Zamdela was established in 1954 by the Petro-chemical company Sasol as a means of housing their employees who came from various parts of South Africa. The township is situated in the Metsimaholo (translated as Big Water) municipality in the Fezile Dabi District in the Free State Province. The Metsimaholo district is one of four municipalities in the district and considered the smallest of them all. It was established in 2000 when Sasolburg, Deneysville and Oranjeville municipalities combined. As a local municipality the Metsimaholo municipality makes up 8% of the total geographic area in the district comprising of Deneysville, Kragbron, Oranjeville, Sasolburg and Zamdela.

Zamdela settlement houses roughly 90 000 people with the majority being of African descent. The township has a high unemployment rate of approximately 43% with almost 18% of the residents living in informal settlements with 35.5% of households being female-headed. The most spoken languages are Sesotho, Setswana, and isiZulu.

Zamdela is situated on the outskirts of Sasolburg, a town also established in 1954. The town has an estimated 153 000 people living in it. Sasolburg has approximately 66% white and 30% African people living in the town, with most of the population speaking Afrikaans followed by Sesotho. When the town and the adjacent township were created the sites for both Zamdela and Sasolburg was chosen for the large deposit of coal in the area as well as the proximity to the Vaal River which runs adjacent to both Sasolburg and Zamdela.

Site Research Team

Dr. Tamlynn Jefferis

Dr. Tamlynn Jefferis

Co-Investigator

PhD Psychology; MA Research Psychology. Dr Jefferis is a senior lecturer at the North West University with a keen interest in qualitative research with a focus on resilience. Dr Jefferis is currently the co-investigator for the RYSE Project.

Dr. Irene Muller

Dr. Irene Muller

Co-Investigator

In times of living with contagious disease, the need for safe and clean water is a basic need. To ensure water quality, which is safe for human use, requires water quality monitoring. The RYSE initiative allows for the empowerment of communities by engaging in communities with water quality testing. Contact Dr Muller at 12765074@nwu.ac.za if you are interested to learn more about water health and water quality.

Gerhard Rodgers

Gerhard Rodgers

Masters Student

Gerhard Rodgers is currently a Masters student specializing in Research Psychology with a keen interest in Resilience across the lifespan of people. Gerhard is currently an intern and research assistant in the RYSE project.

Monique Swanepoel

Monique Swanepoel

Masters Student

Monique Swanepoel is a research assistant in the RYSE project, on the South African site. She is currently a Masters student, with an interest in Positive Psychology, more specifically resilience and meaning-making in women with traumatic histories.

Carla Pretorius

Carla Pretorius

Masters Student

Carla Pretorius is currently a Masters Student, focusing on gerontology as well as an interest in resilience and community psychology. Carla is currently an intern and research assistant in the RYSE Project.

Local Supporting Partners

Lusa Community Chest is a non-profit organisation that aims to work with the community through supporting and building the community. They were established in 1990 In Sasolburg and have been working to improve the lives of the people in the community since. Lusa currently has an operational area which includes places such as Meyerton, Parys, the Northern Free State and Gauteng and is a member of the national organisation Community Chest South Africa.

Veronica Cronje

Veronica Cronje

Executive Director
Diane Joy Wilder

Diane Joy Wilder

Public Relations Officer
Alwyn Burger

Alwyn Burger

raining Co-ordinator & Project Manager
Phillemon Zwane

Phillemon Zwane

Youth Coach