Executive Mayor, Councillor Sarah Matawana (Olly) Mlamleli, was elected as the second mayor of Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, on 03 August 2016.

Prior to her election as the Executive Mayor, Cllr Olly served as a Member of the Executive Committee (MEC) responsible for the Department of Cooperative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements from February 2012 until 2016.

Born in March 1957 in Viljoenskroon, Cllr Mlameli began her primary schooling there and went on to further her studies at Mphohadi College, where she obtained her teacher’s diploma in 1976. She taught at several schools in Free State and later became a school principal.

She took time off to complete a BA and BEd and later a Master’s degree in education specialising in education models of the US and Japan. In 1996, she occupied a managerial position in the Free State Department of Education. She was responsible for the development and management of education, and for gender equity, which has long been one of her concerns.

Councillor Mlamleli is a recognized gender activist 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.” In 2001, she was appointed director in the Office on the Status of Women, where she was also responsible for the needs of youth and persons with disability.

She was later appointed by the then premier as co-ordinator of the Municipal Infrastructure Grants of all local municipalities, which laid the groundwork for future in local government. This is what motivated the EM to pursue her studies in this sector, when she went on to study towards a post-Master’s certificate in civil engineering specialising in water and sanitation at the University of the Western Cape. In addition, she also holds a post Master’s certificate in project management from the Free State University.

Ma-dislipere, as the Executive Mayor is popularly known amongst communities, also occupied senior positions in the Ministry of Agriculture in 2007 and moved to roads and transport in 2008.

Besides this illustrious career in government, she is currently serving as the Chairperson of the ANC Women’s League in the Free State.

The objectives of the Office of the Mayor are to:

  • Ensure effective political direction and decision-making.
  • Ensure good liaison with regional, provincial, and national political structures.
  • Ensure the effective management of the Mayoral Committee.
  • Provide support services for sport and culture promotion.
  • Provide particular support to disadvantaged groups (women, youth, and HIV/Aids).
  • Ensure effective communication with the media around political direction.