Sadi’s professional community development experience of over 30 years started in 1988 as a Professional Officer in the Development and Planning Coordination Unit of the former Bophuthatswana government. She taught development studies at the University of Bophuthatswana (Now North West); served in various positions from community development practitioner to manager in the following institutions: Agricor; the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in the Building Technology Division and the Technology for Development Programme. At the CSIR, Sadi produced a guideline for construction of earth block homes; together with her team, she received a CSIR award for the development of an innovative poverty alleviation model in 2000 and she also received a National Science and Technology Award (2000) and was the first woman ever to receive this award. Sadi also served as a Director for Rural Livelihoods at the Agricultural Research Council responsible for supporting resource poor farmers to achieve their agricultural development and farming objectives.
Sadi subsequently joined the Department of Social Development where she served for 13 years from 2004 to 2017 as the Chief Director for Community Development and Sustainable Livelihoods. She provided strategic direction in strategic planning and reporting, financial management, human resource management, risk management, community development practice, sustainable livelihoods, women empowerment and household food and nutrition security. Among many of her achievements, she facilitated the development of various strategic documents including the Community Development Practice Policy; Guidelines for Training of CBOs on Sustainable Livelihoods; Sustainable Livelihoods Toolkit for Community Development Practitioners in South Africa in 2009 which gradually sensitized her about the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approach.
Sadi was instrumental in facilitating the institutionalization of the ABCD approach in government, specifically in the Departments of Social Development, Public Service and Local Government. She facilitated a significant number of ABCD training workshops for Community Development Workers and Practitioners employed in government and in the NPO sector and for empowerment of women leaders. She also attended a significant number of national and international seminars and conferences both as a participants and presenter.
Sadi attended and completed the Social Entrepreneurship Certificate course at the Gordon Institute for Business Science (GIBS) of the University of Pretoria in 2014. She established the Programme Management Unit to unleash the economic potential of cooperatives. This was achieved through the mentorship and coaching of cooperatives done in partnership with the National Development Agency, the Department of Small Business Development and Cooperatives and its entities, mainly SEDA supported by GTZ. This PMU ensured compliance of the Department of Social Development with the Preferential Procurement Framework Guidelines of 2017 which enforces that at least 30% of goods and services procured should be from local producers. She is advocating for the popularization of the “public spending for public benefit” concept to ensure that the public sector uses its purchasing power to deliver local economic development.
Sadi attended and presented at various international, regional and national conferences, most of which in the past six years were ABCD related. She has also attended various community development refresher and certificate courses to enhance her knowledge and expertise. She has worked in partnership with various NGOs and Public entities to drive the course of community driven development and entrepreneurship. Sadi holds a Master’s Degree in Public and Development Management from the University of Stellenbosch.
Sadi retired from government service end of December, 2017 but remains actively involved in her studies and community development work. Post retirement, she was the co-facilitator of the 1st International ABCD Imbizo held in Port Elizabeth, South Africa in February 2018 which was attended by more than 23 countries. In 2018, she was the appointed as the Coady Chair of Social Justice by the Coady International Institute, St Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada. During her tenure as the Coady Chair for Social Justice, she spent two months at the Institute presenting lectures to students and the public on social justice challenges and opportunities. She is a member of the Coady International Institute’s Advisory Board since 2016 and a Trustee of the Dr Sam Motsuenyane Rural Development Foundation from 2018 to date. In 2019, she was the Community Development Adjunct Lecturer at Monash University South Africa in the Faculty of Social and Health Sciences and also a Moderator of 3rd year Development Studies exams in Development Planning and Project Management for University of Limpopo.