Max Mbili: from gardener to municipal boss

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New Hibiscus Coast Municipal Manager Max Mbili has been in office now for just over 100 days.  When he succeeded Sbu Mkize, he said he had set himself five main targets which he was determined to achieve within 100 days.   Of those, he told eHowz!t, he achieved four and a half, but in addition he was also successful with several other initiatives, one of them initiating a call centre for stakeholders and customers.   For more detail on this centre, go to eHowz!t’s interview with Xolani Dlangalala, the man tasked to get it off the ground, in our video section. During this interview, Mr. Mbili announces three new senior appointments. eHowz!t’s interaction with Municipal Manager Mbili was wide ranging, during which he was asked several pertinent questions, but because of the length, we begin section one which covers his assessment of whether he achieved the goals he had set himself. Over the next few days we will post another two ‘episodes’ of the interviewing session on matters such as deeds being more important than words, and political interference in the appointment process. A noteworthy aspect of 44-year-old Mr. Mbili’s life is that he is a born and bred Margate local, who, as a 13-year-old orphan, was taken in by local attorney Louis Hansmeyer. While attending school, he worked for Mr. Hansmeyer as a gardener for eight years before moving to Durban.  Mr. Hansmeyer later helped pay for Mr. Mbili’s studies, who eventually became a teacher before progresssing through the workplace and political ranks to where he is today.  Mr. Mbili told eHowz!t he regarded  Mr. Hansmeyer as “a best friend”, who assisted him to go from a garden labourer to what he is today: the head of the Hibiscus Coast Municipality.

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