Christopher Pappas Time 100Christopher Pappas, mayor of the uMngeni Local Municipality. (Image: Gallo Images/Darren Stewart)

South African Mayor Christopher Pappas Named Among TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Leaders Worldwide

In an exciting development, TIME magazine has recognized Christopher Pappas, the mayor of the uMngeni Local Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, as one of the world’s 100 most influential people. Pappas earned a spot on TIME’s prestigious TIME100 Next list, which highlights emerging leaders worldwide.

A Remarkable Turnaround and Popularity Surge

Pappas gained national prominence when he was elected mayor of uMngeni during the 2021 local government elections. He is widely praised for his transformative work in the municipality, which includes successfully tackling debt issues and enhancing public services.

Known for his fluency in IsiZulu and his remarkable ability to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds, Pappas is even being considered as the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) potential premier candidate for KwaZulu-Natal in the upcoming 2024 general election.

Pappas expressed his pride in making the 2023 TIME100 Next list through a post on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) last Wednesday.

TIME Magazine 100 Highlights Christopher Pappas’ Exceptional Journey

TIME magazine’s website notes that since assuming the role of mayor in uMngeni, Pappas achieved a significant milestone by balancing the municipality’s budget for the first time in over a decade, while also adding 175 new homes to the electricity grid.

The magazine provided further insight:

“It’s an impressive track record made possible by penny-pinching measures like a reduction in hiring. His election itself was an unusual feat, in part because he’s a white, gay, Zulu-speaking politician, in a municipality that is three-quarters black in a country where most people vote along racial lines. But Pappas crossed those divides to speak to people in their own language, and won votes by emphasising small but attainable improvements to daily life and municipal services above standard political loyalty.”

In an interview with TIME, Pappas described himself as an “administrative politician” and underscored the importance of having more politicians who excel at policy implementation.

“There is a need to have more administrative politicians, people who are not so focused on giving quality speeches, but are more focused on the outcomes of the policy implementation,” he elaborated.

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