Armed with a PHD Nazira’s determined to enhance policy implementation in the City

​​Dr Nazira Cachalia joined the municipality in 2002 and has played an instrumental role in the development of the Joburg City Safety Strategy (JCSS). 

She describes herself as a fair and balanced leader who tries to inspire her team at all times through hard work, building respect and understanding all aspects of the department. She’s Deputy Director: Joburg City Safety.

“Through my practices of resilience and perseverance I promote trust and build respect in the workplace. I am, however, a stickler for detail, as it is important to ensure things are done correctly and procedures are followed, even if red tape often hampers efficiencies,” she says.

Joburg City Safety was initially developed by the Economic Development Unit (now the Department of Economic Development) to improve safety in the City as envisaged by the municipal long-term strategy, Joburg 2030.

“I was tasked with developing a crime prevention strategy for the City. It was a collaborative effort and entailed the input of key internal and external CoJ stakeholders. The strategy has been used as a guiding document to assist a number of municipalities across the country to develop their safety strategies and plans,” says Nazira.

Nazira taught in high school for about 13 years before joining the Gauteng Department of Education where she was responsible for school governance and education management. “I then took the position of Education Director in Business Against Crime and worked closely with the SAPS in the field of training and development. It was this experience that led to my current focus in the City on safety and crime prevention,” she explains. 

Nazira recently obtained her PhD from the University of Witwatersrand and describes the experience as a long and difficult journey. “I did the PhD part time while still carrying out my work responsibilities, which was not an easy feat. But I was fortunate to have had good support systems at work and home,” she says.

 Nazira says completing her doctorate had been on her mind for a while and realised that she had to find some way of consolidating her long work experience in a more meaningful way. She also needed to understand the challenges of policy implementation in local government, which so often seem insurmountable. 

She says with her PhD she hopes to bring all her knowledge to bear in something that is concrete and would like to develop an avenue to put all this knowledge together and create value for the City as well as other municipalities. ​

“I hope that I can continue to inspire and motivate my colleagues with my new knowledge and understanding of how policy and our department work. I also hope to motivate my nieces and nephews and the department’s interns to work hard and make their dreams a reality because education is definitely key,” she says.

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