Renovations on Mandela house in leafy Houghton to get going

From Left to Right- Collen Mashawana, Ndileka Mandela, Premier Panyaza Lesufi, Mbuso Mandela, Cecil Mashawana and Austin Mashawana. | Supplied

From Left to Right- Collen Mashawana, Ndileka Mandela, Premier Panyaza Lesufi, Mbuso Mandela, Cecil Mashawana and Austin Mashawana. | Supplied

Published Mar 1, 2024


Renovations to former president Nelson Mandela’s house in the plush suburb of Houghton in Johannesburg will be getting a much needed facelift from Monday.

The house had been reportedly left in ruins after the former statesman’s grandchildren moved out but it had not been clear as to what caused them to leave.

However, speculation was rife that the family members abandoned the house after the City of Joburg cut off the light due to alleged non-payment.

The Star previously reported that the multi-million mansion, on 12th avenue in Houghton, was at some stage, occupied by Mandela’s grandchildren, who have since moved out after they could not keep up with the monthly municipal services which increased from R15 000 a month to R50 000.

Workers study a crack in a wall at the Nelson Mandela property in Houghton.

The dilapidated house has been hogging news headlines recently because of the poor condition it is in and with reports that the public funds might be used to renovate the house.

However, the Collen Mashawana Foundation controlled by businessman and philanthropist, Collen Mashawana, has raised its hand and volunteered to renovate the house as of this coming Monday.

During the renovation assessment visit yesterday Mashawana, who was accompanied by Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, told The Star no public funds would be used in the renovations.

Lesufi, recently during his State of The Province Address, announced that the province would assist the Mandela family in renovating the house.

The foundation will be in collaboration with the family.

“This significant visit marked the commencement of the planned renovation project aimed at restoring and preserving the historical integrity of this important site, “ Mashawana said.

He added that the main purpose of the visit was aimed at assessing the necessary work needed to return residence to its former glory, ensuring it continues to serve as a beacon of the former statesman’s enduring legacy of peace, reconciliation,and unity.

“The collaborative effort underscores the commitment of both the Collen Mashawana Foundation and the Gauteng Provincial Government to honour and preserve South Africa’s rich heritage… president Nelson Mandela, a global icon of freedom and democracy, spent his final years in this Houghton home, which has since become a symbol of his monumental legacy.

“The renovation project aims not only to restore the property but also to inspire future generations through the values and ideals that Madiba himself lived by,” Mashawana said.

He said the foundation was dedicated to ensuring that the renovation process was carried out with the utmost respect and sensitivity to the historical and cultural significance of the residence.

“We are deeply humbled to undertake this project, which will pay homage to president Mandela’s legacy. This initiative is a testament to our shared values of preserving history and fostering unity,” he said.

Lesufi, expressed enthusiasm about today’s project launch: “This is a pivotal moment in our efforts to preserve the legacy of our beloved Madiba. The Gauteng provincial government is proud to support the Collen Mashawana Foundation in this noble endeavour.

“Further details about the renovation project will be shared as the project progresses,” Lesufi said.

Collen Mashawana Foundations spokesperson Obren Msuku said: “We welcome any further support for this historic and wonderful initiative as we call upon any organisations and general public to contribute towards the restoration of president Nelson Mandela’s former residence,” Mashawana.

The Star

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