and tariff charges. Part of this is to get Tshwane out of the financial ICU it finds itself in. Second, reducing the number of electricity and water outages and stop dependency on Eskom if we want to curb loadshedding. Lastly, to restore measure of stability in Council by making difficult decisions like not granting salary increases to staff and Councilors.

12. Please explain the working relationship you are having with other councilors Is it good or bad?

Answer: I have a very good relationship with most Councilors, even those who don’t belong to my party. Whenever I go. I try to bring ward Councilors with me, from Mabopane to Soshanguve, Hammanskraal, Nellmapius and Atteridgeville just to name but a few places I have visited. I understand that Councilors are the face of the municipality, and too often the object of people’s frustrations about poor service delivery. Most of them try their best.

13. Message to the people of Tshwane?

Answer: We want to build a capital city that works for all it’s people. We would like to thank every resident who pays their municipal bill on time. Presently we are managing an illegal strike with some employees refusing to work and also sabotaging municipal services. We want to apologize for the disruption and inconvenience caused by the strike.

We commit to catching up on service delivery backlogs and making decisions in the best interest of the residents of the City of Tshwane.

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