Dr Sandile Mbatha is a Senior Manager responsible for Research and Policy Advocacy in eThekwini Municipality where he supports evidence-based policy development process through city-wide research and strategic planning. He is a data strategist who views data as a critical ingredient for supporting insight-driven service delivery. He is responsible for driving integrated city-level data processes for strategic decision-making. As part of this work, he has established strategic partnerships for building an inclusive data ecosystem necessary for supporting a data-driven city. He is also part of the team using a data-centred approach towards SDG institutionalization and indicator localization with the aim of building a reliable SDG monitoring system for eThekwini Municipality.
He holds a PhD in Architecture and Town Planning from the University of Stuttgart, which focused on informal transactions in low income housing in South Africa. He has more than a decade of experience working with the public and non-governmental sectors through developing and implementing programmes for low income urban and peri-urban communities. He has held numerous fellowships which include the 2017/18 Academy for African Urban Diversity cohort, 2019 International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP); MGG Digital Academy Fellow 2021. He has recently been recognised as a Government Digital Leader in GovTech 2023 awards. As a recovering academic, he has previously been a visiting PhD Scholar at University College London and worked as a lecturer at the University of KwaZulu- Natal and has served as an external examiner for postgraduate projects across various universities locally and abroad.