Nelson Mandela’s former Houghton residence will be turned into the Mandela Presidential Centre in late 2019.
The house will be transformed into a one-of-a-kind experience for travellers who wish to take a reflective walk in the struggle icon's shoes, it was revealed at the official launch today.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF), which owns the property, has partnered with Thebe Property Asset Management (TPAM) and Thebe Tourism Group (TTG) to revivify this iconic and quaint venue as a multi-purpose facility. It will support scholarship and deep reflection at the same time as providing a unique experience for travellers and other visitors.
Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said they have marked the inauguration of the property refurbishment project in line with the former president's centenary on July 18.
“Nelson Mandela was a traveller in his later life, who made a difference in the lives of those he met and those he travelled with. He had an impact on the places he touched and left a part of his beloved land wherever he went. May we continue to be the travellers who make a difference,” he said.
Jerry Mabena, CEO of Thebe Tourism Group, said the project will not only form part of some of the great tourism treasures in the world but would also be a place, where leaders tasked with taking the world forward could draw inspiration from the values and principles from a man that not only changed South Africa but the rest of the world.
“We not only honour Nelson Mandela as the founder of the democratic state of SA, we also see this project as a reminder and tribute to ourselves that President Mandela is also one of Thebe’s founding fathers as an organisation. We, therefore, work to preserve his memory, values and principles. We are extremely excited at taking on a truly unique project with such an iconic status,” said Mabena.
The project’s professional team, led by TPAM also includes Maru Spaces Architects; Kim h Interiors; Aurecon and MWV Engineers; GD Irons Construction; Kiwango Quantity Surveyors and Upper Level Town Planning. Khensani Heritage Consulting will be managing the preservation of Madiba’s heritage on the site.
Post construction, Thebe Tourism Group have teamed up with an award-winning black-owned hotel operator, Miarestate, to operate The Mandela Presidential Centre.