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WYDE Civic Engagement

Network of Young Decision-makers

Part of Women and Youth in Democracy Initiative

Christopher Pappas

Mayor of the uMngeni Local Municipality Incumbent

Active Network Member

From: South Africa

Active since: 2023

Chris Pappas was born in Pietermaritzburg. He grew up in Mooi River on a farm with his parents and younger sister. He attended Treverton Prep school and went on to matriculate at Hilton College in 2009.

Chris spent much of his teen year in Howick. He proceeded to the University of Pretoria (UP), where he graduated in Town and Regional Planning. He got a distinction for his dissertation, which was titled “Education Planning as a tool for national development.”

Chris got involved in politics at UP. He joined the Congress of the People (COPE) and was elected to the Student Representative Council (SRC) as a member of Academic Affairs. He later went on to serve as the interim SRC President. Chris secured his first full-time employment as a graduate in 2013. He was employed as a Development Economist, where he predominantly worked on socioeconomic impact studies for Independent Power Producers.

The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal offered Chris a position as a support staff member. Chris was employed as an Operations Manager for the Durban South area (Chatsworth to uMkomaas). He later stood as a candidate for the Musgrave, Overport, and Sydenham area on Durban’s Berea. Chris was successfully elected as the youngest ward councillor at the time in eThekwini. In the eThekwini council, Chris served on the Economic Development and Planning Committee as well as the Town Planning Appeals Committee. During his councillorship in eThekwini, Chris was elected as the Chairperson of the DA’s Central Durban Constituency. He also headed the 2019 election campaign for the metro, which was the only metro where the DA increased its voter share.

Chris is currently the DA’s Deputy Leader in KwaZulu-Natal. In 2019 Chris was elected as the youngest member of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature. He first served on the Agricultural Portfolio Committee and later went on to serve on the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs portfolio. In 2021 he was elected as the first DA mayor in KwaZulu-Natal. He was part of the team that took the uMngeni Municipality from the ANC with a slip of 42 votes giving the DA a one-seat majority in the council. He also serves as the Chairperson of the Executive Committee and the Economic Development and Planning Committee. In 2022 Chris was invited by the US Statement Department as one of 6 mayors to participate in an International Leadership Programme aimed at strengthening democracy, advancing human rights and fighting corruption.

Christopher Pappas Related Activities

From 11/12/2023 to 11/14/2023

Policy Lab Network of Young Decision-Makers 2023- 12 November | “Youth Rethinking Social Development for People and Planet”

The Network of Young Decision-Makers will contribute to the discussions of Club de Madrid’s Annual Policy Dialogue 2023

Date: 06/15/2023

First meeting of the Network of Young Decision-makers

WYDE Civic Engagement Network of Young Decision-Makers brings together a group of exceptional young leaders under 36 years old who are active in politics and in decision-making bodies and who have already reached positions of influence from which they can advocate for greater youth political participation.