Nelson Mandela preferred that his memory be honoured not with statues or monuments, but with living institutions that represent and reproduce the values for which he stood.   UCT is working in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the South African National Parks Board to fulfil this vision – by building a centre that not only honours his name but becomes a living space aimed at making public service, at the highest levels of leadership, an aspiration for the most talented of the continent’s rising generation.

Despite the gap in governance capacity in many African countries, the continent has very few centres focusing on governance, and no schools of government that target the emerging leaders in Africa’s public sphere.   The Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice was established at UCT in 2011 to cater to this need.  As part of a major expansion, the School was relaunched in July 2018 as the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, aiming to build an esprit de corps amongst leaders in South Africa and Africa more broadly, and to promote peer networks and linkages between leaders in government and in other fields such as academia, business, civil society and the arts.

This project seeks to create a building to the south of the Upper Campus to house the School and commemorate the ethical spirit of Nelson Mandela in a living memorial which embodies the values of accountability and inclusive developmental governance.

It is a great honour that the Nelson Mandela Foundation have placed their trust in the School, allowing it to further the Mandela legacy through the advancement of governance and leadership on the continent. This will be the first substantial Mandela memorial in the Western Cape Province.

The total estimated cost of the project is R590m (circa £32m), including all landscaping and land-use costs.

To find out more about the Nelson Mandela School, please click here. To make a donation and help UCT honour Mandela’s legacy with a commitment to excellence in public leadership, download a pledge form here, or alternatively use our online platform.