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INSATIABLE CURIOSITY PROPELS VIOLET TO THE TOP

Brümilda Swartbooi | 24 January 2023

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For nearly three decades, Violet Mahlaba has been going above and beyond for the City, and has no intention of stopping any time soon. ​Reliable, trustworthy, and dedicated are some of the words that best describe her work ethic. Violet is the manager of training and development, Employee Relations and Development (Group Human Capital Management). Since 2011, she has been ensuring the City’s workplace skills plan (WSP) runs smoothly.


In her role, she is also responsible for driving skills development and oversees learnerships and Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET).

She has spearheaded projects and procedures, among others. She implemented an in-house supply chain channel in her office. Her secret tool is being highly inquisitive and eager to learn. In fact, her willingness to learn is what drives her. “Be willing to learn. If you’re willing to learn, there’s nothing that can stop you. And if you don’t know, ask. Do your research.”

There was a time when she was unfamiliar with the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) and needed to report to the National Treasury.


To plug the gap, Violet got into a car and drove all the way to Ekurhuleni to ask for help and learn more.

“No one guided me to respond to national Treasury requirements, so I started doing my own research.”


Born in Qwa-Qwa, Free State, Violet worked her way up the ranks when she relocated to Johannesburg.

She obtained a teachers’ diploma from Tshiya College of Education in in Phuthaditjhaba, Qwa-Qwa, and an adult learning qualification from Wits University.

She joined the City of Joburg in 1995 in the Records Office as a general worker, where her main role was to do the filing and issuing of stationery. “You need to start somewhere,” she says. In 1998, she joined human relations. After the start of the regions, she was moved to Soweto.

Violet believes in leading by example for optimum results. “You must lead by example. Show respect, never get tired and will always go the extra mile.”

What she loves most about her job is seeing people grow and expand their educational knowledge. “ABET is in my heart.


I have seen changes in people’s lives. I pulled people into the programmes who didn’t have matric, who couldn’t get promotions, and watched them go on and get promotions.”

She loves helping and assisting people. “If I can see change in people’s lives, that’s what motivates me.”

The mother of two and grandmother of three believes in keeping a solid balance between work and personal life. For leisure, she loves visiting new places. One of her favourite destinations is Singapore.


‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.



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