Social Development — Thamiso Chabalala

Deputy Chairman, Kanye Sub District Council [BDP Councillor]

In 2013 Thamiso Chabalala made a very brave decision. “I trained as a teacher,” he says, “and I love that very noble profession. But by 2013 [five years into his teaching career as a qualified languages teacher for secondary schools], I felt the 7am to 4pm arrangement was somewhat limiting in my pursuit for civic engagement.”

So Chabalala quit teaching in 2013 and joined politics, where he currently serves as a councillor for Mafhikana Ward in Kanye.

“I love working with and for people, helping them. The easiest way to do that was to find a way to be closer to them — politics provided such a platform,” says Chabalala.

As a deputy chairman of the Kanye Sub-Council, he is tasked with planning and budgeting for the Authority, monitoring projects, and drafting policies aimed at improving the livelihoods of those he leads.

The challenges, however, are “visible, very pronounced, and sometimes even dearly frustrating.” Because many fellow councilors are semi-literate to illiterate, comprehension and constructive dialogue are often hindrances to progress.

“Sometimes good motions are disregarded not so much because they aren’t good, but because people simply don’t understand your line of thought, he says.

As part of his efforts to close this gap, he offers weekend tutorials and mentoring to students.

This investment has seen significant results. Students, after graduating from tertiary education, often move back to their home village to help their younger brothers and sisters in turn.

Chabalala is also aiming to improve local infrastructure. “I am currently working with young professionals and retirees in my ward to come up with meaningful, sustainable means of developments, some of which will employ the youth of Mafhikana.

That committee is working round the clock to profile the constituency, recommend and solicit funds for such projects.”

Aside from his most recent efforts to fundraise the construction of a guidance and counselling centre, Chabalala has adopted 3 primary schools and a junior school. Here he sponsors the best performing students and offers motivational talks to children.

“Politics has allowed me the chance to interact with people of all ages, something that’s close to my heart,” says Chabalala. “It has also meant I can serve my hometown and use my passion and zeal close to the community that made me who I am.”

Contact: [email protected]

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Mike Olivier
Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.

Related stories


Subscribers only

How lottery execs received dubious payments through a private company

The National Lottery Commission is being investigated by the SIU for alleged corruption and maladministration, including suspicious payments made to senior NLC employees between 2016 and 2017

Pandemic hobbles learners’ futures

South African schools have yet to open for the 2021 academic year and experts are sounding the alarm over lost learning time, especially in the crucial grades one and 12

More top stories

Zuma, Zondo play the waiting game

The former president says he will talk once the courts have ruled, but the head of the state capture inquiry appears resigned to letting the clock run out as the commission's deadline nears

Disinformation harms health and democracy

Conspiracy theorists abuse emotive topics to suck the air out of legitimate debate and further their own sinister agendas

Uganda: ‘I have never seen this much tear-gas in an...

Counting was slow across Uganda as a result of the internet shutdown, which affected some of the biometric machines used to validate voter registrations.

No way out for Thales in arms deal case, court...

The arms manufacturer has argued that there was no evidence to show that it was aware of hundreds of indirect payments to Jacob Zuma, but the court was not convinced.

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…