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MEC Sarah Matawana (Olly) Mlamleli was appointed as the MEC responsible for the Department of Cooperative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements during February 2012. She currently serves as the Deputy Chairperson of the ANC Women’s League in the Free State.
Ms Mlamleli studied at the University of Leeds during 1998 and holds a Masters degree from the University of the Free State and a Post Masters Certificate in Civil Engineering, Water and Sanitation. She also obtained qualifications in Public Participation from the University of Cape Town and Project Management.
MEC Mlamleli is a recognized gender expert and pursued studies in this field at the McGill University in Montreal (Canada), the Toronto University in Canada as well as the University of Botswana. Her expertise and experience in this field is further evidenced by her co-authoring “Opening Our Eyes: Addressing Gender-based Violence in South African Schools – A Module for Educators.” This school-based project was developed within the gender programming of the Canada South Africa Education Management Programme designed to give educators and school management teams practical tools for working around issues of sexual harassment, homophobia, child abuse, the relationship between gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS, and healing.”
She is not new to the local government environment as she worked as coordinator of Municipal Infrastructure Grants before joining the Office of the Premier as the Director responsible for Special Programmes during the period 2001 to 2007. Following the 2009 local government elections, she was elected as a Member of the Free State Provincial Legislature and became the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Human Settlement until her appointed as Member of the Executive Council.