The leader of the Democratic Liberal Party, Patrick Pillay during the DLC manifesto launch on February 7 at the Shastri Park Hall.
Cllr Patrick Pillay narrated his childhood experiences as what shaped his future in politics. Pillay, who grew up in a family of seven, was the second of five children.
Having lived in various areas of Overport, Stamford Hill, Chatsworth and Phoenix, Cllr Pillay revealed that a turning point in his life was when his family was forcefully evicted from their home.
Despite the challenges the family of seven faced, the spirit of perseverance saw the family through.
“My family managed to overcome the housing challenges that we faced and we ultimately received a municipal renting house in Sunford. It was at this point that I made a promise to myself to serve people and ease their sufferings,” Cllr Pillay said.
After completing his schooling career at Westham Secondary School, Cllr Pillay excelled with distinctions at the University of Pretoria in executive leadership in local government.
The 51-year-old family man was motivated by the sufferings and afflictions of his childhood that he decided to branch off into politics.
“Growing up in the suburbs of Verulam, Chatsworth and Phoenix, I have lived to witness firsthand social and economic sufferings of people. The eviction of my own family when I was 14-years-old, and the systematic disconnection of our electricity, once every three months, always played in my mind. It motivated me to continuously serve,” he said.
Three years after its inception, the leader of the Democratic Liberal Congress party represented thousands of people over the years in obtaining their title deeds, social grants, resolving lights and water matters, roads and infrastructure, and housing issues and civic issues.
“As a ward councillor, I predominantly served in Phoenix and other suburbs. A greater demand for my assistance is now requested throughout KwaZulu-Natal,” Cllr Pillay said.
He revealed that he plans on improving health care facilities, housing, service delivery of failing suburbs, job creation, and economic development.
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“I am advocating for relaxation of bylaws to promote small businesses that sustains the livelihood of families. I am campaigning for visible policing, neighbourhood crime watches, and crime prevention collaboration of stakeholders. I am championing for a multipurpose center and the upgrade of development of recreational facilities, youth development centres and old age homes. I have served as a community activist from 1984 to 1989, a senior shop steward from 1989 to 1994, a general secretary of the South African Freight and Dockworkers Union from 1996 to 2000, a councillor of the eThekwini Metro from 2001 to 2008, a member of the Executive Committee of the eThekwini Metro from 2008 to 2014, and a councillor of eThekwini Metro from 2014 to 2016,” Cllr Pillay said.
The DLC leader enjoys dancing, listening to music and indulging in comedy and thriller movies. He also appreciates cricket, nine ball pool and table tennis.
“I believe that being passionate, committed and dedicated, coupled with firm principles, are the success of any individual. My motto in life is ‘to serve with your heart and not your mouth’ and ‘try and fail but don’t fail to try.’ I will never leave Phoenix. It is where my heart is,” Cllr Pillay said.