Leaders_Thandi_Makoko_BOSASA

Thandi Makoko

Executive Director, BOSASA Group

“Makoko has overseen a rapid rise in the number of Youth Development Centres, from 1 in Gauteng to 12 centres in 5 provinces. This success has earned her the respect of both the private and public sectors. BOSASA’s youth development model produces results, which is why the Department of Correctional Services has lauded it, and international dignitaries and educators regularly visit the centres to learn from the model.”


As Executive Director, BOSASA Group of Companies, Thandi Makoko embodies the group’s aim of inspiring and empowering each person who comes into contact with BOSASA. She does so primarily in her role as Chairperson of BOSASA Youth Development Centres. Youth between 14 and 21 years old, who are in conflict with the law, are housed in these development centres. Makoko combines an academic background in social science and youth development with her practical expertise to develop multi-faceted and sustainable interventions that meet the special needs of youth housed in the centres.

Together with her co-director Jackie Leyds, Makoko developed rehabilitation and prevention models that comply with legislation and offer the young people in the centres proper guidance, SETA-accredited schooling and skills to equip them for potential jobs.

Makoko has overseen a rapid rise in the number of Youth Development Centres, from 1 in Gauteng to 12 centres in 5 provinces. This success has earned her the respect of both the private and public sectors. BOSASA’s youth development model produces results, which is why the Department of Correctional Services has lauded it, and international dignitaries and educators regularly visit the centres to learn from the model.

The success of the centres is founded on BOSASA Operations’ world-class management systems. Makoko and her multi-disciplinary team of professional specialists direct the rehabilitation services offered in the centres. Training, youth development, skills development, accreditation of the training programmes, nutrition, mental health, social work, clinical psychology, dietetics and medicine all fall under Makoko. Her latest innovation is to introduce mentoring programmes at youth centres.

After attaining BA Social Science (University of Limpopo) and Honours in Probation and Correctional Practice at the University of Cape Town, Makoko wrote her Master’s Degree dissertation on the experiential world of children awaiting trial at Dyambu Youth Centre. Her PhD subject is the management and care of young people with mental health challenges awaiting trial.

Makoko is both an example and a proponent of BOSASA Group’s commitment to development, upliftment and the empowerment of women in business. As part of the close-knit BOSASA board, which has been working as an integrated team for close on two decades, Makoko shares the laurels for making BOSASA an icon of development and empowerment.