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Dr Thokozani Chilenga-Butao

Research Associate

Dr Thokozani Chilenga-Butao

Thokozani completed her PhD in Political Studies in 2019, under the PARI PSETA scholarship. Her PhD thesis focuses on whether S100 interventions, as enshrined in South Africa’s Constitution, are useful for the development and problem solving capabilities of provincial departments in South Africa, specifically provincial education departments. She undertook fieldwork in the Limpopo and Eastern Cape provincial education departments, which were subject to S100 interventions between 2011 and 2015. Thokozani’s general research interests are decentralization and federalism, especially as processes of state formation; public administration; public policy; and, education governance. She is currently employed as Lecturer in the Department of Political Studies at Wits University and works as a Research Associate for PARI on the Education Programme.


Chilenga-Butao, T. and N. Pakade (2020) ‘Exploring Institutional Coordination of the Return to Schools’. Education Programme Working paper 1. Johannesburg: Public Affairs Research Institute.

Pakade, N. & T. Chilenga-Butao (2020) ‘Distrust, Accountability and Capacity in South Africa’s Fragmented Education System’, in M. Ehren and J. Baxter (eds) Trust, Accountability and Capacity in Education Reform: Global Perspectives in Comparative Education, pp. xxx. Abingdon: Routledge.

Chilenga-Butao, T. (2020) ‘Decentralisation and recentralisation in South Africa’s local government: case studies of two municipalities in Limpopo’, Transformation, 103: pp. 12–35.

Chilenga, T.J. (2017) ‘Practicalities of the National Development Plan: prospects and challenges, using the rural economy as a case study’, South African Review of Sociology, 48(2): 87–105.

Chilenga-Butao, T (2019) ‘Provincial Dynamics’, in C. Schulz-Herzenberg and R. Southall (eds) Election 2019: Change and Stability in South Africa’s Democracy, pp. 190–218. Johannesburg: Jacana Media.


White Elephant Schools Reveal Lack of Progress, 20 September 2020. Mail&Guardian.

Real Relief Requires the Reform of  State Recruitment, 17 June 2020. Mail&Guardian.

ANC Should Stop Recycling Old Ideas, 14 June 2019. Mail&Guardian.

Elections Are At The Heart Of Democracy, 16 April 2019. PARI website. Co-authored with G. Taruvinga.

Plan will reveal true ANC, 9 March 2019. The Citizen. Co-Authored with S. Lando and Dr. T. Ledger.

Local Government and the Provision of Public Goods: Decentralisation and Fiscal Autonomy in Nigeria, November 2018. African Tax Research Network (ATRN), online. Co-Authored with A.S. Guimaraes.

Cyril Ramaphosa’s New Dawn is Slowly Breaking in Mahikeng, 03 May 2018. Business Live.

Struggle to Keep the Lights On, 22 Jan. 2017. City Press. Co-Authored with J. Pearson & P. Nqaba.

 Rebels not without a cause, 24 April 2015. Business Day, print media and online.